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Compensation Options for Pedestrians Injured by HIt-and-Run DriversHit-and-run incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are unfortunately common occurrences. A driver who strikes a pedestrian may be more prone to panic and flee the scene because they know that the pedestrian has likely suffered a severe or fatal injury. A pedestrian who has survived a hit-and-run incident often needs emergency medical treatments and lengthy rehabilitation. It is common for these incidents to cause permanent disabilities and emotional trauma. As an injury victim, you need compensation from the driver or your insurance provider.

Compensation from the Driver

The driver responsible for the hit-and-run could turn themselves in after they have calmed down and listened to their conscience. If the driver does not come forward, the police will try to identify the driver and bring them to justice. Your attorney can track the status of the case so that you are prepared to take civil action against the driver if they are found. To prove your injury claim, you can use evidence from the police report and witnesses, such as showing that:

  • The defendant was the driver of the vehicle that struck you;
  • The driver was at fault for the accident; and
  • The accident caused your injuries.

It is important to remember that decisions in criminal and civil cases are independent of each other. Illinois uses comparative fault when deciding whether to award damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Motorist usually must yield to pedestrians when there is a question about the right-of-way, but a pedestrian may share fault for the accident if they were behaving recklessly. The driver could be guilty of a hit-and-run charge but not liable for your injuries if you were more than half at fault for the accident.

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How Your Landlord Is Liable for Negligent SecurityA rental property owner is not always liable if you are the victim of criminal activity, such as an assault or battery. There are some incidents that unfortunately could not have been foreseen or prevented. However, the property owner is responsible for providing reasonable security if it should know that a lack of security would put you in danger. Its burden increases if you live in an area with high levels of crime. You may be able to collect personal injury compensation from your landlord if you can show that your landlord had a duty to protect you and that a lack of security enabled an act of violence against you.

Failed Promises

Landlords will often include a list of property security measures within their leases, such as:

  • Locks on doors and windows;
  • Lights in parking areas and at entrances;
  • Security cameras; and
  • Security guards.

Landlords are not required to provide all of these security measures but create a legal obligation to maintain them once they have promised them in a contract. They should not allow lights or cameras to fall into disrepair and should act quickly to fix them once they realize that there is a problem. They are also responsible for the professionalism of security guards on the premises. If there is a system for contacting security in the event of an emergency, you should expect an immediate response from someone trained to help you.

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How Third Parties Can Be Liable for Construction Worker FallsFalls cause more deaths at construction sites than any other work-related accidents. Construction workers are sometimes positioned high in the air, making any fall a life-threatening event. Even falls with little or no elevation can be dangerous if the worker falls onto a piece of equipment or hard surface. When seeking compensation for their injuries, many construction workers must file a workers’ compensation claim because their injuries occurred as a result of performing their job duties or negligence by their employer. However, there are situations where a third party was responsible for the fall and is liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Faulty Equipment

Construction workers use equipment from third-party manufacturers to reach high places and protect themselves while up there. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the equipment if its failure caused your injuries, such as a ladder that collapses or a safety harness that fails to secure you. To hold a third party liable for a faulty product, you must prove that:

  • There was a flaw in the product’s design;
  • The materials used to build the product were substandard;
  • The manufacturer was negligent in constructing the product; or
  • The seller knew of the product’s flaws when you or your employer purchased it.

Unsafe Conditions

You and your employer may lack control over the conditions of the work site if you are working with a subcontractor or other third party. Leaving equipment strewn across the ground or spilling a slick substance may cause you to fall from tripping or slipping. Because this is a third party claim, you must prove that:

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Recovering Missed Pay in Personal Injury LawsuitBeing injured in an accident can cost you more than what you must pay for medical treatment. Suffering a debilitating injury may require you to miss time from work while you recover. When you return to work, you may be limited in the tasks you can perform or the hours you can work. Your employer has no obligation to compensate you if your injury occurred outside of your work. You will need to include your compensation for lost wages as part of your personal injury lawsuit.

Time Off

A person who is recuperating from a serious injury may miss weeks or months worth of work days. The time off may include:

  • The initial medical treatment and recovery period;
  • Time in physical therapy to regain strength; and
  • Follow-up appointments with doctors and physical therapists after the patient returns to work.

Depending on your employee benefits, you may not be paid or may receive reduced pay for the days that you miss. Contract workers have no means of recovering the money they lost for time off. Your personal injury compensation can include the pay you did not receive because you were unable to work. Even if vacation or sick days covered some of your time off, you are still entitled to the value of that time off in your lawsuit. Illinois courts will not allow a liable party in a personal injury case to get away with paying less because the plaintiff has insurance and employee benefits.

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How Pedestrians Can Protect Themselves During the WinterThere are typically fewer pedestrians during the winter months, but winter conditions can make walking near streets more hazardous for those who brave the weather. Drivers bear most of the responsibility for preventing accidents involving pedestrians. As a pedestrian, you can take extra precautions to protect yourself and help drivers:

  1. Visibility: Daylight hours are shorter during the winter, and the snow can make it harder for drivers to see you. Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night. Walk in well-lit areas. Your own vision may also be diminished by the conditions and your need to bundle up. Make sure you are able to see around you in order to avoid potential hazards.
  2. Eye Contact: If you are at an intersection with a stopped vehicle, make eye contact with the driver before you cross. Do not assume that the driver notices you and knows that you plan to walk in front of the vehicle. By making eye contact, you are acknowledging that you see each other and understand who has the right-of-way.
  3. Footwear: Have on boots or shoes that are appropriate for the conditions you will be walking through. Your footwear should protect your feet from being numbed by the cold and give you enough traction to walk on slick surfaces. Slipping in or near an intersection puts you at greater risk of being hit by a vehicle.
  4. Stopping Time: Suddenly walking into an intersection forces a driver to react quickly. Vehicles need more time to stop in slick conditions, and slamming on the brakes may cause the driver to lose control. Be more cautious about when you enter an intersection because you know the driver may have difficulty stopping for you.
  5. Staying Out of the Road: You may be tempted to walk in the street if you reach an area of sidewalk that has not been cleared of snow. However, walking in a driving lane puts you at much greater risk of being hit because drivers are not expecting pedestrians in the road. If the pedestrian walkway is impassable, you should find an alternate route that does not involve walking in the street.

Contact a Barrington Personal Injury Lawyer

Being cautious may not prevent a pedestrian injury in all cases, but it eliminates needless risks. Behaving recklessly may also mean that you share responsibility for the accident, which can lessen your award in a personal injury case. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you receive compensation when you have been injured in a pedestrian accident. Schedule a consultation by calling 847-381-8700.

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