Wakefield Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are not unheard of in Wakefield, and they can cause extremely serious injuries. Accident victims often fight for their lives while the drivers often walk away with minimal damage or injuries. Drivers owe a duty of care and safety to pedestrians to drive safely and be vigilant. If you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you could sue for damages to cover medical costs and other expenses. While many accidents are cases of negligence, sometimes a pedestrian is struck on purpose, and there may be criminal components to your case.
Accidents involving pedestrians can be incredibly severe. Victims may have long-lasting or permanent injuries, or they may even die from their injuries. The road to recovery after such an accident can be long, painful, and expensive. Therefore, the responsible party should be held accountable and made to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you should speak with our Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyers right away. Our dedicated team can help you get compensation for your injuries, no matter how serious or minor they are. Call (617) 925-6407 to arrange a free, confidential legal consultation at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan.
Pedestrians and the Right of Way in Wakefield
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. A pedestrian also has the right of way in a crosswalk where there are no traffic signals to control when a pedestrian may or may not cross. Drivers must be vigilant for pedestrians and yield when a pedestrian enters the street.
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, our pedestrian accident lawyers in Wakefield might be able to seek monetary compensation from that careless driver. On top of that, failure to yield to a pedestrian may be met with a fine of up to $200.
According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 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 crosswalk’s center.
If a pedestrian is hit and injured by a vehicle, the police will investigate the cause of the accident. A driver may face civil and criminal consequences depending on the outcome of that investigation. For help filing a personal injury lawsuit after a pedestrian accident, contact our Wakefield pedestrian accident attorneys.
Common Causes of Wakefield Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents often happen in places like crosswalks or intersections where pedestrians may be trying to cross the street. Pedestrians are hit when drivers fail to stop because they are not paying attention or otherwise driving recklessly. However, pedestrians can be hit anywhere that cars are driving. There have been cases of pedestrians walking down sidewalks, not crossing the street, who have been hit by vehicles that lose control and leave the road.
Pedestrian accidents tend to revolve around the question of who had the right of way. In many cases, a pedestrian will have the right of way. Pedestrians are very vulnerable to speeding vehicles, so drivers are required to yield in most cases. However, a driver may have the right of way if traffic control signals prevent a pedestrian from crossing. For example, if you walked into a crosswalk when you were signaled to wait, you might not have had the right of way.
Your accident may have resulted from an intoxicated driver. Drunk drivers are very dangerous and sometimes lose control of their vehicles and hit people on the sidewalk rather than a crosswalk. In such cases, the pedestrian shares little to no fault for their injuries because the driver was drunk and illegally drove onto a sidewalk. Speak with our Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyers about your case and we can help you prove the driver was at fault for your accident.
Damages and Injuries from a Pedestrian Accident in Wakefield
Injuries from a pedestrian accident can range from relatively minor to life-threatening. The extent of your injuries may depend on how fast the vehicle was going when you were struck and how quickly you received medical attention. Injuries to your head, brain, spine, and limbs are all possible. Minor injuries may include lacerations, sprains, and aches and pains. In more serious accidents, pedestrians have been known to succumb to their injuries and pass away.
The damages for most personal injury lawsuits in Massachusetts include general or compensatory damages. These damages may encompass economic and non-economic losses. An economic loss can be measured with a specific price tag, such as a bill. A non-economic loss cannot necessarily be measured in a dollar amount but should still be compensated.
Common economic damages are medical bills and lost wages from time away from work. Pedestrians injured in accidents often have very serious injuries that require costly medical treatment. Your medical bills and the costs of any medications or therapies should be compensated as part of economic, compensatory damages.
Non-economic damages an injured pedestrian may experience are pain and suffering. An individual’s physical or emotional suffering is subjective and hard to quantify. However, we can fight to get you compensation for the pain you have had to endure due to someone else’s bad behavior.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant rather than compensate the plaintiff. However, most personal injury cases in Massachusetts do not provide for punitive damages unless specifically permitted by a statute. It is unlikely you could recover punitive damages unless the accident resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one and the defendant’s behavior was intentional or especially reckless.
Call our Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyers to discuss your case. We can help you figure out the extent of your damages and file your lawsuit accordingly.
Wakefield Pedestrian Accidents from Negligence or Intentional Acts
More often than not, a pedestrian accident will be a case of negligence. Negligence often looks like an unfortunate accident where neither party is to blame. However, negligence is often preventable and results from one party’s failure to take proper precautions or act in a reasonably safe manner.
A personal injury case based on negligence requires you to prove four essential elements. First, you must prove the defendant owed you a duty of care. Second, you must show that the defendant breached or violated that duty. Third, you have to prove the defendant’s breach was the cause of your injuries. Finally, your injuries and damages must be factual and not hypothetical. A case cannot be built around “what ifs.”
In some cases, the defendant did not act negligently but instead struck the pedestrian on purpose. Such a horrific act would mean your case involved an intentional tort instead of a negligent act. In general, proving an intentional tort means proving the defendant intended to cause harm or acted so recklessly that they should have known harm would occur. The exact elements you must prove will vary depending on what kind of intentional tort you believe was committed. Common intentional torts for pedestrian accidents may include battery or assault.
Speak with our Wakefield pedestrian accident attorneys about your case. We can determine the best strategy with which to approach your situation.
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. As mentioned above, crossing a crosswalk without the right of way may make you partially responsible for the accident.
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 Ch. 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. Our Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyers can help an injured victim fight for the compensation that they deserve.
Discuss Your Case with Our Wakefield Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Due to the lack of protection most pedestrians have, a collision with a motor vehicle could lead to life-long consequences. You have the right to pursue damages from the responsible party. Let our Wakefield pedestrian accident lawyers guide you through the litigation process. Schedule an initial consultation with our Wakefield personal injury lawyers right away at (617) 925-6407.