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QUINCY Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Overview of Pedestrian Accidents in Massachusetts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2007, there were 118,278 pedestrian injuries nationwide, and of those, 4,820 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes. Those numbers average out to one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours, and a pedestrian injury every four minutes. While your chances of being involved in a car accident are relatively high, the chances of a pedestrian being killed in a collision are 1.5 times higher than for the occupants of passenger cars and trucks.

These numbers are understandable when you factor in the fact that pedestrians have zero protection when they are struck by an oncoming passenger or commercial vehicle. If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident, get in touch with a Quincy personal injury lawyer to discover your options for pursuing compensation.

Defining a Pedestrian

What is a pedestrian and how is it described? A pedestrian as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as anyone that is walking on foot, jogging, running, hiking, sitting or laying down and who is struck by a motor vehicle. For the purposes of this definition, a crash refers to an incident where at least one or more vehicles are involved and the crash involved a public traffic area. Public areas include: parking lots, public streets, sidewalks etc. However, crashes that occurred on private property were excluded in the following findings.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and approximately 70,000 pedestrians were injured in crashes in the United States. While the total injuries were less than 2007, a pedestrian was still killed every two hours and one was injured every eight minutes in a traffic crash. The 4,280 pedestrian fatalities for 2010 was a 4 percent increase from 2009, but a 13 percent decrease from 2001.

Do pedestrians always have the right of way in Massachusetts?

While pedestrians usually have the right way, they do not always have the right of way. Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to drivers and bicyclists in certain circumstances. Pedestrians do not have the right of way when crosswalks at lights with Don’t Walk signals, crosswalks when drivers have the green light, when walking unlawfully on the side of the road, when crossing at someplace other than an intersection (jaywalking), if stepping out into the road at an unsafe time. Pedestrians do have the right of way when crosswalks with Walk signals, four-way stops at intersections, crosswalks at places other than intersections, pedestrian walkways, while already crossing the street, if 10 feet within the driver’s half of the road, in most school zones and in construction zones. So, to know if you have the right of way as a pedestrian, just follow traffic rules and you have the right of way such as not jaywalking and crossing when the cross walking sign is on.

Sobering Statistics

  • The vast majority of pedestrian accidents occurred in urban settings at (73%). (NHTSA)
  • Approximately four-fifths of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections (79%) (NHTSA)
  • Most of the fatalities occurred at night (69%) which makes visibility a factor. (NHTSA)
  • In 2010, (19%) of all children killed in a traffic collision ages 5 to 9 were pedestrians. Children aged 15 and younger accounted for (23%) of all pedestrians injured in crashes in 2010. (NHTSA)
  • Males account for (69%) of the pedestrians killed in 2010. (NHTSA)
  • Approximately (48%) of pedestrian fatalities occurred on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. (NHTSA)

Important Safety Tips

Walking is extremely good for your health; it lowers your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Unfortunately, due to the amount of motor vehicles on America's roadways, walking is more dangerous today than it was in earlier generations. Before you head out for a walk, or before you take a walk on your lunch break, it's important to take certain safety tips into account, and more importantly, it's important to teach these safety tips to your children, especially if they walk to school or play in the neighborhood.

Tips include:

  • Cross streets at crosswalks and signals, don't jaywalk, it's just not worth risking your life.
  • Be vigilant at these intersections, even if you have the right of way. A lot of drivers "roll" through stop signs, or fail to look over their right shoulder when making right-hand turns at an intersection.
  • Although it's safest to walk on a sidewalk, if you must walk in the street for any reason (no sidewalk, your car is broken down), be sure to walk facing traffic.
  • Don't walk across the street if you have a red light.
  • You can make yourself more visible at night by wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight.
  • Hold your child's hand while walking across the street, on a sidewalk, or in a parking lot (especially if they are young).
  • Be aware of drivers turning left at intersections, they sometimes fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
  • Be careful when walking on the sidewalk across a driveway, drivers can come darting out especially when their visibility is obstructed by a sign, a bush, a car, or other object.
  • Teach your children not to run out of the street to chase a ball and to always look both ways before crossing.
  • When you are the one behind the wheel, always yield the right of way to pedestrians (even if they are breaking the law) and be watchful for pedestrians at all times.

Contact the Firm to Schedule a Consultation

Pedestrian accidents are very scary, especially if they happen to an elderly loved on or worse, to your own child. If you or someone you love has been involved in a pedestrian accident, then we urge you to contact Flanagan & Associates. As a former insurance adjuster, Attorney Flanagan knows exactly how to build a case and he is able to handle any attempts made by the insurance company to devalue a claim. Qualified and highly knowledgeable, our Quincy personal injury attorneys can work with you to receive compensation as well as negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If our firm does not win restitution, you don't have to pay a dime.

Time is limited in these types of claims, so don't hesitate to get in touch with our office today for a free consultation!