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Do You Know What The Must Stop Law Is?

Published on August 13th, 2020 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

Do You Know What The Must Stop Law Is?

We were all taught in driver’s education that pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing the street. Despite this, pedestrian casualties and injuries caused by cars happen at an alarming rate. To help lower casualties, the “Must Stop Law” was developed in Illinois. But, do you know what the must stop law is?


What is the Must Stop Law?

In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law commonly known as the “Must Stop Law.” This law states that, “Illinois drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks.” 

In this case crosswalks include:

  • “Signalized” crosswalks which have stop signs and traffic signals
  • “Unsignalized” crosswalks which don’t have stop signs and traffic signals
  • “Marked” crosswalks which can be identified by painted lines on the road
  • “Unmarked” crosswalks, which occur anywhere a sidewalk leads into the street on at least one side of the street

Unfortunately, most Illinois drivers are unaware of this law. In a study conducted by the Active Transportation Alliance, only 18% of cars stopped for pedestrians at traditional painted crosswalks. At unmarked crosswalks, only 5% of drivers obeyed the law. Researchers believe this lack of compliance is because many Illinois drivers are simply unaware of the law.

If you were hit by a car which did not stop for you at a crosswalk, the driver has violated the “Must Stop Law”.


The Dangers of Pedestrian Car Crashes

In 2017 alone, the CDC reported that 5977 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents, amounting to one death every 88 minutes. In addition, there were 137,000 pedestrians treated in the ER for injuries related to car accidents. Pedestrians are almost two times more likely than vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash. While the CDC is developing reporting on more recent years, the numbers are expected to be approximately the same. 

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured as a Pedestrian in a Car Accident?

First, and most importantly, you should seek the appropriate medical care to treat any injuries sustained in the accident. This includes taking an ambulance immediately following the accident if you feel you’ve been seriously injured. Treatment may be an ongoing process in order to recover from your injuries. If you are able to, or if a trusted companion is with you, take photos of the scene of the accident, get contact information from witnesses and also get statements. Do not forget to call the police so they can create an accident report. It’s also important that you immediately reach out to a personal injury attorney specializing as a car accident attorney, such as the Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm. 

After you’ve been injured, you may be compensated for medical treatment, lost wages from missing work, and more, by filing an insurance claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, if you contact the driver’s insurance company directly, without a lawyer representing you, they may record your statements, contact your doctor, and attempt to minimize the damage caused to you.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that while the Must Stop Law is more so an issue in Chicago, Illinois, it’s also a problem in rural areas.


How Can A Lawyer Help Me?

A personal injury attorney specializing in car accident cases can help lead you through this confusing and frustrating process. Your lawyer will fight the insurance company to make sure you receive the largest possible settlement for your injuries. If the insurance company is unwilling to meet the demands of your attorney, you and your attorney may decide to take further legal action by suing the driver of the car. 

The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm has over 25 years of experience dealing with personal injury cases, including extensive experience with car accidents. We are industry leaders who have written books, taught classes, and led seminars to teach fellow attorneys how to navigate the personal injury field. We are known for getting our clients the compensation they deserve quickly. 

The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm is here to help you, and uncomplicate the process of getting the justice you deserve. There is a statute of limitations on when you can pursue legal action after a car accident. Please call us today for a free case assessment! 


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