When we think of someone getting hit by a car, we often envision young children darting into the street after a ball. However, the reality is that any pedestrian can be hit and seriously injured when drivers are distracted, impaired, or just inattentive. Pedestrian accident injuries are often severe and can be fatal. When a pedestrian obeys the rules of the road and is hit by a negligent motorist, that driver should be held accountable.
We take a look at how these accidents happen in and around Boston and how an attorney who's experienced with pedestrian accidents can help you or your loved one recover after being hit by a car.
Where Pedestrian Accidents Happen
The most likely place to be hit by a car is when crossing the street away from an intersection, but that’s not the only danger zone. In fact, people are generally aware that they need to be cautious when crossing a street, so they may be less likely to be hit there than in other high-traffic areas, such as the following:
- Parking lots. Walking through these areas can be hazardous for both children and adults. Drivers who back out without looking behind them can hit pedestrians, as can motorists who are rushing to grab an open parking spot. It's important to be alert when walking to or from your car in a parking lot, but if a driver hits you, it's probably his fault, not yours.
- Intersections. Even with crosswalks and traffic signals, drivers make errors at intersections that put pedestrians at risk. Turning right on red, failing to yield when turning left, running a yellow light, and not stopping at a red light are all ways that motorists hit people who are legally crossing the street.
- Sidewalks and pedestrian malls. Drunk drivers have been known to careen onto a sidewalk or pedestrian mall due to their impairment, but so have enraged, distracted, or lost drivers. Because pedestrians feel safe on the sidewalk, they may not react quickly enough to get out of the way.
- Anywhere at night. The risk of being hit by a car increases significantly in the dark. Even if you're obeying traffic laws when you cross a street or walk through a parking lot, if a driver can’t see you, you're in danger.
Wherever the pedestrian accident occurred, if you were obeying the law at the time of the crash and the driver wasn't, you can hold them responsible for your medical bills and other losses.
How Drivers Cause Accidents
Like other types of accidents, pedestrian accidents occur when motorists are careless or negligent. Some driving behaviors that lead to pedestrian accidents include:
- Impairment. Drunk and drugged people have slower reaction times behind the wheel and impaired judgment that put pedestrians at risk.
- Distraction. Glancing down at a phone or turning to talk to a passenger takes a person's eyes off the road long enough to miss seeing a pedestrian step into a crosswalk or a red light at an intersection.
- Speeding. Someone exceeding the speed limit won't have enough time to react to avoid hitting a pedestrian coming out from behind a car or stepping into a crosswalk—and the consequences are often tragic.
- Drowsy driving. When you're operating a vehicle, being sleepy is as dangerous as being impaired and an equal risk to pedestrians. Proving that the motorist who hit you dozed off at the wheel won't be easy, but a personal injury attorney can help gather evidence.
Drivers and their insurers will attempt to deflect responsibility by blaming the victim in a pedestrian crash. However, all motorists owe a duty of care to pedestrians, and an accident is proof they breached that duty. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney will work hard to build a strong case against them.
Contact Our Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have questions about your options after a Massachusetts pedestrian crash, contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation. In our consultation, we'll explain your rights and tell you how we can help you recover after a devastating accident, all at no obligation to you. Please fill out our contact form on this page.