Pedestrian accidents have become a serious problem in Massachusetts and nationwide. Unfortunately, these happen every day. They can simply happen whether you’re 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 accident. 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 worked on several types of pedestrian accident cases, including cars vs. pedestrians, pedestrian crosswalk accidents, pedestrian accidents in parking lots, pedestrian traffic, and more. Our attorneys recognize how devastating a pedestrian injury can be and we are here to support you and work to get you the best possible outcome on your case.
What Damages Can I Collect After a Pedestrian Accident in Boston?
If you were injured by a car as a pedestrian, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will cover most of your medical bills and lost wages up to the policy’s limit. Any PIP coverage will cover at least up to $10,000. To recover compensation for other losses like pain and suffering or more than $10,000, you must file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.
For a successful claim or lawsuit, you need to be able to prove to the at-fault driver’s insurance that their negligence caused the accident. If the insurance doesn’t settle with you, then you must prove the driver’s negligence to a court.
Types of Damages You Can Recover After a Pedestrian Accident
After being injured as a pedestrian, you can recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include any costs and expenses due to your injuries. Non-economic damages include losses without 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
If a loved one died in a pedestrian incident, you can also receive compensation for their medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of financial support, emotional pain and suffering, and more.
Who is at Fault for Pedestrian Accidents in Boston, Massachusetts?
Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian incident is one of the first things a pedestrian accident lawyer will do to help you.
If you were hit by a car and injured as a pedestrian, the car's driver is not automatically at fault. There are a number of 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 At Fault for a Massachusetts Accident?
In order to recover compensation from a driver, a pedestrian must prove that a driver is 50% or more at fault for the accident in order to recover compensation.
In every case, a pedestrian must prove four things to show the driver was negligent and 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.
What if I Was Partly at Fault for my Boston Pedestrian Accident?
Drivers are not always completely responsible for pedestrian accidents. Drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers and pedestrians, but pedestrians also have a duty to protect themselves.
For example, Pedestrians could be partially at fault if they jaywalk, text while walking, run in front of a car, or across the street without looking.
Drivers could be at fault if they were distracted, speeding, didn’t obey a traffic light or stop sign, ignored a crosswalk, or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In Massachusetts, a “modified comparative negligence” rule essentially allows pedestrians to recover damages as long as they are not primarily at fault. If you, as a pedestrian, are 50% or less at fault, you can still recover damages for your incident and injuries.
If, for example, you are found to be 30% at fault, you will then be able to recover 70% of your case’s full value. You will not receive a full recovery, but you still can receive substantial settlements even if you were partially at fault.
If you are concerned you may be partially at fault, do not admit fault to anyone, and do not count yourself out of luck! Give us a call to find out your options.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help with my Boston Pedestrian Accident Case?
The first priority after getting injured is taking care of yourself and your health. Hiring an injury attorney after your incident helps you focus on healing, and your attorney will handle everything else.
Our Boston 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 and the insurance of the at-fault party. We will also 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 thoroughly investigate your pedestrian injury claim. 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 we are always ready to go to court to fight for what you deserve if the insurance company is unwilling to offer an adequate settlement.
Were you injured in a Pedestrian Accident 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 obvious injuries.
3 Ways to Help Yourself After a Pedestrian Accident:
- Get the Medical Care You Need
- Get medical attention as soon as possible after a pedestrian 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 it happens will help prove to the insurance company that your injuries truly were from the incident.
- 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 mishap.
- Hire an Injury Attorney to Represent you
- Never talk with an insurance company afterwards. If an insurance agent calls, tell them that you are hiring an attorney and don’t want to talk to them. Often, the at-fault party’s insurance company will try to contact you to get you to admit some form of fault for the accident or to somehow dismiss your case. Sometimes, an insurance company may even 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?
In 2021, pedestrian deaths increased by 30% in Massachusetts, and pedestrian deaths hit a 40-year high nationally.
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.
This 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
- One of the consistent and most significant factors is drivers’ speed. A driver exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for the road conditions may be unable to stop in time to prevent a crash with a pedestrian. Speeding is involved 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 pedestrian more catastrophic than when a car hits a pedestrian. SUV-pedestrian collisions are also more likely to result in head injuries for pedestrians.
- The legalization of recreational drugs. Even legal drugs may impact a driver’s ability to drive safely.
- Distracted drivers and pedestrians. Cell phone use and other distractions by either the driver or the person on foot may cause.
- Drunk drivers. Drunk drivers may not see pedestrians or cannot stop their vehicles 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.
- Drivers who are otherwise negligent. For example, drivers who fail to obey stop signs, stop for school buses, or yield to people in crosswalks may be at fault for pedestrian accidents.
Some pedestrian accidents may involve an extenuating circumstance, such as attempting to avoid this with another driver, being involved with another driver, inclement weather, or other road conditions. But most times, when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, it can be explained by 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 pedestrian crashes.
Vision Zero Boston is the city’s plan to eliminate fatal and severe crashes, including pedestrian accidents, in Boston 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 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%.
Most Dangerous Streets for Pedestrians in Boston:
- 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 injured in a pedestrian accident.
- 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 injured as a pedestrian 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 or 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.