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Types of Pedestrian vs. Motor Vehicle Accidents in Massachusetts

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are on the rise in big cities such as the Greater Boston Area.  This guide delves into pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts, including the most dangerous locations, unsafe road design, and scenarios leading to serious injuries, pedestrian fatalities, and highlights the necessity of safe streets and safe pedestrian crossing infrastructure, such as appropriate speed limits, traffic signals, and  crosswalks.  

Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian-involved crashes in Massachusetts manifest in various high-risk scenarios, each presenting distinct dangers:

  • Parking Lots: These areas see frequent incidents where drivers, either reversing or hurrying for spots, collide with pedestrians, underscoring the risks in such spaces.
  • Intersections: Despite crosswalks and traffic signals aimed at ensuring pedestrian safety, driver errors at intersections are a common cause of accidents.
  • Sidewalks: Incidents on sidewalks involving impaired or distracted drivers reveal the vulnerability of pedestrians in supposed safe zones.
  • Nighttime Risks: Diminished visibility during the night significantly increases the peril for pedestrians, emphasizing the importance of vigilance after dark.

Comparative Negligence in Massachusetts: When Pedestrians are partially at Fault

In most cases, negligent drivers are held to be responsible in a pedestrian vs. car accident due to failing to pay attention, speeding, or failing to give a pedestrian the right of way.  However, pedestrians can also play a role in causing accidents by:

  • Ignoring crosswalks and traffic signals, 
  • Jaywalking, 
  • Venturing into areas where pedestrian access is restricted,
  • Abruptly stepping into the street into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Massachussets follows the Modified Comparative Fault system, meaning the injured pedestrian is only able to recover damages if they were less than 51 percent at fault.  If the injured pedestrian is found to have contributed 51 percent or more to an accident, they are not entitled to recover at all.  However, the pedestrian is only found to be partially at fault (less than 51 percent), that Plaintiff can still collect damages, however there will be a proportional decrease in the compensation awarded.  For example, if the evidence indicates a pedestrian violated traffic rules and is decided to be 10% responsible for the accident, any damages they are awarded will be reduced by 10%.  

Legal Recourse

Addressing the aftermath of deadly pedestrian crashes due to a negligent driver encompasses investigating the accident scene, obtaining necessary evidence such as surveillance footage, photos and witness statements, as well as contending with the driver’s insurance company, and ensuring pedestrian victims are awarded fair compensation for their serious injury, medical expenses, lost income, any scarring, and potentially long term disabilities. At Gavagan Law, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of pedestrian accident victims. From dealing with insurance companies, adhering to the statute of limitations, to representing you in negotiations or at 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.

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