Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers help you seek compensatory damages in pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries. Pedestrian accidents are often serious in that they can result in injuries ranging from moderate to critical. This is because of the nature of such crashes – the pedestrians are unprotected and wholly vulnerable to an incoming vehicle.
When filing a pedestrian accident claim, you can seek damages in lieu of medical costs, lost wages, property damages as well as pain and suffering. Here are some important aspects of a compensation claim you must know before you file one.
Boston Pedestrian Accident Statistics
During 2018, 680 pedestrians were hit by motorists in Boston only. This figure is a decline from the figures of previous years. In 2017, 772 pedestrians suffered an accident in the city and the year before, 893 pedestrian accidents were reported.
Of the total pedestrian crashes in 2018, 7 resulted in fatalities. This figure is also a decline from the 8 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 and 14 fatalities in 2016.
Across Massachusetts, the total number of pedestrian fatalities reported in 2018 remained at 78. More than 50% of these fatalities were reported in people aged 55 or more. Almost 60% of the individuals killed in pedestrian accidents were males.
An interesting piece of research shows that nearly 60% of the pedestrians deaths that took place from 2014 to 2018 occurred between 3 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. The months of October, November, December accounted for nearly 40% of the fatalities.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include driving or walking under the influence, distracted walking or driving, lack of adequate lighting, poor visibility caused by weather conditions, and a lack of sidewalks or crosswalks in a given area.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in Massachusetts?
Jaywalking is held illegal in the state of Massachusetts. This means that if you are crossing a street other than a place with a marked or unmarked crosswalk or intersection, you are breaking the law. This is simply because crossing at such a point on the street is very dangerous. And if you are hit by a vehicle when jaywalking, the responsibility for the crash may lie with you.
Legally, the penalties for jaywalking are minimal. In fact, you are fined only $1 for the first offense. However, it can impact your odds of getting damages in a compensation claim.
In addition to the law about jaywalking, you must also observe a number of other laws as a pedestrian in Boston and across Massachusetts. Reputable Boston pedestrian accident lawyers can advise about these laws in detail although a quick rundown is provided below.
Pedestrian Laws in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has a number of laws that govern the conduct of the pedestrians on the road as well as the attitude of the motorists towards the pedestrians. Here is a look at these:
- When a crosswalk is available, you must cross the road at the designated crosswalk.
- If the crosswalk signal says Don’t Walk, do not cross the road.
- When walking along the road, always use a sidewalk when available. If a sidewalk is not available, walk along the shoulder facing traffic.
- Wear bright and clearly visible clothing when walking on the road or crossing it.
- As a pedestrian, you have right-of-way at four-way stops at intersections.
- If you are already crossing the street and are within 10 feet within the driver’s half of the road, you have right-of-way and the driver is required to stop.
- Drivers must always stop at marked crosswalks when a pedestrian is crossing.
- If a vehicle has stopped to let a pedestrian cross and a second vehicle passes it, the second vehicle is held as breaking the law.
Even when you have broken one of these rules as a pedestrian, a driver is still required to stop and look out for pedestrians. So if you are injured in a pedestrian accident and you are at fault, you may still be able to recover compensatory damages. With the help of qualified Boston pedestrian accident lawyers, you can use the modified comparative negligence rule to your advantage.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in Pedestrian Accidents
If you have filed a pedestrian accident claim in Boston, your case will involve the comparative negligence rule. This rule stipulates that the fault in any personal injury case is distributed among the parties involved in proportion to their degree of negligence.
There are both upsides and downsides to this rule. The upside to this rule is that you may be able to recover compensation even if your own negligence as a pedestrian caused the crash. For instance, if you were not crossing at a designated crosswalk and suddenly stepped on the road, your negligence contributed to the accident causing your injuries. However, if the other driver was speeding, running a red light or driving under the influence, he or she also shares the fault. So you may still get compensatory damages.
The downside to comparative negligence rule is that the amount you receive is reduced by the percentage of your fault. For instance, if you are found 20% at fault and your compensation amount is decided as $10,000, you will finally receive $8,000.
However, in cases where your fault is found to be 50% or more, Massachusetts law bars you from receiving any damages at all.
How Can Boston Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Can Help?
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and want to file for compensatory damages, it is very important that you speak to a lawyer first. Filing a pedestrian accident claim requires gathering relevant evidence, identifying the liable party and then making a demand for the right amount of damages. When you file the claim, insurance companies may attempt to pay you a much smaller amount or reject your claim altogether.
This is where our TorkLaw lawyers can help you. We know the common objections and defenses used in pedestrian accident cases. This helps us significantly improve your odds of winning the claim. Reach out to us today to discuss your claim and start the process at the earliest.