Summer is almost over, and school is back in session. With many things in life getting back to normal and school beginning, pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic has increased in cities and towns all over Massachusetts. School buses and parents are out dropping off and picking up students, kids are walking and riding their bikes to school and others are rushing off to work.
It has been a while since we have seen the current volume of traffic and pedestrians on the roadways due to the shutdowns in 2020. Last year, many schools and jobs were operating remotely, so drivers had less traffic and pedestrians to worry about. Perhaps, some drivers have become accustomed to the decrease in traffic and pedestrians and are now less attentive behind the wheel. This behavior places many at risk of being seriously injured in an accident.
There are many things we can all do to make sure children are safe getting to and from school. If your child is, unfortunately, injured by a careless, distracted, or negligent driver, you have legal rights intended to pursue compensation for the damages or losses incurred in the accident.
A Few Easy Ways to Help Keep School Children Safe
When driving, please be mindful of the kids walking to school or getting on/off the buses. According to research conducted by the National Safety Council, most children fatally injured in bus-related incidents are between the ages of 4 and 7 years old, and they're walking. Most are struck by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. Here are a few tips to help keep children safe this school year:
Don't block the crosswalk when stopping at a red light or waiting to make a turn. This may force pedestrians (including children) to walk around your vehicle, potentially putting them in the path of passing cars.
In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
Keep an eye out for school crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
While in school zones and/or near playgrounds, take extra precaution to look out for children.
Never attempt to pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians, regardless how much of a hurry you are in.
Remind your children to always look both ways when crossing the street or getting off the bus, even if they have a walk signal or are told by a crossing guard to go.
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we have handled numerous cases where pedestrians are seriously and even fatally injured after being struck by a moving vehicle. The consequences can be devastating. This is why we should all take a minute to consider that no matter how busy we are or how much of a hurry we are in, please keep an eye out for children.
What if Your Child is Hit and Injured by a Careless / Distracted Driver?
Despite the many ways to keep children safe, there are always risks that a child or pedestrian may be struck by an inattentive or negligent driver. A child or student that is hit and injured by a car in Massachusetts has the right to seek financial compensation for the injuries suffered and damages incurred in the accident. Most often it’s the parent of the minor student that will pursue compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
To be successful in a claim for compensation, however, the student or pedestrian must prove that the driver of the car was negligent and that the accident was the cause of the pedestrian’s injuries.
The financial compensation typically sought in a personal injury case like this are for the damages incurred by the injured child or student. Most often the damages encompass the medical bills and expenses incurred for treating the injuries suffered in the accident and pain and suffering. However, in more severe cases where the child or student suffers an injury that requires surgery or results in a scar, additional compensation may be sought for any permanent disability or scar that remains after the accident and treatment.
Contact Our Framingham Personal Injury Attorneys Today
This is, of course, a brief summary of some types of damages an injured pedestrian can recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Massachusetts. If you or your student child has 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 your case and recommend the best course of action and determine the proper type and amount of damages.