Kane County, Illinois Pedestrian Accidents And Injuries

Kane County And Illinois Pedestrian Accident Statistics

There have been various recent Kane County pedestrian accidents, some fatal.  As well, many others have happened throughout the broader Chicago area and otherwise throughout Illinois.  As seen in Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) crash reports, in the year 2014 (the most recent available year as of this writing) there were 101 pedestrian crashes, with 2 pedestrian killed and 100 people injured, in Kane County.

The recent increase in Illinois pedestrian accidents is discussed in the Chicago Tribune article of May 30, 2016, titled “As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention.” Various aspects of the year 2015 pedestrian accident fatalities and trends experienced in Illinois are discussed.  Two excerpts from that article:

Last year, 146 crashes resulted in 150 fatalities on roads across the state, up 18 percent from 2014 when there were 127 deaths, according to preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of those 150 pedestrians killed, nearly a third of the deaths — or 46 — occurred in Chicago, which also saw a 31 percent hike over 2014.

also:

The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit made up of state highway safety offices, also indicated that distracted pedestrians and drivers may be partially responsible for an increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2013 after decades of a steady decline.

Kane County Pedestrian Accidents

Kane County pedestrian accidents have many causes.  While many people walk for both fitness and recreation, it does include risks when done around traffic.  This is especially so given the high levels of traffic on many of the county’s streets.

As seen in posts on this site [found in the “Pedestrian Accidents” category] which discuss people who have been hit by vehicles while in Kane County, such incidents have occurred on the following dates:

  • May 22, 2016 in Sugar Grove
  • March 29, 2016 in Geneva
  • March 11, 2016 in Aurora [fatal]
  • December 9, 2015 in Elgin [fatal]
  • March 14, 2015 in Elgin [fatal]
  • November 10, 2014 in Aurora
  • October 29, 2014 in Aurora

Pedestrian Accident Injuries

There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents lead to injuries, many of which are serious injuries and can be life-threatening in nature.  Perhaps foremost among these reasons is that pedestrians have little if any “impact protection” when they are hit by a vehicle.  With no protection, the pedestrian’s body absorbs most – if not all – of the impact, and the body is subject to many powerful and unnatural forces.

There are some common characteristics as to the type and nature of pedestrian accident injuries.  As discussed in the “Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations” [Chakravarthy B, Lotfipour S, Vaca FE. Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations. The California Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2007;8(1):15-21.] research document regarding “injury patterns”:

Frontal collisions are categorized by the height of the impact relative to the location of the pedestrian’s center of gravity. Most adult vehicle collisions occur when the center of gravity is above the upper front edge (bumper) of the oncoming vehicle, whereas in pediatric pedestrian collisions the center of gravity is often below the bumper. In adult collisions, the front bumper strikes the lower leg region. The legs are accelerated in the direction of vehicle travel, while the upper body and head are brought into contact with the hood and/or windshield. Therefore, there are three distinct impacts. The first is between the lower leg and the bumper. This is immediately followed by contact between the thigh area and the upper edge of the hood. These impacts cause rotation of the upper body, resulting in another impact between the head/shoulders and the hood/windshield region. At low speeds, the pedestrian remains on the hood. At higher speeds, the increased momentum causes the legs to rotate above the head before falling back onto the hood. At even higher impact speeds, the pedestrian somersaults onto the windshield/roof after head impact. Further increases in impact speed can cause the pedestrian to pass fully over the vehicle. This leads to subsequent impacts with the ground and other roadway objects as the pedestrian slides/rolls/bounces to rest.

If a person is hurt due to being hit by a vehicle, there is a broad array of injuries that can occur.  These injuries include damage to the neck and spinal column; bone fractures; serious bruises; broken arms; broken legs; and various types of internal bleeding and other “soft tissue” damage.  Blunt force trauma injuries to the chest can also occur.

Among the most serious injuries that can result from someone being hit by a vehicle is traumatic brain injuries (TBI.)  These types of head injuries have been seen in many Chicago-area accidents in which people have been struck by vehicles.  The November 11, 2014 post (“Girl Struck By Car In Aurora, Illinois“) is an example of a pedestrian accident in Kane County that led to a head injury.

