Pedestrians may not be riding on the roads and sharing lanes with cars, but they certainly have many rights that motorists must respect. Pedestrians are much more vulnerable than those behind metal shields, so even a simple tap from a car can cause grave injuries.
It is crucial that pedestrians know their rights while they are walking around the city so that they can better protect themselves. Having an experienced Boston pedestrian accident lawyer alongside them can also help ensure a successful outcome if they become injured in a vehicle accident.
Do I have a right to collect evidence?
After an accident takes place, it can be a little difficult to gather yourself enough to be able to focus on what you should do next. You can be disoriented and confused after you get hit by a negligent driver, depending on the severity of the accident. Although many people rely on police officers for this, it is vital that the injured party collect as much evidence from the scene and witnesses as possible. It is a pedestrian’s right to take photos of the accident. They also have every right to exchange contact information with any witnesses that were around at the time.
You have the right to receive a copy of police reports. You can also question these reports if you see something inaccurate. Your attorney will also help you review these reports for any information that can hinder your case. They will make sure that all information used in court is prepared to protect you and your case, as you were the one that was injured in the accident because of another driver. You also have a right to review any footage from street cameras where applicable. You should also take videos of the scene if you have your cell phone available. No one can take these rights away from you after an accident.
When do I have the right of way?
In many cases, when pedestrians have the right of way to cross the street, motorists do not abide by the law. You could be preparing to go through a crosswalk when suddenly a car keeps driving and hits you head-on. When pedestrians are near traffic signs or appear as if they’re about to cross, motorists have the responsibility to give them the right of way. If they chose to ignore these rules or were simply distracted, they could face criminal charges for striking a pedestrian. Pedestrians have the right of way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
How do pedestrian accidents happen?
There have been an average of 70 pedestrian fatalities linked to car accidents every year (between 2017 and 2021) in Massachusetts. They tend to occur more often during the winter months due to less daylight and visibility. The weather, however, should not dictate that a negligent driver was not at fault for hitting a pedestrian. On the contrary: during colder weather, when ice and snow are involved, motorists should exercise even more caution while on the roads. Pedestrians have even less space on sidewalks because of snow, so car drivers should be giving the road their full attention. During the holidays especially, while car drivers are frantically trying to get to shopping malls, pedestrians can be at even more risk. Drivers should follow several rules when riding around pedestrians throughout the holiday season, as there are more people out and about.
Another big cause of accidents involving pedestrians is when motorists make irresponsible turns while they have a red light. They may not make a full stop first or look out for pedestrians that may be trying to cross. The driver may have been distracted or they were simply just neglectful in respecting the laws. In Cambridge, MA, for example, they have now banned turns at over 75% of their intersections to see if this helps lead to a decrease in pedestrian accidents. Many other states appear to be attempting to implement the same rule across many busy intersections. Pedestrians can suffer many serious injuries if they are hit by a car making a turn.
Other ways that pedestrians become hurt by drivers are if drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and if the crosswalks are not brightly and clearly marked for the drivers to see. Due to ever-growing technology, accidents involving quiet cars, like hybrids and battery-operated vehicles, are on the rise. Even if the pedestrian was unsuspecting of a quiet vehicle, though, it does not mean they are in the wrong. A driver of a hybrid vehicle can be just as irresponsible and negligent as those behind gas-powered cars, and they can hit pedestrians if they are not paying attention. If you fell victim to a negligent driver, contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
Why should I contact a Boston pedestrian accident attorney, no matter what happened?
There are several ways in which pedestrians can get hurt by distracted vehicle operators, even if the pedestrian is following the rules and rights that apply to them. It may seem to some that car drivers have more authority when it comes to winning court battles, but this is not the case. Drivers are to adhere to the rules in place when it comes to respecting pedestrians as they cross the street. If you are injured due to a car accident, you may have a very strong case and are encouraged to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the better since an experienced lawyer will be able to help you gather more evidence and build your case from the start. Even if you think you do not have enough to open a case, there may be more to it that only an attorney can detect.
Pedestrians do not have the protection that cars do. If a negligent motorist crashes into you, it could lead to disastrous events that will result in heavy medical expenses. Long-term physical and mental effects could also occur. Even if you think you may not have a case, don’t make that decision alone. At Breakstone, White, & Gluck, our Boston pedestrian accident attorneys fight vehemently for our clients. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.