If you’ve been hit by a motor vehicle, then you might be wondering if the motorist can be held accountable for hitting you. Pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, among the most common types of personal injury accidents that occur every year in the state of Massachusetts. However, pedestrians have rights.
Pedestrians Have the Right of Way
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the hit, pedestrians always have the right of way in Massachusetts, especially if they are trying to cross at a crosswalk or stop sign. Unfortunately, the streets of Massachusetts are oftentimes bustling, and with people always so busy and in a hurry, they can sometimes fail to observe the rights of pedestrians. This can lead to accidents involving pedestrians, but if you’re a pedestrian who’s been involved in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident, then there are steps you can take to receive compensation for your injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers
The type of lawyer that you would want to talk to would be a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are the ones who help you fight for compensation when you’ve been injured. They typically don’t charge any fees upfront. Rather, they only get paid when and if you receive a settlement on your claim.
What Kinds of Injuries Can You Receive Compensation For?
Maybe you’re a pedestrian who’s been hit by a motorist, but you don’t think your injuries are substantial enough for you to ask for compensation. That is simply not true. If you speak to any personal injury attorney, he or she will tell you that regardless of how major or minor your injuries are, if you are injured in an automobile-pedestrian accident, you can seek compensation. Some of the types of injuries you can receive compensation for include the following:
- Physical injuries: Physical injuries can be costly if you have expensive medical bills from having to have injuries treated. Even if you didn’t break anything or have any major injuries, minor injuries like scrapes can also be costly if you rode in an ambulance after the accident to be checked out at the hospital. You can seek compensation for all this in a personal injury case.
- Emotional injuries. All injuries don’t go skin deep. You might suffer from post-traumatic stress after being hit by a motorist. You might suffer from nightmares, anxiety, depression and other emotional conditions that can affect your overall health. You can receive compensation for this as well.
Other Things You Can Be Compensated For
If you were injured and needed time to recover from your injuries, you might not have been able to go to work while your mind and body healed. This results in wages that you wouldn’t have lost otherwise had the motorist not hit you. Therefore, you could potentially be compensated for your lost wages. Additionally, in some cases, you could even receive punitive damages for your pain and suffering in general.
Is the Motorist Liable?
This is the big question? Is the motorist liable for hitting you? In short, the answer is yes. Just because a motorist claims that he or she couldn’t see you due to the sun being in his or her eyes, darkness, or anything else doesn’t mean that he or she is not still responsible for hitting you. The bottom line is that a motorist inherently assumes responsibility for a motor vehicle when he or she gets behind the wheel. Regardless of what motorists say, they are responsible for hitting any pedestrians while they are in control of a vehicle. They can claim that your clothing wasn’t bright enough, that you crossed the street unsafely or too early, and so on, but in most cases, they usually are at least partially responsible for any accident they get into involving a pedestrian. An experienced personal injury law firm has the experts who can help determine just how much a motorist is liable for.
How Liable Is the Motorist?
In some cases, a motorist may be held completely liable for hitting a pedestrian in Massachusetts. In other cases, he or she might only be held partially liable. An experience personal injury attorney can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine just how at fault the motorist is. Attorneys evaluate all the evidence available in your case and then use it to draw their conclusions and haggle with the motorist’s insurance company to procure the best settlement for you.
How Pedestrian Personal Injury Cases Work
Most insurance companies want to settle their claims outside of court. It is costly and time-consuming for them to take a case to court, so they usually won’t want to do that unless they are fairly confident that they can win. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t above low-balling you and trying to offer you the lowest settlement possible the first time around, though. That’s why it’s important for you to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. A personal injury attorney can fight for you and ensure that you receive the most favorable outcome for your claim. You can know that your personal injury attorney is really working for that outcome too because if you don’t get paid, he or she doesn’t get paid. Likewise, since most personal injury attorneys get paid a percentage of the compensation that you receive, the more money you receive, the more they’ll make too.
The Bottom Line
Motorists are responsible for their actions in the state of Massachusetts. Pedestrians who have been hit by motorists do not have to settle for living with their circumstances. Motorists should have to compensate pedestrians for any injuries that they cause them, and a good personal injury attorney can help ensure that they do just that. Getting hit by a vehicle is a stressful thing, but an experienced personal injury attorney has the confidence to guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim in a manner that will make everything easier for you and secure you the best outcome possible.