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Top Pedestrian Injury Representation at Kiley Law Group

New England is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and walkers, joggers and runners have a front-row seat to experience the scenery. Sadly, though, their walks from point A to point B can be interrupted by a negligent driver or road hazards. There are numerous risks for pedestrians as they walk the roads of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including lack of sidewalks or crosswalks, traffic lights, and poor lighting. At the same time, pedestrians can reduce risks by utilizing crosswalks (where there are any) and refrain from walking on the shoulder of roads during non-daylight hours or darting out across the road at night when visibility is poorer for drivers. Due to lack of visibility, impaired and negligent drivers, and unsafe road conditions, hundreds of pedestrians are killed each year in automobile accidents, a number which has been on the rise in recent years.

As a pedestrian, you have the right to use sidewalks and crosswalks in a safe manner. Motorists must look out for pedestrians on the roads, especially during changing lanes or turning. The following are the most common causes for pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts:

  • Failure to yield or stop. Drivers who do not come to complete stops or yield the right of way can create dangerous situations for pedestrians.
  • Quick turns. Although drivers usually look out for other vehicles, they may not see pedestrians, especially when taking quick right or left turns.
  • Distracted driving. A driver will be cited for “Distracted Driving” if talking on the phone, texting or adjusting the radio when an accident occurs.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI). Individuals over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit are less aware and have slower response times so they cannot always see, or stop for, pedestrians.

Pedestrian accidents are especially tragic due to the severity of injuries that often occur. These avoidable accidents typically cause serious injury or death, leaving behind friends and families to pull together to care for the victims.

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If Someone You Love Has Suffered An Injury While Walking, Jogging 
or Running Outdoors, Contact Tom Kiley and His Team of Personal 
Injury Attorneys

Despite safety measures, there is always a risk for a person to be injured by a motor vehicle. Drivers are sometimes negligent and roads may not offer a clear and safe path for walkers to be able to remain safely away from traffic. If you or someone you know was injured as a pedestrian, contact the attorneys at Kiley Law Group, who have represented the injured in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for 40 years.

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For more information on pedestrian injuries, click below

In a crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way and approaching motorists must stop to allow them to cross. Also, motorists may not pass other vehicles stopped to give pedestrians the right of way. Massachusetts has many laws meant to protect pedestrians when they are crossing roads or intersections, this also applies to cyclists who are usually treated under the same law as pedestrians. When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, state police or the municipal police department with jurisdiction will conduct an investigation into any violation of the law and will file the appropriate legal citation. A driver’s insurance can often cover medical costs, but reviewing insurance policies and benefits can be complicated to navigate without an attorney.

Did you know that the majority of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents are males and that alcohol is involved in almost half of all fatal pedestrian crashes?

Here are some traffic safety facts as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to 2017 data:

On average, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes in a traffic accident.
Pedestrian deaths comprised 16% of all traffic fatalities.
70% of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were males.
75% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark.
91% of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes involved a single vehicle.
80% of pedestrian fatalities take place in urban areas as compared to rural ones.

While it may be easy to assume the majority of pedestrians occur at intersections, that is simply not the case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 73% of pedestrian fatalities in 2017 did not occur at intersections. To put it simply, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere pedestrians can be found.

When walking near traffic, pedestrians put their trust in motorists hoping they are obeying all traffic laws. A careless driver can change that in an instant, often with tragic results.

The most common types of pedestrian injuries include: broken bones, head injuries involving concussions and traumatic brain injuries, damage to internal organs, loss of limbs, internal bleeding, paralysis, spinal cord damage, post-traumatic stress disorder or wrongful death.

There are many causes for pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians can contribute to their personal injuries by walking while distracted, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The most common causes for motorists causing pedestrian accidents include:
improper lane use such as a bicyclist using the sidewalk and forcing a pedestrian into traffic
distracted driving, including cell phone usage, speeding, and drunk driving
bad weather and poor visibility
unmarked crosswalks

An accident involving a vehicle striking a person, object or another vehicle and the driver knowingly leaves the scene of the accident without providing contact and insurance information is considered a hit-and-run. Most drivers who leave the scene of an accident might not have auto insurance, a valid driver’s license, or may be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Drivers panic and leave the scene of an accident to avoid any repercussions. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and the driver isn’t identified, your claim will most likely be handled under your own insurance policy. Penalties for hit-and-run accidents can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, leaving the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person is a felony offense.

Pedestrian accidents aren’t solely caused by motor vehicles. Accidents can also be caused by debris on roads or sidewalks, potholes, construction zones or uneven pavement. It is the property owner’s responsibility to keep their property in a safe condition and warn pedestrians of any hazards and therefore could potentially be liable for injuries that may occur. Kiley Law Group can help analyze the facts of your case and identify all potentially liable parties.

Certain steps can be taken to decrease your chances of being involved in a pedestrian accident. The most common include paying attention to your surroundings, avoiding the use of headphones or cell phones, refraining from jaywalking, using sidewalks and crosswalks when available, and wearing reflective clothing and carrying a light when walking at night.

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you first need to call the police and collect contact information from any drivers or witnesses involved. Take pictures with your cell phone of the injuries and surrounding scene. Do not sign any papers from insurance companies and refrain from making statements to anyone who might contact you about the accident. Kiley Law Group will make sure any insurance settlements are fair to compensate you for your injuries.

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