Massachusetts Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
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 Massachusetts pedestrian accident attorney may be crucial in assisting you with any personal injury claims that you may have.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, get help from our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 539-8366.
What to Do After Being Hit by a Car in Massachusetts
The moments after a pedestrian accident can be very stressful for victims. It can be difficult to remember the proper course of action. However, the steps victims take after accidents can potentially harm or benefit their future claims. Victims should take the following steps immediately after being hit by a car in Massachusetts:
Victims will need to assess the extent of their injuries after a pedestrian accident. If immediate medical attention is required, a dispatcher can send emergency services. Furthermore, a police officer will come to make a record of the accident scene. A police report can be beneficial in building a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Next, pedestrian accident victims should exchange information with all parties to the accident, if possible. This will include names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Other parties’ information will assist plaintiffs when building a claim.
Furthermore, pedestrian accident victims should collect the insurance information and license plate number of the driver that struck them. This information will be crucial when determining whom to sue and what damages may be available in a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Document the Accident Scene
Taking photos of the scene of a pedestrian accident may be beneficial in proving things such as weather and road conditions in a future lawsuit. Additionally, victims should attempt to gather contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Witness testimony may be valuable in proving fault in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Lastly, it can be beneficial for victims to make their own recollection of an accident while their memory is still fresh. Our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers can offer further advice to victims regarding what to document from the scene of a pedestrian accident.
Deal with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may use their own lawyers, doctors, and investigators to try to minimize the extent of a victim’s injuries and decrease the value of a claim. Our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers can ease your stress by taking responsibility for your case and fighting insurance companies on your behalf. Our attorneys can help prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of victims by using low settlement offers.
Your own insurance companies may cover you for injuries if you were struck by an uninsured motorist and you happen to have car insurance with uninsured motorist coverage. Our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers can also advise you about what compensation may be available if you were struck by an uninsured motorist or involved in a hit-and-run accident.
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 Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyer could help injured victims establish liability following an accident.
Comparative Negligence in a Pedestrian Injury Claim in Massachusetts
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.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, plaintiffs have three years from the date of their injury to file a pedestrian accident claim. Waiting to file a claim could cause a pedestrian accident victim to surrender their right to seek compensation. Furthermore, it may become more difficult to gather relevant evidence as time goes on. Accordingly, victims to pedestrian accidents should contact our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers as soon as possible so they can begin gathering evidence for their case.
Common Injuries Caused by Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts
Pedestrian accidents can cause devastating injuries. Pedestrians lack protection from a vehicle in a pedestrian accident. Accordingly, the injuries that pedestrians suffer are often more severe or even fatal. The following are serious injuries that can be caused by pedestrian accidents:
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury involves damage to a spinal cord or nerves at the end of a nerve canal. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, loss of feeling or sensation, loss of bladder control, exaggerated reflexes or spasms, and other conditions. Spinal cord injuries can be life-threatening. Victims of pedestrian accidents who have suffered a spinal cord injury can contact our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers for help getting damages to pay for your medical treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries refer to brain injuries from external force such as head trauma rather than asphyxiation or chemical interactions. Traumatic brain injuries can often occur as a result of pedestrian accidents. The following are symptoms of a potential traumatic brain injury to look out for:
- Severe headaches
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Light sensitivity
Traumatic brain injuries can cause a variety of serious effects in the short and long term. The medical expenses stemming from a traumatic brain injury can be overwhelming. Accordingly, our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers can help recover compensation for victims of pedestrian accidents who suffer traumatic brain injuries.
Soft Tissue Damage
Pedestrian accidents can also cause soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage involves injury to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Soft tissue damage frequently occurs because of sprains, strains, and other physical trauma. Soft tissue damages may be hard to prove. Furthermore, insurance companies may send victims of pedestrian accidents to a doctor who will minimize the extent of their injuries. Our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers can refer victims of pedestrian accidents to doctors who will treat the full extent of their patients’ injuries.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Pedestrian accidents commonly involve bone fractures and breaks. Common locations of fractures or breaks are arms, wrists, legs, shoulders, collar bones, hips, ribs, and backs. Some broken bones are more serious than others, but all are painful and most require expensive medical treatment. Victims of pedestrian accidents deserve to recover damages for any broken bones or fractures they suffer.
Emotional distress may not be as apparent as physical injuries, but it can be just as severe. In certain cases, victims may be compensated for the lasting emotional trauma they suffer because of pedestrian accident. Victims of pedestrian accidents who may be experiencing emotional distress can consult with our Massachusetts pedestrian lawyers to discuss their potential options for legal action.
The consequences of a pedestrian accident can be fatal. Families of victims who have passed away because of pedestrian accidents may recover damages in a claim for wrongful death. The effects of a fatal pedestrian accident can be overwhelming for a victim’s loved ones. Accordingly, our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call a Massachusetts Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today If You Were Injured
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. Call a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 539-8366 today.