Were you hit by a car in a crosswalk? Getting injured in a crosswalk is a type of pedestrian accident. Pedestrian accidents have become a serious problem in Massachusetts and nationwide. Unfortunately, these terrible accidents happen every day. They can happen whether you’re simply crossing a street downtown or jogging in your neighborhood.
Contact our office for a free consultation at (617) 889-5000 if you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian crossing or while walking or jogging. We can review your case, explain your legal options, and help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Spada Law Group's experienced pedestrian accident lawyers have handled many types of pedestrian accident cases, including people getting hit by a car while in a crosswalk, people getting struck by cars on the side of the road, people getting hit or injured by cars in parking lots, pedestrian traffic, and more. Our attorneys recognize how devastating being hit by a car in a crosswalk can be, and we are here to support you and work to get you the best possible settlement in your case.
Whose Fault is it if You Get Hit by a Car in a Pedestrian Crosswalk in Boston, Massachusetts?
Figuring out who is responsible for causing an accident in a pedestrian crossing is one of the first things an injury lawyer will do to help you if you were a pedestrian struck by a car.
If you were hit by a car and injured while walking or jogging in a crosswalk, the driver is not automatically at fault. There are several factors and people to consider. It is possible for the driver, you, or the driver and you to be at fault. A third party may also be at fault.
How Does a Pedestrian Prove a Driver Is Responsible for a Massachusetts Accident?
To recover compensation from a driver, a pedestrian must prove that the driver who hit them was 50% or more responsible, also known as being “at fault,” for the accident.
In every pedestrian injury case, a pedestrian must prove four things to show the driver was negligent to recover compensation after a pedestrian accident:
- The driver owed the pedestrian a duty.
- The driver failed to act appropriately.
- The driver’s action caused the accident.
- The driver’s action injured the pedestrian.
These legal elements are the same whether a pedestrian was hurt in a crosswalk, if a pedestrian was struck by a car on the side of the road, or if a person was hurt while jogging or walking.
Can a Pedestrian Be Responsible for Being Hurt in a Massachusetts Crosswalk?
Yes, walkers and joggers can be responsible for their injuries even if they were hurt in a crosswalk.
Drivers are not always entirely responsible for pedestrian accidents. Drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers and pedestrians, but pedestrians also have a responsibility to protect themselves. A person can be responsible for their injuries even if they happened in a pedestrian crossing or a roadway.
For example, people could be partially responsible for their accident injuries if they were jaywalking, not walking in a crosswalk, texting while walking, running out onto the street in front of a car, or even crossing the street without looking.
Drivers could be responsible for injuring a pedestrian in several ways.
Common situations that make a driver responsible for hitting a person with their car include the following:
- The driver was distracted by texts, phone calls, or social media
- The driver was speeding
- The driver didn’t obey a traffic light or stop sign
- The driver did not stop before a crosswalk
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Massachusetts has what is called a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This rule means that any person who is injured as a pedestrian, whether by being hit by a car in a crosswalk or being injured some other way while walking, jogging, running, etc., can recover damages from the other person involved in the accident as long as the injured person is not primarily responsible for causing the accident.
This means that if you, as a pedestrian, are 50% or less responsible for causing your injuries, you can still recover damages for your accident injuries from the other party.
For example, you could be partially responsible for getting hurt while walking in a pedestrian crossing if you cross the street without a walking signal.
Imagine you were found 30% responsible for your injuries if you were hit by a car in a crosswalk while crossing the street without a walk sign. You won’t receive a full recovery, but you can still recover a substantial settlement amount even if you were somewhat responsible for the accident.
If you are found 30% responsible for causing the accident, you can still recover 70% of your case’s value from the driver who crashed into you.
If you were injured by a car while walking and are worried the accident is partially your fault — don’t count yourself out of luck. Don’t admit fault to anyone — including an insurance company or any attorney other than your own. Give our office a call to learn about your options.
If I Was Injured While Walking, What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After the Accident?
If you were hit by a car while walking, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your own car insurance policy would cover the cost of your medical bills and lost wages for any time you missed from work up to the policy’s limit.
Getting hit by a car as a pedestrian comes with additional losses beyond medical bills and lost wages from missing work while you recover. To get compensation beyond Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits for other losses, including the pain and suffering you experience from your injuries, you need to file a legal claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
To have a successful claim or lawsuit after being hit by a car, you must prove to the driver’s insurance company that the driver was more than 50% responsible for causing the accident and your injuries. Most often, insurance companies will wish to settle your claim. But if the insurance company does not offer you a fair amount of money for your case, then we can bring the case to court to prove the driver’s negligence in a trial.
