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Getting Support in Massachusetts as an Injured Pedestrian
As a pedestrian, you have a lot of challenges to manage and responsibilities to monitor. You’re probably carrying something, you’re watching the traffic lights, and you obviously have a destination. However, you also have rights and rights-of-way in relation to the other vehicles on the road.
Sidewalks are Vulnerable Points
Drivers have responsibilities when crossing sidewalks. If you are walking, or if you use a wheelchair or scooter that can be used in a home, you have the right of way over vehicles. Because drivers are supposed to yield to you when they cross a sidewalk in their car, you should be confident in traveling from place to place on a sidewalk. If you are struck by a vehicle while you have this right of way, consider a conversation with a
Pedestrian Accident Attorney before signing off on any settlements.
A bump from a car is terrifying. You may experience a tremendous energy rush and not notice that you have suffered an injury. Because all of the surfaces you can hit after coming in contact with a vehicle are pretty unforgiving, it is critical that you get checked out. The driver and the driver’s insurance policy have responsibilities to return you to health.
Crosswalks are Protected Spaces
Your time in the crosswalk should be protected. If you are walking into an establishment from your own car, there should be a designated crosswalk to offer you safety as you move from the “car zone” to the establishment. Because many stores and other venues have parking lots attached, the ability to safely get from the lot into the store also often comes with
- STOP signs to block or stop traffic in front of the store
- YIELD signs to remind drivers to be aware
- proper lighting to help drivers see pedestrians
- stripes on the parking lot to define the walking zone
In the event that you are injured in this crossing area, a conversation with a Personal Injury Attorney can help you determine the best path to protecting your personal financial situation while you recover from the injury, or create a new life path that allows you to work around the injury.
Stoplights Guide Drivers and Protect Pedestrians
The more congested a city, the greater the volume of stoplights. Traffic lights give pedestrians a safe space and a dedicated amount of time to get from one space to another. One of the greatest risks to Boston pedestrians is when a driver is turning right on red.
Because the driver is focused on finding a gap among oncoming cars, they may not see a pedestrian ready to walk protected by their green light. Because the pedestrian is moving forward off the sidewalk, they may not be physically able to jump back from the street when a vehicle suddenly moves through their crosswalk space and during their walking time. The hazards to pedestrians go up as the volume of cars goes up.
Dangers in these situations are particularly intense for those who are
- visually impaired; the crosswalk speaker says go, but a driver turning right on red does not see the pedestrian
- shorter, either because they are young, small or in a wheelchair
- pushing a trolley, carriage or stroller
If you have been harmed by a driver crossing through your designated time and space in the crosswalk, they have responsibilities to your safety and well-being. They also have responsibilities to carry insurance to guard others who share the road with them, either in another vehicle or on foot.
There may be questions as to which car goes first in an unmarked intersection, but pedestrians always have the right of way. This can be especially challenging in newer neighborhoods Massachusetts where no sidewalks have been installed. If you live in a housing development where many streets come together with little signage, your time as a pedestrian may be challenging and frustrating.
Do go to the effort to walk on the left side of the street so you are walking into traffic and can see vehicles coming at you. Of course, you will want to review the intersection before you cross it. However, you do have the right of way as a pedestrian in that situation. Should you be injured by a vehicle or a bicycle in these situations, you have rights.
Bicycles: Responsibilities of a Vehicle
On the road, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities of a car. Because they have the same rights of way as a vehicle, they also have a responsibility to the pedestrians
- at intersections
- in crosswalks
- on sidewalks
If you are hit by a bicycle, you can easily be knocked down into the same concrete you might hit if you’re struck by a car. Again, get checked out. Never assume you are fine after such an accident.
Walking is a wonderful way to lift your spirits, burn some calories and build health. Your safety as a pedestrian is protected by the granting of rights of way on sidewalks, in crosswalks and at intersections. If you are hurt in such a setting, contacting a pedestrian accident lawyer is the best way to protect yourself long-term as your injuries are addressed.