Massachusetts is the 15th most populous state in the United States with nearly 7 million persons and was recently estimated as the third most densely populated state in the U.S. Massachusetts residents, students and visitors walk more often now than they have in the past. Walking is good physical activity and has been shown to help fight chronic illnesses. There are non-profit pedestrian advocacy organizations in Massachusetts that promote walking and try to improve walking conditions in Massachusetts cities and towns. The combination of these things result in a greater number of pedestrians in our towns and cities. While this is great and walking is good for our health, pedestrians are at risk of being injured or even killed by motor vehicles. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in Massachusetts reported in 2014, that approximately 21% of all motor vehicle-related fatalities were pedestrians in Massachusetts. Although, this statistic is relatively low, in comparison to other states in the U.S., no one wants to be a statistic. So, what can you do if you or someone you know is hurt after being hit by a car?
Pedestrians Have Certain Rights in Massachusetts After Being Hit & Injured By A Motor Vehicle
A pedestrian that is hit and injured by a car in Massachusetts has the right to seek financial compensation for his or her injuries suffered in the accident. In order to be successful in a claim for compensation, however, the pedestrian must prove that the driver of the car was negligent and that the driver’s negligence was the cause of the pedestrian’s injuries.
The same principles of negligence that apply to other motor vehicle accidents apply to pedestrian accidents. The pedestrian has the burden of proving or demonstrating that the driver of the motor vehicle operated his or her car carelessly or recklessly. For example, if a driver ran a stop sign and struck a pedestrian crossing the street, the driver will be held negligent and legally responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries.
A lot of times, people hit by cars believe they are automatically entitled to compensation for their injuries. This is not true. The sheer fact that a vehicle hit a pedestrian is not evidence of the negligence of the driver of that car. It has been reported that almost a third of pedestrian fatalities result from individuals darting or running into the road. Also, with smart phones, iPods and other electronic devices, pedestrians are sometimes carless and do not pay attention, which can cause a pedestrian accident. In these situations, it would likely be the pedestrian’s fault.
But, in other situations where a pedestrian did nothing wrong, drivers and their insurance companies will try to blame the innocent pedestrian for the accident. This is why we have provided certain tips for a pedestrian to follow after being hit by a car. This will ensure the injured pedestrian can get or preserve evidence that will be necessary to successfully pursue a claim for compensation.
A Pedestrian Hit & Injured By A Vehicle Can Recover Compensation For Several Types of Damages
If a pedestrian is hit by a car and injured, the pedestrian can pursue financial compensation for the damages he or she sustained. In the typical pedestrian vs. car accident case, the pedestrian is usually left with very serious injuries, such as broken bones, severe head trauma, back and neck injuries, lacerations and scarring. Damages is financial compensation for the losses or injury a pedestrian suffered through the negligence of the driver. The pedestrian may be compensated for the following losses:
- Medical Bills: An injured pedestrian can be compensated for the out-of-pocket medical bills and expenses related to the treatment for the injuries the pedestrian suffered after being hit by a car.
- Lost Wages: If a pedestrian is struck and injured by a car and the injuries leave the pedestrian unable to work and earn money, the pedestrian can receive monetary compensation for the lost wages and lost earning capacity.
- Pain & Suffering: An injured pedestrian can also be compensated for his or her pain and suffering that are experienced after being hit by a car.
In a case where a pedestrian is hit and killed by a negligent driver, the deceased pedestrian’s family has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. In a wrongful death case, the family of the deceased pedestrian can pursue damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or affection for the spouse and children of the deceased person, and loss of consortium (sexual relationship) for the spouse, in addition to economic damages.
While this is a brief overview of the types of damages an injured pedestrian can recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Massachusetts, each case and their respective losses and damages is different. This is why, if you have been injured after being hit by a car in Massachusetts, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. An accident lawyer, who has successfully handled pedestrian injury cases, can evaluate a pedestrian accident case and determine the proper type and amount of damages.
Our Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Injured Pedestrians Get The Money They Deserve
If you, or someone you know, has been hit and injured by a car in Massachusetts, you should consult with an experienced injury attorney. An experienced accident lawyer can assess your case, locate and determine all negligent or responsible parties and estimate the value of the accident victim’s damages. Most importantly, an accident lawyer can protect an injured pedestrian’s rights and make sure they get the money they deserve for their injuries.
Insurance companies are tough on pedestrian accidents. They will assert clever defenses to protect their drivers and insureds, while blaming the pedestrian for the accident. This way an insurance company can either deny a claim entirely or argue that the pedestrian was contributorily negligent so they can reduce the amount of any potential settlement.
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents. We have taken on the insurance companies and successfully represented persons, who have been struck and seriously injured by motor vehicles. Our litigation skills and experience offer accident victims an advantage against the insurance companies.
To schedule your free case review today, please call us (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. We will help answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected.