What Happens if You Get Hit in a Crosswalk?

Being struck by a vehicle while in a crosswalk is a pedestrian’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, this terrifying scenario occurs far too often on Massachusetts roads and intersections. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a crosswalk accident, it is crucial to understand your rights and options moving forward.

What Happens if You Get Hit in a Crosswalk in MA?

Legal Obligation to Yield

In Massachusetts, motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the road within a marked crosswalk or at any intersection without a marked crosswalk. This legal obligation is clearly stated in the Massachusetts General Laws and applies regardless of whether the crosswalk has a traffic signal or crossing guard present.

Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians can face serious consequences. If a pedestrian is struck due to a driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way, the driver may be cited for a civil motor vehicle infraction and fined. In more severe cases involving injury, the driver could face criminal charges such as operating to endanger or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the motor vehicle).

The Immediate Aftermath of an Accident

Here is what you should do after you are hit at a crosswalk.

  • Check for injuries and call for help: The most important thing is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or ask a bystander to call for help. Even if your injuries seem minor, getting checked by a doctor is crucial to document any potential issues.
  • Contact the police: Having a police report is essential for any insurance claim or legal case that may arise. The police will document the scene, interview witnesses, and determine fault based on their investigation.
  • Gather evidence (if possible): If you are able, take pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries (if visible), and any damage to vehicles or property. Note down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Do not discuss fault: It is tempting to apologize or explain what happened in the immediate aftermath. However, avoid discussing who might be at fault. This can be used against you later.

Determining Fault

While pedestrians generally have the right-of-way in crosswalks, there are instances where a pedestrian may be found partially or fully at fault for a collision:

  • Pedestrian negligence: If a pedestrian enters the crosswalk in disregard of traffic signals or fails to exercise due care, they may be deemed negligent and partially liable.
  • Darting out: If a pedestrian unexpectedly darts into the crosswalk, giving an attentive driver no chance to react and yield, the pedestrian could be primarily at fault.
  • Impaired pedestrians: Intoxicated or impaired pedestrians who stumbled into the crosswalk against signals may be held partially or fully liable.

An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can assess all factors and help determine liability.

Determining fault in a crosswalk accident hinges on several factors:

  • Traffic signals and signs: If you were crossing with the pedestrian signal or within a marked crosswalk, the driver is likely at fault.
  • Pedestrian actions: If you were jaywalking (crossing outside a designated crosswalk) or disregarding a pedestrian signal, you might share some of the blame (comparative negligence).
  • Driver actions: Was the driver distracted, speeding, or under the influence? These actions would strengthen your case against them.

Why You Need an Attorney

Crosswalk accident cases are highly complex and often involve investigating all potential sources of liability, such as:

  • Driver negligence
  • Vehicle defects/maintenance issues
  • obstructed sightlines
  • roadway/crosswalk design flaws
  • lack of proper traffic control devices

An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer knows how to gather and preserve key evidence. They also consult accident reconstruction experts and other specialists to strengthen your claim.

Potential Damages Recoverable in a Crosswalk Accident Case

If you were struck by a car in a crosswalk and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: This covers past and future medical bills, including doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, rehabilitation, and therapy.
  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you can recover compensation for lost income.
  • Pain and suffering: This compensates you for the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident.
  • Property damage: If your personal belongings were damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover their repair or replacement costs.

Our Dedicated Attorneys Can Help You Out

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver while in a crosswalk, you deserve full and fair compensation for all resulting damages. The pedestrian accident attorneys at Altman Nussbaum Shunnarah will advocate tenaciously to protect your rights and future well-being. Contact us today by calling 800-229-7989 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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