The Types of Damages You Can Recover After Being Injured as a Pedestrian
If you were hit by a car while walking or jogging as a pedestrian, you can recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages mean any costs or expenses you experience due to your injuries. Non-economic damages refer to losses you experience due to the accident that don’t have a dollar amount.
Economic Damages Include:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- You can recover any money you lost due to missing work, and you may be able to recover the difference in salary that you could have earned if you were not injured
- Property damage expenses
- Any other accident-related expenses
Non-economic Damages Include:
- Pain and suffering
- Your pain and suffering are “worth” something! Take notes on the extent of your pain and when you feel it. Document if you feel it while sitting, standing, working, doing chores, etc. Write down anything you can no longer do because of your pain.
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, the injuries are often severe. Suppose a loved one died in a pedestrian crasht. In that case, you may also receive compensation for their medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of financial support, emotional pain and suffering, and more through a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help with My Boston Pedestrian Accident Case?
If you were injured while walking or jogging, the first priority is to take care of yourself and your health. Hiring an injury attorney after your accident helps you focus your energy on healing, and your attorney will handle everything else.
If you were hurt in a Massachusetts crosswalk, our pedestrian accident attorneys can manage your case from start to finish. From the first time you meet with Spada Law, we will listen to your story and advise you of all your options and what your case could involve.
Managing your case includes communicating with your insurance company and the responsible party’s insurance company. We will continuously advocate for you to help ensure you get all the medical treatment you need.
- We Will Investigate Your Case
- We will use our resources to investigate your pedestrian injury claim thoroughly. We will look into police or accident reports, find out if there is any video footage of the accident from traffic cameras or local business security camera footage, and more. We will also speak with any known witnesses and experts to ensure you have the strongest case possible.
- We Will Find Out Your Case’s Value
- We will look into all of your monetary and non-economic damages and speak with various experts to determine a fair value for your case.
- We Will Negotiate with Insurance Companies
- We know your rights, what your case is worth, and what you deserve after being injured in a pedestrian accident. We fight for a fair settlement but are always ready to go to court to fight for what you deserve if the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair monetary settlement amount.
Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Crossing in Massachusetts?: What To Do After an Accident to Help your Case
If you or a loved one were injured, or worse, killed, in any type of pedestrian accident, we are so sorry you and your loved ones are navigating this difficult path. We’re here to help.
If you’re still on the scene, it’s important to call the police first.
Then, collect any information from any involved drivers, other parties, or witnesses. Sometimes, pedestrian injuries happen in unexpected ways – such as a run-in with a cyclist or slipping on ice in a parking lot. Use your cell phone to email yourself some notes about what happened. Take photos of the scene and any of your obvious injuries.
3 Ways to Help Yourself After a Pedestrian Injury or Accident:
1. Get the Medical Care You Need
- Get medical attention as soon as possible after a pedestrian or crosswalk accident. Unless it is an emergency, you don’t need to get in an ambulance, but you still should go to your doctor, an urgent care, or an emergency room. Even if you feel fine initially, it’s still important to go to the doctor because you might have an injury that could get worse over time if not treated. Getting medical attention soon after the injury helps prove to the insurance company that your injuries were indeed from the incident and not something else.
2. Document Everything
- After your incident, write down everything you remember as soon as possible. Also, make sure to communicate honestly with your doctors so they can have detailed and accurate information in their records about your injuries and symptoms. Being honest with your doctors is so important because it will help ensure that the medical records prove the pain you’ve experienced from your accident.
3. Hire an Injury Attorney to Represent you
- Never talk with an insurance company after being hit in a crosswalk or injured as a pedestrian. If an insurance agent calls, tell them you are hiring an attorney and don’t want to talk to them. Often, the at-fault party’s insurance company will contact you to get you to admit some fault for the accident or to somehow dismiss your case. Sometimes, an insurance company may even immediately offer you a low settlement. When you hire Spada Law, we take on your case at no cost to you to determine how much your case is worth, who is at fault, and how strong your case is. Call us for a free consultation.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in Boston and Massachusetts?
Pedestrian deaths increased by 30% in Massachusetts in 2021, and pedestrian deaths hit a 40-year high nationally the same year.
In Boston alone, the pedestrian death toll hit the highest in 5 years in 2021. An estimated 71 pedestrians died in Massachusetts in 2021, up from 55 deaths in 2020.
