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Rules governing pedestrian vs. car accidents on highways

Generally, pedestrians here in Illinois and elsewhere are prohibited from walking along major interstate highways. This is due to the danger posed by the higher speed limits on interstates and the presence of large vehicles such as tractor-trailers. However, there are times when an individual has no other choice but to be on the side of a highway outside of a vehicle. Regardless of the reason, pedestrians on the roadways increase their risk of being seriously injured or killed in car accidents.  

In at least some of those cases, the pedestrian, or surviving family members in the event of death, might still have a basis for a legal claim. For example, if the driver is found to be at fault, a general negligence claim could be considered. Also, under certain circumstances, the design of the highway itself, altered routes due to construction, repairs or maintenance might have contributed to the accident. If so, the appropriate Illinois or federal agency could be held responsible, at least in part, for the serious or fatal injuries suffered by the pedestrian. 

Data indicates that no less than 10 percent of all pedestrian vs. auto deaths occur on the nation’s highways. If it is determined that the pedestrian contributed to his or her injuries, an award of damages could either be reduced or barred. Even so, the fact remains that even if a pedestrian exercises the utmost care and judgment, they are still at the mercy of the motorists on the highway.  

If pedestrians in Illinois were involved in highway car accidents, they, or their loved ones, should seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Attorneys who are knowledgeable in this area of law can discuss the details of a specific crash in order to determine if their clients’ cases have merit. They can also counsel their clients on the various legal options available to them. 

Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents on Interstate Highways“, Accessed on Dec. 7, 2016