Car accidents are a leading cause of death and personal injury in the US. Most of these accidents involve two or more vehicles. Among the worst types of accidents involving a vehicle is when the vehicle strikes a pedestrian. Last night, a six year- old girl was killed and another was injured when a car hit the girls while they were crossing the street on Chicago's South Side. As a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I am sickened when I hear these types of stories.
A "pedestrian knockdown case" is often a potentially deadly accident. It occurs when a person is on foot when hit (or knocked down) by a vehicle. A critical issue in most of these cases is whether the pedestrian was within a crosswalk at the time of the accident. A second important issue is whether the pedestrian had a red light or do not walk sign when they were injured. In general, pedestrians have the right-of- way in Illinois unless they have a red light or do not walk sign. In many instances, the driver claims he or she had the right away and the pedestrian did not and/or was outside of the crosswalk at the time of the accident. Consequently, these cases are often hotly contested.
Regarding last nights wrongful death of a six-year old, police say the girl was crossing the crosswalk near at the time of the accident. If that is true, the driver of the car was required to yield the right-of-way. A sixteen year-old girl sustained a broken arm when also hit by the car. Police say she is in stable condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center.
The driver of the car that hit the two girls was issued four citations. He was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk resulting in death, failing to yield to a pedestrian resulting in personal injury, driving to fast for conditions, and failure to have insurance. Regarding the later citation, Illinois law requires all vehicles registered be covered by a minimum amount of liability insurance. The minimum amount of liability insurance allowed in Illinois for bodily injury is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence.
Chicago Tribune Website, 6 Year-Old Crossing South Side Street Dies After Being Hit By Car, October 30, 2011.
CyberDriveIllinois Website, Mandatory Insurance, November 1 2011.