The dramatic increase in pedestrian fatalities is attributed to a few factors.
A recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report examined data to determine when, where, and how deadly car and pedestrian accidents are happening. Not only did pedestrian accidents increase, but all U.S. traffic deaths combined reached a 16-year high in 2021.
Why Are There So Many Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts?: Factors Contributing to The Dramatic Increase
- Driver Speed: One of the consistent and most significant factors is a driver’s speed. A driver exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for the road conditions is more likely not to be able to stop in time to prevent a crash with a person in a crosswalk or along the roadway. Speeding is an issue in more than 10% of all fatal pedestrian deaths on highways and local roads.
- The popularity of SUVs: Pedestrian deaths in crashes with SUVs have increased at a faster rate in the past decade than deaths involving passenger cars. SUVs are bigger and taller than sedans, which makes an SUV’s impact on a person walking or jogging more catastrophic than if a smaller car hits a person. SUV-pedestrian collisions are also more likely to result in head injuries for pedestrians.
- Drugs: The legalization of recreational drugs plays a role. Even legal drugs may impact a driver’s ability to drive safely.
- Distracted drivers and pedestrians: Cell phone use by the driver or the person on foot increases the likelihood of an accident.
- Drunk drivers: Drunk drivers may not see people walking as pedestrians or cannot stop their cars in time to avoid a severe crash. About 16% of fatal pedestrian accidents involved drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
- Negligent drivers: Drivers who are otherwise negligent, such as drivers who fail to obey stop signs, stop for school buses, or fail to yield to people in crosswalks, may be at fault for pedestrian accidents.
Some pedestrian accidents may involve extenuating circumstances, such as a driver attempting to avoid a collision with another driver, bad weather, or road conditions such as ice, rain, snow, or construction. But most times, when a car hits a person walking or jogging as a pedestrian, it is because of the driver’s wrongful actions.
Boston’s Plan For Safer Streets After Most Pedestrian Deaths in 5 Years
In 2021 alone, Boston recorded about 250 crashes involving pedestrians such as walkers and joggers.
Vision Zero Boston is the city’s plan to eliminate fatal and severe crashes in Boston, including pedestrian accidents, by 2030. The program was announced in 2015 by Mayor Marty Walsh, and current Mayor Michelle Wu is also passionate about the project.
One safety feature already implemented was lowering the city of Boston’s default speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25 mph. At 25 mph, there is a 30% likelihood of a pedestrian being killed or seriously injured in a collision with a car. At 20 mph, a pedestrian's possibility of death or severe injury lowers to 17%.
- Massachusetts Avenue: from the Mass. Ave Bridge and past the intersection of South Hampton Street (2 pedestrian deaths here from 2015-2017)
- Newbury Street
- Boylston Street
- Dartmouth Street
- Tremont Street (2 pedestrian deaths here from 2015-2017)
- Kneeland Street
- Washington Street (2 pedestrian deaths here from 2015-2017)
- Atlantic Avenue
How We Help People After Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts
Check out our case results to learn how our Massachusetts injury attorneys have helped people recover after being hit by cars in parking lots or while crossing streets.
- Learn how Spada Law helped a pedestrian injured in a life-threatening Massachusetts accident while crossing a street settle for the maximum insurance benefit.
- Learn how Spada Law helped a woman Injured in a Parking Lot get a $200,000+ Settlement.
Injured In A Pedestrian Accident in Boston or Massachusetts? Reach out for a FREE Consultation With A Pedestrian Accident and Injury Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are among the most serious cases we see. They almost always result in serious injuries or even death. Getting hit by a car while walking is challenging and stressful enough, but navigating the legal process and dealing with insurance companies doesn’t have to be challenging and stressful.
If you or a loved one were hit by a car while walking or struck while jogging in Massachusetts, you have rights and may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and more. Drivers and pedestrians alike need to know their rights when it comes to pedestrian incidents. Our pedestrian accident attorneys are here to guide you every step of the way.
Over the last three decades, we’ve helped thousands of people in Massachusetts get the recovery they need after a pedestrian-car accident injury. Recently, Boston Magazine named Attorney Spada one of Boston’s Top Personal Injury Lawyers. As personal injury lawyers, you never pay us a penny until we win your case. We’re here and ready to help.
We have three offices but proudly serve the entire state with the ability to meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home. Contact us for a free consultation so we can learn more about your pedestrian accident and injuries and see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your situation occurs.