Summer is just around the corner, and that means it is time to get outdoors and enjoy festivities. Whether you are into concerts or craft shows (or both), walking around at an outdoor festival can be dangerous if you are not careful. Unfortunately, accidents that involve pedestrians spike during the summer months, simply because there are more people on the road and the sidewalks. If you are injured, contacting a Massachusetts car accident attorney is a good way to find out whether you have legal options available to you.
Avoiding Accidents as a Pedestrian
Pedestrians can take certain steps to avoid injuries, even when they are enjoying outdoor activities. First and foremost, you should keep in mind that the rules of the road still apply if you are walking on or near roads that are not blocked off. Use crosswalks and obey traffic signals as much as possible.
At festivals, it is easy to get caught up in the flow of people and ignore normal street signs. Most festivals do take extra precautions to keep pedestrians safe by blocking off roads or putting up signs far ahead of crossing areas. However, this is not always the case. Although a car is supposed to stop for you, never assume that they will—defensive walking is often a good idea!
Keep in mind that children face the most risk at festivals because they are not as familiar with the rules of traffic. In fact, one in five traffic deaths among children are due to pedestrian accidents. The elderly are also more likely to be in a pedestrian accident.
You should also avoid “walking under the influence” as much as possible as well. One-third of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. Alcohol and drugs decrease your reaction time and your perception. It can also cause you to take unnecessary risks.
Legal Fault for Pedestrian Accidents
Although pedestrians generally have the right of way in traffic, that does not give them free reign to run into traffic or engage in other dangerous activities. Instead, pedestrians can be at fault just as much as a driver in a car-pedestrian accident. The driver be at least partially at fault to have legal liability.
In situations that involve more than one driver, such as where a driver swerved to avoiding hitting the pedestrian and hit another car instead, the pedestrian may want to include both drivers in his or her claim. That way, fault can be assessed accurately between the three parties participating in the accident.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Losses in a pedestrian accident situation can be severe, especially when the driver was engaging in risky behavior like speeding or texting while driving. These actions often do not allow the driver enough time to slow down and react to pedestrians on the road, increasing the overall impact.
Damages in a pedestrian accident usually include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Costs related to recovery (crutches, special equipment, )
Your Massachusetts car accident lawyer can help you value these various categories of damages depending on the unique circumstances of your case.