Pedestrians always bear the brunt of the impact in accidents when they are struck by a car or truck. Unfortunately, in most cases injured pedestrians usually sustain significant and catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical treatment resulting in significant medical expenses. Oftentimes, injured pedestrians sustain life altering physical impairments that limit their ability to perform their job duties. This can result in a significant loss of income and earning capacity.
If you suffered a head or brain injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for your current and future medical expenses. You may also be entitled to additional compensation known as non-economic damages.
When a car, truck or motorcycle hits a pedestrian, the accident is almost always the fault of the driver of the vehicle. By law, pedestrians in Massachusetts practically always have the right of way regardless of the circumstances of the accident.
A driver might be responsible for a pedestrian accident even if the pedestrian did not use an available crosswalk and crossed the street at a point between crosswalks. That is because a pedestrian has a right to travel anywhere on a highway or street and not merely on the crosswalk.
It should be noted that from the pedestrian’s point of view, a violation of the jaywalking statute (M.G.L. c. 90, § 18A) cannot be used as evidence in court to prove the pedestrian was negligent and therefore responsible for the accident.
There is no law in Massachusetts requiring a pedestrian, when lawfully using the road, to be continuously looking or listening to determine if cars or trucks are approaching.
The majority of backover accidents involving young children occur in residential driveways. Sadly, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel in most driveway backup accidents, which account for nearly half of fatal car accidents involving children.
Joggers are pedestrians, and in Massachusetts, pedestrians almost always have the right of way and cars and trucks have a duty to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Pedestrian joggers are among the most vulnerable people using the roads and sidewalks in and around Massachusetts.
A pedestrian is 4 times more likely to be struck by a left turning vehicle at an intersection than a vehicle taking a right turn at an intersection. So what is it about left turns that makes them so dangerous?
Many pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts occur at or near designated crosswalks. A pedestrian crosswalk accident occurs every two hours in this country. In 2006 alone over 500 pedestrians died when they were struck by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk. These crosswalks are located at every intersection and in between intersections on busy roads.
nsurance companies are notorious for looking for ways to avoid paying on a claim, or offering “low-ball” settlements. One of their strategies is to assign as much blame as possible to the victim. Pedestrian accident statistics are sobering. According to Luis Martinez, an accident reconstructionist:
“Since 1975, between 14 and 17 percent of motor vehicle deaths have been pedestrians. Pedestrians accidents are exceeded only by falls and motor vehicle accidents as a cause of accidental deaths. The annual cost of pedestrians accidents to society exceed one billion dollars.”
A backover accident is when a motor vehicle backs into a pedestrian or person on a bicycle usually when the motor vehicle operator is trying to back out of a driveway or parking spot. They are typically low impact collisions occurring at a few miles per hour.
The standard Massachusetts Automobile policy provides coverage for any medical bills, lost earnings or pain and suffering if the holder of a Massachusetts automobile insurance policy has been the victim if a hit and run. Most insurance policy holders don’t realize that their own auto insurance automatically providers coverage in this hit-run situation.
Pedestrians walking on foot have a right to use sidewalks and crosswalks without fear that they will be hit by a negligently or carelessly operated motor vehicle. Although pedestrian accidents can occur in a parking lot, driveway or sidewalk the majority of these accidents occur when a pedestrian makes an attempt to cross the street.
Although most pedestrian injuries and fatalities happen at intersections, it’s also possible to be hit by an out-of-control vehicle as you’re walking on the sidewalk, in a parking lot, or even in a recreational area (like a park or beach). Less cut-and-dried are cases where the pedestrian has been walking, or jogging, down the side of the street rather than on the sidewalk. As stated above, Massachusetts law dictates that cars give pedestrians a reasonable right-of-way, but in these instances “right-of-way” may be subject to interpretation. At the very least, drivers are required to slow down and give you plenty of leeway when attempting to pass you on the street.