Pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic but legal options may be available to victims and their families following such an accident.
A Massachusetts pedestrian recently died when he was struck by a car. The 67-year old victim of the auto accident was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the car was not harmed and remained at the crash scene. The state police are currently conducting an accident investigation.
Following a pedestrian accident that results in serious injuries or death, the victim or the victim’s family may wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In cases of a fatal pedestrian accident, family members of a deceased loved one can pursue a wrongful death claim for liability against the person at fault in the accident. To demonstrate the driver’s liability, family members of a deceased victim (or the victim) will need to establish negligence on the part of the driver. In some cases, traffic violations constitute what is referred to as “negligence per se” and automatically establish the driver’s negligence.
In cases when the driver is not cited, proving negligence will require the party filing the lawsuit to demonstrate that the driver owed the pedestrian a duty of reasonable care and that the driver failed to meet that duty, resulting in the harm or injury suffered. To determine if driver was negligent, factors that may be considered include the driver’s failure to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks or other pedestrian areas; the driver’s failure to abide by posted speed limit signs; disobeying roadway rules or other posted signs; a failure to properly signal while driving; disregarding roadway conditions, including weather conditions; if the driver was distracted or otherwise failed to provide adequate attention; or the driver was drunk driving or otherwise driving under the influence of drugs.
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries and death. These types of injuries and harms may be compensable to victims and their loved ones.
Source: Boston Globe, “East Boston pedestrian dies in Cambridge crash,” Author Unknown, April 3, 2013.