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Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts: Legal Insights and Recovery

In Massachusetts cities and towns, pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles are a significant concern, especially in busy areas like Cambridge, Somerville, Dorchester, Brookline, and the surrounding Boston area.  Despite stringent traffic laws and safety measures like crosswalks, these accidents often occur at busy intersections and in parking lots due to negligent drivers failing to pay attention, speeding, failing to give a pedestrian the right of way.  These types of traffic accidents ​frequently lead to serious pedestrian injuries or pedestrian fatalities due to the negligence of drivers. Gavagan Law is committed to assisting victims of such incidents by shedding light on their legal rights, guiding them through the process of lodging a personal injury claim, and aiding in securing the restitution they rightfully deserve.

Understanding Your Legal Rights in Pedestrian Accident cases

M.G.L. Chapter 89 §11 and the Massachusetts Drivers Manual explicitly instructs that motorists “must yield to individuals on foot within a roadway,” spotlighting the state’s dedication to the well-being of pedestrians. Moreover, drivers must observe reasonable speeds in populated areas and adhere to the established speed limits in sensitive zones, like a school zone with a maximum speed limit of 20 mph. 

Compensation for Victims against the at-fault driver

Victims of pedestrian incidents may be eligible to seek compensation against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury insurance policy for their damages, which include:

  • Medical bills: Medical-related costs due to serious injuries sustained in the incident. This includes severe injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries, which often result in significant medical expenses and may require extensive medical treatment.
  • Lost Income: Wages lost during the period of recuperation, including potential future earnings.
  • Property Damages: Compensation for any personal property damage incurred during the incident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical discomfort and emotional distress experienced as a result of the incident.

No-Fault Insurance

Additionally, under the Massachusetts no-fault insurance framework, otherwise known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident victims are entailed No-fault Insurance benefits through the vehicle that struck them, irrespective of fault. 

Statute of limitations

In Massachusetts, pedestrian accident victims must initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver within three years following the incident to maintain their legal rights.  Pedestrian accident lawyers play a critical role in this process, offering expert guidance and representation. 

Immediate Steps Following a Pedestrian Accident

The accident scene following a pedestrian crash is often chaotic and overwhelming, however, important steps can be taken to safeguard your legal rights and future claim. 

  1. Law enforcement should be notified immediately, allowing for an official report to be filed by the Boston Police or relevant law enforcement agencies. This report can be crucial in establishing the negligent party’s responsibility, especially if the driver of the vehicle violated traffic signals or was otherwise at fault.
  2. Victims should also seek immediate medical attention, even if injuries are not immediately apparent. Some injuries, like head injuries, may not show symptoms right away but can have serious consequences if left untreated.
  3. Driver’s Insurance info.  Obtain the driver’s insurance information and drivers license information.  
  4. Identify any witnesses who may have witnessed the accident and obtain their contact information.  
  5. Photographs.  If you able, take photographs of the accident scene including the crosswalk, traffic signals, and crosswalk signs.  

Jaywalking and Liability

Cases involving jaywalking present additional challenges, yet compensation remains a possibility under the comparative negligence rule if the driver is also at fault. Expert legal guidance is indispensable in these scenarios to ensure a fair liability assessment and to advocate for your rights.

Comparative Fault in Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ comparative fault rule could influence your compensation if you’re found partially at fault for the accident. However, victims can still recover damages provided their share of the fault is under 51%.

Free Consultation: Your First Step Towards Recovery

At Gavagan Law, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of pedestrian accident victims.  From dealing with insurance companies to representing you in negotiations or court, we strive to ensure that negligent drivers are held accountable and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and an opportunity to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. This initial consultation is a critical step in understanding your legal options and the best course of action to take to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.  If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact Gavagan Law today. 

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