Burlington Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Legal Help for Injured Pedestrians
Pedestrian accidents are some of the worst that can occur. When a car hits a person walking on the street or sidewalk, it’s easy to understand just how devastating the pedestrian’s injuries can be. While the driver and passengers in the vehicle probably won’t be hurt because they have airbags, seatbelts, and a steel frame to protect them, the same cannot be said for the pedestrian.
People often think of a car colliding with a pedestrian when they think about pedestrian accidents, but that’s just one way they can occur. Trucks, motorcycles, and even bicycles can also hit pedestrians. The injuries can be just as serious and in some cases, even worse.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle or bicycle, he or she may suffer the following injuries, depending on where and how hard the hit was:
- Broken bones, particularly in the legs
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries, particularly whiplash
- Head trauma
- Deep lacerations throughout the body
- Road rash, which can lead to serious infection
- Internal bleeding and damaged organs
When Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way
Most people assume that pedestrians always have the right-of-way. It’s a reasonable assumption, as pedestrians will always be the ones with the most serious injuries in any collision. But while pedestrians often have the right-of-way, that is not always the case.
In Massachusetts, pedestrians who are crossing a street within a crosswalk, or who are properly following traffic signals such as green lights and “Walk” signals, always have the right-of-way. This means that vehicles may not cut them off by trying to go through the intersection before the pedestrian does; and vehicles must also always give a reasonable amount of space to pedestrians to allow them to cross. A reasonable amount of space is 10 feet of the half of the crosswalk the pedestrians are crossing.
When one vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross, it is illegal for another vehicle to try and pass that vehicle, which would result in them traveling through the crosswalk and potentially hitting the pedestrian.
When there is no sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk on the roadway, pedestrians also have the right-of-way. This means that vehicles must give them plenty of room, slow down, and only pass when it is safe to do so.
When Pedestrians Do NOT Have the Right-of-Way
But while pedestrians often have the right-of-way, this doesn’t mean that they always do. Just like the vehicles they are sharing the road with, pedestrians must follow all traffic rules and signals. This means they must give the right-of-way to vehicles when traffic has a green light at an intersection, and they must not jaywalk or jump out in front of vehicles to cross a road that does not have a marked place for pedestrians to cross. Pedestrians crossing state highways must always yield to vehicles and use extreme caution.
Compensation Available After a Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian has been hit by a vehicle or bicycle, there may be different types of compensation available. The car insurance of the vehicle that hit the pedestrian may provide some coverage, but this is typically not enough to cover all of the expenses the injured party will incur.
When this is the case, the pedestrian may also wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or bicyclist who hit him or her. Compensation may be claimed for:
- Medical expenses, including treatment and medications
- Expenses related to physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost income, if the pedestrian is unable to continue working for any duration
- Physical and mental pain and suffering, when medical expenses are greater than $2,000
- Loss of consortium and society, which can be claimed by spouses and children for loss of companionship, affection, and support that the injured pedestrian may no longer be able to provide to them
Not all pedestrians survive a pedestrian accident, but when they do the injuries can be very severe. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C., at (781) 262-3338. Being hit by a vehicle can greatly reduce a person’s quality and enjoyment of life, as well as that of their families. You need an experienced and compassionate Burlington car accident attorney on your side who will fight to protect your rights and get you any compensation you deserve. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., that’s what we do, so call us today and we’ll start reviewing your case.
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- Massachusetts Safe Driving Law
- Pedestrian Safety - CDC
- Pedestrians - CrashStats - NHTSA
- Pedestrian & Bicycle Crash Statistics