Wakefield is known as a pedestrian-friendly city. While pedestrians have many of the same rights to the road as motor vehicles, the unfortunate reality is that drivers pose a significant threat to people traveling on foot. While a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows the rate of pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts are below the national average, thousands of state residents are injured each year in these collisions.
If you sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident, give a seasoned personal injury attorney a call right away. Any delay in proceeding with your case could limit your chances to recover monetary compensation from the party that hit you. To get started, contact a Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyer today.
Pedestrians and the Right of Way
The right of way is the precedence one person or vehicle has when passing through a crosswalk or intersection. A Wakefield pedestrian always has the right of way on a marked crosswalk. Whether at an intersection or in the center of a busy street, oncoming traffic should stop for pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk. If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian and strikes them in a crosswalk, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Wakefield might be able to seek monetary compensation from that careless driver.
According to Massachusetts General Laws 89 § 11, a pedestrian has the right of way even if they have not yet entered the path of an oncoming vehicle. According to the statute, a driver must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk directly in their path. However, the statute also requires a driver to yield to a pedestrian in the opposite lane of traffic, so long as that pedestrian is heading towards the vehicle’s path and is within at least 10 feet of the center of the crosswalk.
Comparative Fault in a Wakefield Pedestrian Accident
There are some instances where a pedestrian does not have the right of way, however. In those cases, the pedestrian may be partially at fault for the accident. When a plaintiff shares in the fault of an accident, it can complicate their odds for recovery.
In some states, any fault on the plaintiff’s behalf is fatal to their entire claim. Massachusetts takes a different approach. Under the state’s comparative fault laws, a plaintiff has the right to compensation so long as they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. If a jury determines the plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault, they would not award the plaintiff any damages.
If a plaintiff is partially at fault, but below the 51 percent threshold, the plaintiff can still recover compensation. However, Mass Gen. Laws 231 § 85 requires a jury to reduce the compensation awarded to the plaintiff by their degree of fault. For example, a plaintiff that was 25 percent responsible for the accident would see their damage award reduced by 25 percent. A seasoned lawyer could help an injured victim fight for the compensation that they deserve.
Discuss Your Case with a Wakefield Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Due to the lack of protection most pedestrians have, a collision with a motor vehicle can be devastating. The injuries incurred in those accidents could lead to life-long consequences.
If you are recovering from the damage of a pedestrian accident, you have the right to pursue damages from the responsible party. Let a Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyer guide you through the litigation process. Reach out to schedule an initial consultation right away.