The severity of these various pedestrian accident injuries can vary significantly.  Many of these injuries and other harm that has occurred may lead to temporary or permanent physical impairments.  Surgeries may be needed.  As well, injury recovery may require a significant amount of physical rehabilitation and possibly occupational rehabilitation.

Fatal Kane County Pedestrian Crashes 

As seen in the above list of Kane County pedestrian crashes, a high percentage of those hit by a vehicle died from their accident injuries.  In general, fatal accidents involve both those who died immediately (i.e. were pronounced dead at the accident scene) as well as those pedestrians who died from their crash injuries at some point after the accident.

Fault In Pedestrian Accidents 

Determining fault in accidents is a key factor in potential legal proceedings.  Often, an accident investigation will be conducted to thoroughly assess the circumstances concerning the accident, and to determine which party was at fault.

Many of the fatal Kane County pedestrian accidents involve people who are hit by vehicles while they try to cross the street.  Accidents that happen in crosswalks are particularly notable, as people who walk in crosswalks with the right-of-way often expect to do so safely. However, in many cases crosswalks and the rights they are supposed to provide to “walkers” are disregarded by motorists.  Various statistics show that Chicago pedestrian accidents – including those fatal – often happen while people are walking in a crosswalk with the “walk” signal.  As discussed in the October 26, 2011 post, titled “City of Chicago Initiative To Highlight Pedestrian Accidents And Pedestrian Safety“:

About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.

Of the Kane County pedestrian accidents highlighted above, at least two of them (in Aurora) happened as pedestrians were walking in crosswalks.  Many other such crosswalk accidents have recently happened in the Chicago area.

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

There are many steps that one can take to minimize the risk of being hit by a car while walking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published pedestrian safety tips at its “Everyone is a pedestrian” site.  Walking safety tips are also provided for children and older adults.

The CDC document titled “Walk This Way!  Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety” offers the following tips:

Whenever you’re walking, keep these tip2 in mind:

  • Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
  • Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
  • It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic.
  • Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road.

Injury Costs And Expenses  

There are many types of expenses that can be directly incurred when someone is hit by a car or other vehicle.  Typically, medical bills may be (very) high, especially if the person does not have health insurance to cover medical bills.  Many people who have been hit and injured by a vehicle seek to obtain injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.  This compensation can include many different types.  The amount of such compensation varies depending upon many different factors, including the types and severity of the injuries.  Compensation types can include that for:

  • Medical costs (past, current and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of function
  • Lost wages
  • Other economic damages

A personal injury lawyer can provide an overview as to what types of compensation – as well as what amounts – may be reasonably expected given the specific characteristics of the accident, the injuries, and the overall legal and medical situations.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident

The above discusses various aspects of accidents involving pedestrians.  As discussed, pedestrian accidents often cause accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries are serious in nature, and can be either life-threatening or fatal.

Should you be injured in such a collision, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity.

Immediately after being struck by a vehicle, steps include:

  • Stop and call police to report the accident; also request an ambulance if needed
  • If possible collect the following information: the driver’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, insurance company name, car make, model, and license plate number.  If there are witnesses to the accident, collect their names and contact information. Additionally, if it is safe to do so, take pictures of the accident scene as well as all vehicles that were involved in the accident.
  • From a medical perspective, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam if you are hit by a car or another vehicle.  There are many health and legal reasons for this recommendation.  One of the reasons is that some accident injury symptoms are not immediately apparent, i.e. what some call “delayed onset.”  A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred but may not yet be apparent.  There are many examples of people who have suffered serious accident injuries but aren’t aware of these injuries for a substantial time period.  A delay in medical treatment can sometimes create a dangerous health threat, and in some cases such delay can become life-threatening.  Serious injuries with symptoms that may not immediately manifest include various traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and internal bleeding.

As soon as possible after being struck by a vehicle, steps include:

From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.  While many people who have been recently injured in an accident may find this to be inconvenient – or otherwise may wish to delay such a conversation – there are various steps you should quickly take to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred.  The personal injury lawyer can explain these steps as well as determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate.  [For those who represent a person that has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]

If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate.  This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.

Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases.  Through this extensive experience, the Elman Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance.  As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.

Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.