Pedestrian Accidents

At Sheff Law, we understand the devastating impact pedestrian accidents can have on the lives of victims as well as their families; whether the accident results in personal injury or wrongful death, our experienced attorneys are here to help.

Unfortunately, the injuries of victims in pedestrian vs. Auto accidents are often severe. Unlike a collision between two vehicles, pedestrians are not protected by a large cage of metal. There are no airbags, seatbelts, or any of the other safety devices found in cars. The most severe accidents are found when the pedestrian is thrown onto or through the roof, hood, or windshield of the vehicle. These accidents most commonly result in broken bones or other internal damage, incurring significant medical bills that are often uncovered by personal injury protection (PIP).

According to recent data, every year in America an average of approximately 4,300 pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles and 69,000 pedestrians are injured. These accidents occur on crosswalks, sidewalks or when crossing at an intersection. Additionally, 20% of pedestrian automobile accidents are classified as a “hit and run”, making it significantly harder to find the person at fault. A hit and run crash is defined by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration as an incident in which “a vehicle is a contact vehicle in the crash and does not stop to render aid (this includes drivers who flee the scene on foot). These accidents are more common on urban roads, and at night alcohol is a common factor. Typically the driver involved in these types of accidents is found to be speeding. In many situations, pedestrians are entitled to compensation for their injury. There are many laws in Massachusetts designed to protect pedestrians when crossing roads or intersections.

Massachusetts General Law chapters 89§11 says that the pedestrian has the right of way when in a crosswalk, and approaching vehicles must slow down and yield their right of way. Drivers may not pass vehicles stopped to give pedestrians the right of way. When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the department of state police or the municipal department with jurisdiction of the street shall conduct an investigation into any violation of the law, and the appropriate civil or criminal citation shall be filed. Additionally, pedestrians crossing at roadways are also protected and able to seek certain litigation against drivers.

In many cases, both the pedestrian and driver share fault for the accident. The driver is therefore only required to cover a certain percentage of costs correlating to the established fault. Although the driver’s insurance will often cover much of the incurred medical costs, Massachusetts automotive insurance law is extremely complicated and difficult to navigate. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will work with you to ensure that you receive the best settlement possible for your situation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please fill out the form, or call an experienced Boston attorney at Sheff Law at 617-227-7000 or 888-423-4477 (toll free) to schedule a free of charge initial consultation.