Crosswalks are designed to get pedestrians from one side of the road to the other safely. Unfortunately, laws regarding crosswalks, the right of way, and yielding are often poorly understood, and this ignorance combined with negligence can lead to crosswalk pedestrian accidents in Lynn. Indeed, an article published in The Boston Globe highlights the recent surge in pedestrian accidents in both Massachusetts and the country.
When a pedestrian accident occurs, it is critical that the injured party seek medical care, report the injury to the authorities and to their insurance company, and hire an attorney immediately to learn more about the process of recovering compensation.
How Crosswalk Accidents Occur
Crosswalk accidents occur as a result of one party’s failure to yield to the other. This failure is often the result of an act of negligence, such as:
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired;
- Aggressive driving;
- Failure to look; and
- Distracted driving.
While crosswalk accidents can occur when a driver is traveling straight through an intersection, they are most common when a driver is making a right- or left-hand turn. Right-hand turn pedestrian accidents are especially common, as a driver will often look to their left to check for oncoming traffic, but fail to look to their right for pedestrians (or cyclists) who may be crossing directly through the intersection in a crosswalk.
Who’s Liable for a Crosswalk Accident?
Liability for a crosswalk is dependent upon negligence per se and negligence. That is, who is in violation of a right-of-way (or other) statute, or/and whose failure to exercise a reasonable duty of care led to the collision, respectively. As found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 89 Section 11, a pedestrian has the right of way in a marked crosswalk if the pedestrian is on the half of the crosswalk of the path on which the vehicle is traveling, or approaches from the opposite half of the crosswalk and has traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of the half on which the vehicle is traveling. It is also against the law for a vehicle to proceed when a pedestrian is within a marked crosswalk until there is enough space to allow the vehicle to pass the pedestrian safely.
However, this is not to say that a pedestrian always has the right of way. In fact, if a pedestrian enters a crosswalk when a traffic control device indicates that they should not do so and instead gives the driver of the vehicle the right of way, the pedestrian could be held responsible for their own injuries should a crash occur.
Working with a Lynn Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you have been hit by a car in Lynn, whether you were in a crosswalk at the time of collision or not, you may have a claim for damages for your medical expenses and other economic and noneconomic losses. To schedule a free consultation with our Lynn pedestrian accident lawyer, call call Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law today. Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30 years’ experience representing injury victims in Lynn. Reach her today to learn more about protecting your rights.