When motor vehicles collide with pedestrians, the impact is far more likely to injure the pedestrians than the occupants of the motor vehicles. While drivers and passengers have the protection of seatbelts, airbags, an enclosed vehicle frame, and more, pedestrians are vulnerable to the full impact of much more significant and substantial motor vehicles. When severe injuries result from accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles, a Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help.
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be catastrophic. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be unable to work or care for yourself, perhaps permanently. The skills and knowledge of an experienced personal injury attorney may be crucial in assisting you with any personal injury claims that you may have.
Proving Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
For individuals hoping to receive compensation for their injuries following a pedestrian accident, they must prove that the drivers of the motor vehicle that struck them were negligent or careless in some ways. Evidence of negligence in these accidents may take various forms, but some common examples of negligence in drivers of motor vehicles may include those who:
- Violate traffic laws, such as by speeding, running red lights, failing to yield, or driving in an otherwise reckless manner
- Drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Drive while distracted by their cell phones, GPS, or other electronic devices
Additionally, you must be able to prove that they suffered severe injuries in the accident that necessitates more than $2,000 in medical expenses. If you are able to provide evidence that proves liability in pedestrian accidents, you may be entitled to claim various damages for your losses, including compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, emotional distress, permanent impairment and disfigurement, and more. The extent of the available compensation depends upon the loss of function you may have suffered in an accident. A dedicated attorney could help injured victims establish liability following an accident.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Injury Claims
Pedestrian accident claims often are challenging because the insurance company will attempt to blame the pedestrians for the accident that caused their injuries. They may argue that the pedestrians should have used reasonable care to protect themselves and should have seen the oncoming motor vehicle. Even if the pedestrians were in crosswalks at the time of the accident, insurance companies might try to paint a picture of pedestrians whose carelessness led to their injuries.
Under Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 231§85, even if you were negligent or careless in some way, such as crossing the street outside a crosswalk, you may still be able to seek compensation from other negligent parties, depending on the situation. If the other parties involved in the accident were more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident that led to the injuries, then the injured pedestrians may still file a personal injury claim against those parties. Since insurance companies are likely to aggressively debate liability in these cases, consulting a pedestrian accident lawyer in Massachusetts may be wise.
However, if you bear some degree of fault for the accident, you may only seek a limited amount of damages. More specifically, your available compensation would decrease by the percentage of fault attributable to them. For instance, if you are 20 percent liable for the accident, then your maximum available compensation would be 80 percent of your total damages, rather than 100 percent of your total losses.
Call a Massachusetts Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Pedestrian accidents can have catastrophic consequences that can alter the lives of those who suffer injuries as a result. When the negligence of drivers leads to accidents such as these, injury victims may have various forms of legal recourse, including personal injury claims. In these situations, the advice of a Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyer may be invaluable to you in getting the compensation that you need.
As an injured pedestrian, you have the right to hold others accountable for their negligence in causing injuries to you. Working with legal counsel may allow you to get financial support during a challenging and stressful time in your life. As time limits do apply to these claims, individuals should not hesitate to get legal advice and representation.