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Boston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer - Rubenstein Law

Boston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member were injured in a personal injury accident in the Boston area, reach out to Rubenstein Law for a free review of your potential personal injury claim.

Most people are pedestrians at some point every day, meaning that just about everyone is at risk of a serious accident that can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities.

In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that roughly 6,300 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents nationwide. In Boston, in that same year, 680 pedestrians were struck by vehicles resulting in seven deaths.

The human body is simply not designed to withstand the impact of two tons of speeding metal, so fatalities are a common outcome of pedestrian accidents. Those who manage to survive often sustain catastrophic injuries.

Between the medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and months of agonizing physical therapy, the consequences of a Boston pedestrian accident are often devastating. If you were injured in an accident in which you were a pedestrian, you should reach out to a qualified lawyer right away to protect your right to collect full compensation for the damages you have suffered. You should not be held financially accountable for another person’s negligent actions.

If your pedestrian injuries were the result of a poorly maintained sidewalk or roadway, the company or entity that owns the property and is responsible for its upkeep could be liable.

Our personal injury lawyers know how serious pedestrian accidents can be and will not stop advocating for you until you collect the damages you are entitled to.

The Boston pedestrian accident lawyers at Rubenstein Law have experience handling all kinds of pedestrian accident cases. Our lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation into your pedestrian accident, determine all potentially liable parties and ensure they are held responsible.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics in the United States

Most people do not know that the majority of pedestrians who die in motor vehicle accidents are men and that alcohol is a contributing factor to nearly 50% of all fatal pedestrian accidents. 

Here are some more pedestrian accident statistics related to data from 2017 as published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • An average of one pedestrian is killed in a car accident every hour and a half.
  • Pedestrian fatalities account for 16% of all car accident-related deaths.
  • Men make up slightly more than 71% of all pedestrian fatalities.
  • About 75% of all fatal pedestrian accidents take place at night.
  • 91% of pedestrian deaths involve a single vehicle.
  • 80% of fatal pedestrian accidents take place in cities and the remaining 20% take place in rural areas.

If you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident and are considering filing a suit for compensation, contact the Boston pedestrian accident lawyers at Rubenstein Law today. We will provide a free case consultation and help you determine how to move forward.

Where Do Most Boston Pedestrian Accidents Occur?

A pedestrian accident can take place anywhere there are pedestrians. A report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2017 shows that only 25% of pedestrian deaths occurred at intersections.

Some other locations where serious and fatal pedestrian accidents commonly take place are:

  • Intersections
  • Shoulders/Side of the road
  • Bicycle lanes
  • Parking lanes
  • Sidewalks
  • Crossing islands/Medians
  • Driveways
  • Shared-use trails

Boston Intersections Where Most Pedestrians Accidents Occur

According to Vision Zero Boston, the top five intersections by the number of pedestrian accidents from 2015-2017 are: 

  • Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue
  • Columbus Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue
  • Albany Street and Massachusetts Avenue
  • Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue
  • Washington Street and Columbia Road

Common Causes of Boston Pedestrian Accidents

Some of the most common causes of Boston pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Improper lane use such as a cyclist using a sidewalk and forcing a pedestrian into the street
  • Distracted driving, such as sending texts and making phone calls
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Unmarked crosswalks
  • Inclement weather or roadway designs causing limited visibility

It is also possible for a pedestrian to contribute to their own severe injuries by not paying attention to their surroundings due to using their phone or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

According to Massachusetts law, even if you share in the liability for your pedestrian accident, you could still be eligible to collect financial compensation from the other at-fault party. A Boston pedestrian accident lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your accident and advise you on the best course of action.

Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that nearly 20% of all pedestrian deaths in the last decade were the result of hit-and-run accidents.

A hit-and-run accident is one where the driver intentionally flees the scene after striking another car, a pedestrian, or a stationary object without providing their contact details and insurance information.

Drivers who flee the scene of an accident often do not have a valid driver’s license and/or any auto insurance. They may also have been drinking or using drugs before the accident occurred. In some cases, the driver simply panicked and fled the scene in an attempt to avoid any penalties for their negligence.

In Massachusetts, the punishment for a hit-and-run accident varies based on the circumstances under which it occurred. For example, fleeing the scene of an accident that caused a fatality is a felony. If convicted, the driver could face incarceration and fines of as much as $5,000.

If the hit-and-run driver is never identified, your injury claim will probably be dealt with under the uninsured motorist portion of your own auto insurance policy.

