In the early morning of February 13, 2017, a 72-year-old man was pronounced dead after being hit by a plow truck on Pleasant Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. According to CBS Boston, the man was walking in the eastbound lane when a pick-up truck with a plow hit him and drove away. Currently, police officials are investigating the accident to locate the driver of the pick-up truck.
Pedestrian accidents do not always result in death, but can cause serious injuries. A pedestrian is considered anyone on foot, including but not limited to walking, running, jogging, or standing. Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian are not all that rare. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed or suffer severe injuries in a car crash. In just 2015, it was estimated that 70,000 pedestrians were injured and 5,376 pedestrians were killed after getting struck by a vehicle.
As with any other personal injury claim, liability, negligence, and damages are the three factors to be considered. Liability is defined as who is at fault, or who caused the accident. Negligence proves liability. A negligent person can be defined as someone who failed to exercise reasonable care in their actions. In a pedestrian accident, determining liability and negligence can be complex. Most believe the driver of the vehicle is always at fault, but this is not always the case. As the pedestrian, you need to prove that the driver of the car was negligent and caused the pedestrian’s injuries. Traffic lights, traffic signals, road obstructions, and the time of day the accident occurred are all common factors investigated when determining liability and negligence. Lastly, damages are the injuries and financial losses the victim sustained because of the accident.
When liability is unclear and the accident is still being investigated, the injured person should take special precaution when speaking about their claim. Specifically, special caution should be taken when the vehicle driver’s insurance company wants a statement in regard to the pedestrian accident. Believe it or not, insurance companies often contest liability and deny pedestrian accident claims. A personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights, investigate your accident, and ensure you are maximally compensated for your injuries. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP pride ourselves in correctly and thoroughly investigating accidents to obtain and save evidence that can be used to establish negligence on the vehicle driver.
Massachusetts winter months pose unique and dangerous pedestrian environments. Snow banks, uncleaned sidewalks, dark evenings, and slippery roadways cause an increased risk of injury to pedestrians. As a pedestrian, always remember to wear proper clothing to be seen in unfeasible or unpleasant weather conditions. Stay safe this winter!