Pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles are not often minor incidents. Because pedestrians do not have any protection around themselves, and because they are not expecting an accident to occur, they often sustain serious injuries if they are struck by a car or any other vehicle.
Most pedestrian accidents occur because a driver was negligent and did not take the proper care necessary to keep the pedestrians around them safe. When this is the case, any pedestrian who suffers injury may have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
That being said, pedestrians also have responsibilities while they are on the road to keep themselves and others safe. When pedestrians are hurt, they should speak to a Somerville pedestrian accident lawyer who could review their case and their potential options with them. Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to schedule a consultation. En Español.
Motorists have a greater duty of care than pedestrians on the road. If a pedestrian is crossing the road in a marked crosswalk, vehicles are required to slow or stop within ten feet of the half of the crosswalk the pedestrian is crossing. In addition, no vehicle can overtake or pass another vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to pass.
Pedestrians also have the right to walk on the side, or shoulder, of a roadway. When they do so, they are still entitled to the right of way, and vehicles must slow down and give them plenty of room to pass.
If a motorist fails to respect these rights and causes injury to a pedestrian, they can be found negligent and be held liable for paying compensation to the injured pedestrian. A Somerville pedestrian accident lawyer could represent an injured individual to help ensure they get the compensation they are entitled to.
Just as motorists have a responsibility to keep everyone safe on the road, so to do pedestrians. Pedestrians must cross only at marked crosswalks and obey traffic signals and signs. Jaywalking is illegal in Somerville but punishable only by civil penalties, which typically result in only a small fine.
Drivers are still required to watch for and avoid pedestrians, even if a pedestrian is jaywalking. However, Somerville courts may take into consideration the percentage of fault the pedestrian was for the accident through a legal concept known as comparative negligence.
If a pedestrian is less than 50 percent at fault for their accident, they can still claim compensation for their injuries, but any compensation awarded would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them by the court. If the pedestrian was more than 50 percent at fault, they would not be entitled to any compensation.
This comparative fault rule can make it more difficult for pedestrians to seek compensation after an accident, as many drivers may try to argue that the pedestrian was mostly at fault in order to avoid liability for the accident. An experienced Somerville pedestrian accident lawyer could work to dispute these claims and get injured pedestrians the maximum amount of compensation available to them.
In addition to the many issues already discussed surrounding pedestrian accidents, the insurance policies of the involved parties may greatly complicate a pedestrian accident case. There are also timelines for filing a lawsuit that must be met.
For help with these aspects of your case and many more, get in touch with a Somerville pedestrian accident lawyer who could provide the help you need. These types of cases can be complicated and have critically important outcomes, and a skilled attorney could be the ally you need to help argue the case and pursue a positive outcome.