Other Causes of Boston Pedestrian Accidents

Not every single pedestrian accident is caused by a negligent driver. Boston pedestrian accidents are also the result of:

  • Debris on sidewalks or roadways
  • Construction zones
  • Potholes
  • Irregular paving

A property owner or manager could potentially be responsible for your accident and injuries. Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition and warn guests of any potential dangers. If unsafe property conditions caused your pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to file a suit against the business owner, government agency, or another party responsible for your non-vehicular pedestrian accident.

Our Boston pedestrian accident attorneys will review the events leading up to your accident and accurately pinpoint all potentially accountable parties.

Claims against state or local governments are often very complex and are governed by a separate set of rules. A Boston pedestrian accident lawyer will walk you through every phase of your claim against a government entity and ensure all paperwork is submitted on time and with the proper court. Failing to do so could cost you your right to any compensation.

Common Boston Pedestrian Accident Injuries 

Pedestrian accidents often result in debilitating injuries. Pedestrians do not have the same protections as those in a vehicle during an accident. It is no great surprise to learn that the injuries sustained by pedestrians are usually much more serious or even fatal. Some common injuries caused by pedestrian accidents include:

Spinal Cord Injuries

Injuries to the spinal cord occur when the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of a nerve canal are damaged. These injuries can lead to paraplegia, quadriplegia, loss of sensation or feeling below the point of injury, loss of bladder control, exaggerated spasms or reflexes, as well as multiple other conditions. Injuries to the spinal cord have the potential to be life-threatening. Pedestrian accident victims who sustain spinal cord injuries should speak with one of our Boston pedestrian accident attorneys about seeking damages to cover their medical treatment and other associated damages.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries often occur in pedestrian accidents, but they aren’t always immediately obvious directly after the accident. Anyone injured while on foot should always keep an eye out for any symptoms that could appear later and possibly indicate a traumatic brain injury, such as:

  • Severe, recurring headaches
  • Undue drowsiness or fatigue
  • Sudden difficulty speaking
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Trouble with balance/Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to sound or light

A traumatic brain injury normally causes a wide range of problems in the short and long term. The medical bills generated by the treatment costs alone can be staggering. Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers can help you recover full financial compensation for those injured in pedestrian accidents who sustain traumatic brain injuries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue damage is another common outcome of pedestrian accidents. Soft tissue damage is any injury that involves the tendons, ligaments, and muscles due to strains, sprains, and other trauma. Soft tissue damage is notoriously difficult to prove, so having a skilled Boston pedestrian accident attorney on your side is imperative.

Fractured and Broken Bones

Another type of injury that is often seen in pedestrian-involved accidents are fractured and broken bones. Common locations for these injuries include wrists, arms, shoulders, legs, hips, collar bones, backs, and ribs. Some bone breaks are more severe than others, but all of them are painful and most will require costly medical treatment. Some may require surgery or even multiple surgeries. Those injured in pedestrian accidents are entitled to recover their damages after a fractured or broken bone injury caused by negligence.

Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma is not always as obvious as a physical injury, but it can be equally devastating. In some cases, there may be financial compensation for the ongoing emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, that is sustained in a pedestrian accident.

Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, sometimes pedestrian accidents cause fatalities. If the accident happened due to someone’s negligence, certain family members of the person who passed away may be able to recover damages via a wrongful death claim. Losing someone you love in a preventable accident is a traumatizing and overwhelming experience. Our Boston personal injury lawyers are prepared to fight for the recovery that families deserve.

How to Avoid a Pedestrian Accident

While no one can control the actions of another person, there are certain steps that pedestrians can take in order to reduce their odds of being involved in an accident, such as: 

  • Paying attention to your surroundings
  • Avoid talking on the phone or wearing earbuds
  • If they are available, use crosswalks and sidewalks
  • Never jaywalk
  • If you are walking after dark, always carry a torch or wear bright-colored or reflective clothes

What Should I Do After Being Struck by a Car in Boston?

The minutes directly following a pedestrian accident are very stressful for everyone involved, especially those who get injured. It can be challenging to figure out what you should do in the heat of the moment. It is important to understand that the actions you take after an accident have the ability to be either a boon or a benefit to any future claim. After being struck by a negligent driver, Boston pedestrians should do the following: 

Notify Local Law Enforcement

You will need the full extent of your injuries medically evaluated after a pedestrian accident. If immediate medical care is needed, the 911 operator will dispatch emergency medics to the scene. A police officer will also respond in order to conduct an initial investigation and draft an official accident report. These formal crash reports can serve as extremely advantageous pieces of evidence during a pedestrian accident lawsuit.

Trade Information With the Driver

If possible, pedestrians involved in accidents need to trade important information with the driver involved in the accident. This includes contact details such as their name, address, phone number, and email address. This basic information will help your attorney build your pedestrian accident claim.

You should also make a note of the license plate number and insurance information of the striking driver. These details will be vital when determining who is liable and what damages you are entitled to in a pedestrian accident lawsuit.

