In 2018, 680 pedestrians were hit by cars in Boston. Over the past few weeks, countless tragic headlines have highlighted the dangers that pedestrians still face in Massachusetts. In response to the September 12th pedestrian fatality at the Summer Street and Melcher Street intersection, Mayor Marty Walsh has announced changes to some major intersections in Boston.  

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 89 Section 11 gives the pedestrian the right of way when in a crosswalk. Approaching vehicles must yield their right of way, and other drivers cannot pass vehicles stopped for pedestrians. Drivers may not enter the crosswalk until the pedestrian is done crossing, even if the traffic light turns green.  

Often, pedestrian accidents are the result of driver negligence. Pedestrians can be injured while crossing streets, but also when walking along the side of a street, in a parking lot, and even on a sidewalk.  

When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, either the Massachusetts State Police or the local department with jurisdiction will conduct an investigation into possible violation of the law, and will file the appropriate civil or criminal citation. While pedestrians typically have the right of way, they should always walk with caution. For more pedestrian and driver safety tips, see SUGARMAN’s blog “When in Doubt, Don’t Cross.” 

Under Massachusetts law, a driver who strikes and injures a pedestrian is responsible for paying the first $2,000 in the pedestrian’s medical expenses as a result of the accident. Additionally, the pedestrian’s own motor vehicle policy may provide coverage beyond what was covered by the driver responsible for the accident.

SUGARMAN’s attorneys have extensive experience litigating motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians who have been injured. If you have been injured and you need the guidance of a lawyer, call us at (617) 542-1000, email or fill out a Contact Form.