Thoroughly Document the Scene

Taking pictures and videos of the scene of your pedestrian accident will be advantageous when it comes to proving contributing factors such as traffic and weather conditions in a forthcoming lawsuit. In addition to this, you should try to document the contact details of any bystanders who may have witnessed your accident. Eyewitness testimony can be an invaluable tool in establishing fault in a Boston personal injury suit. It is also to your benefit to jot down what happened in your own words while your memory of the pedestrian accident is still fresh in your mind.

Work with Insurance Carriers

Insurance carriers may use their own investigators, physicians, and attorneys in an effort to downplay the severity of a victim’s injuries and decrease or devalue their claim. Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers can mitigate your worries by taking responsibility for your personal injury case and battling the insurance company on your behalf. Our legal team will help you avoid the insurance company trying to give you a low, unfair offer.

 If you were hit by an uninsured driver and you have auto insurance with uninsured motorist coverage, then your insurance company might cover your injuries. Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers can advise you on what forms of financial compensation could be available if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or hit by a driver with no insurance.

Seek Medical Attention

After a pedestrian accident, you should always accept medical attention, even if you think you are uninjured. Many people injured in accidents do not realize the magnitude of their injuries until several days or even a few weeks after their accident. Prompt and accurate medical treatment is important for physical and financial recovery.

Say Nothing

Abstain from saying anything to anyone at the accident scene or to any representative from the insurance company who tries to contact you regarding the accident. Do not sign any paperwork, especially settlement papers, given to you by the insurance company until a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer reviews them. Insurance adjusters are looking out for the best interests of their mega-wealthy employers. 

A qualified pedestrian accident lawyer will have first-rate negotiation and litigation skills to ensure that any insurance settlement offered to you compensates you for your damages.

Establishing Liability for a Pedestrian Accident

Anyone wanting to collect financial compensation for their damages after a pedestrian accident will have to prove negligence or dereliction on the part of the striking driver. Where a pedestrian accident is concerned, proof of negligence can take many forms. Some of the most common examples of driver negligence include: 

  • Violating driving laws, including running stop sign and stop lights, speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, or driving in another reckless manner
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while distracted, such as using their phone to make calls and send texts, programming GPS, and engaging in personal grooming

In addition to this, Massachusetts law says that you have to be able to show that you sustained serious injuries due to the accident and that they cost more than $2,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. If you can supply proof that shows liability for your pedestrian accident, you might be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries and other damages, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages, emotional trauma, permanent disfigurement or impairment, and a lot more.

The extent of any available financial compensation will be related to the loss of daily function you experience due to the accident. A reputable Boston pedestrian accident lawyer from Rubenstein Law can help you prove liability after an accident.

Comparative Negligence and Your Boston Pedestrian Injury Claim

A pedestrian accident claim can be challenging, especially if the insurance provider is attempting to blame the pedestrian for the accident and subsequent injuries. Even if the pedestrian was inside a marked crosswalk with the right of way when the accident occurred, rest assured the insurance company will still try to paint a picture of them as a reckless person who paid no attention to the law or their surroundings.

According to Massachusetts law, even if you were, in some way, careless or negligent, such as crossing a street against the light or outside of a crosswalk, you might still be entitled to recover compensation from the negligent party. If the other person involved in the pedestrian accident was assigned more than 50% of the liability, then the injured party is still entitled to bring a personal injury claim against them. Because the insurance company is almost certainly going to debate liability rather aggressively, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a Boston pedestrian accident lawyer from Rubenstein Law as soon as possible after your accident occurs.

Keep in mind that if you are assigned any degree of liability for the accident, you will receive a reduced amount of compensation. Specifically, your compensation will be lessened by the percentage of fault you were assigned. For example, if you are found 30% liable for your accident, then the maximum amount of financial compensation you would be able to collect would be 70% of your total damages, rather than the full amount.

How Long Do I Have to File My Boston Pedestrian Injury Case?

In Massachusetts, plaintiffs are allotted three years from the accident to file a personal injury claim. Putting off filing your claim, no matter what the reason, could result in the forfeiture of your right to pursue damages. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more evidence will be lost to time.

If you were recently injured in a Boston pedestrian accident, we urge you to reach out to a Boston pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible so we can begin collecting and indexing evidence that is relevant to your case.

Call the Rubenstein Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Pedestrian accidents often lead to catastrophic results that can forever change the lives of those injured. When a driver’s negligence causes a pedestrian accident, the injured party has multiple avenues of legal recourse, including a personal injury claim. In these types of cases, the guidance of an experienced Boston pedestrian accident lawyer will be indispensable to secure the financial compensation you need and deserve.