Articles Posted in Pedestrians

The number of bicyclists in Massachusetts and across the country increases each year. As more cyclists take to the roads, more accidents occur, including those involving a hit and run. When one of the parties involved in an accident leaves the scene—without rendering assistance to injured parties, exchanging insurance information, or reporting the accident to police—this is known as a hit and run.

Approximately 700,000 hit and run accidents occur every year in the United States, and these numbers increase each year. That’s nearly 2,000 hit and run accidents per day. A large percentage of these accidents involve automobiles and bicyclists. Studies have shown that motor vehicle-bicycle accidents occur most frequently in urban environments, but can happen anywhere, especially after dark. A Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Motor vehicle and bicycle collisions can cause serious property damage, physical injury, and even death. These accidents sometimes result in the victim needing prolonged medical treatment, and missing work for an extended period. If the driver of the motor vehicle leaves the scene of the accident, the victim may be stuck without a way to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, or pain and suffering.

Notably, wearing a bicycle helmet can decrease your risk of serious injury by almost 50%, and using a designated biking lane may decrease your risk of serious injury by almost 90%.

If You Are a Bystander

A hit and run bicycle accident can be a terrifying experience for everyone involved, whether you are the victim or a bystander. Staying calm is critical. If you are a bystander, the very first thing you should do is to assist the victim. Be sure the victim is in a safe place and call 911. Stay with the victim until medical assistance arrives. Later, once the victim is being cared for, describe everything you saw to the police. A MA bicycle accident attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

If You Are a Victim

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle-bicycle collision, call 911 for help if you’re able to. If not, ask a bystander for assistance. Even if you are not seriously injured, stay on the scene of the accident until police arrive; ask any witnesses or bystanders to stay with you. As soon as you are in a safe place, record everything you remember about the circumstances of the accident. An accurate and detailed police report will assist the police in finding the at-fault driver. These details should include:

  • Vehicle make, model and color
  • License plate or partial license plate, including what state the license plate is from
  • Any distinguishing characteristics of the car, including graphics, dents or other damage
  • Description of driver or passenger, if known
  • The vehicle’s direction of travel
  • The circumstances that led to the accident
  • The names and contact information for every bystander or eye witness
  • Photographs and/or videos of the scene of the accident, especially any skid marks, your injuries, and damage to your bicycle or other property

Once you have received initial medical attention and reported all relevant details to the police, call your insurance company and file a claim. A lawyer with expertise in these types of accidents can help guide you through the insurance and legal process. Continue reading

As research continues to confirm the link between car accidents and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), physicians are placing additional emphasis on the importance of monitoring for brain injuries following any high-impact accident. With car accidents being a leading cause of TBIs, it is wise to know the signs and symptoms of these serious, potentially life-threatening injuries if you’ve recently been involved in a car accident.

Traumatic brain injuries can range in severity from minor to severe, and symptoms may not develop for days, weeks, or even months after the injury occurs. In many cases, serious TBIs have long-term, and even permanent consequences, and are often progressive. The damage caused by a TBI can cause changes in behavior, movements, and even a person’s overall personality. In fact, certain TBI symptoms are often confused for emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety, and they may worsen over time.

Signs of TBI Following a Motor Vehicle Collision

If you have been injured in an auto accident, an experienced MA car accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed. In the days, weeks, and months following a collision, it is imperative to look out for the signs and symptoms below. If you develop any of these problems, it is in your best interest to seek medical treatment without delay.

  • Loss of consciousness, even if only temporary
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vision problems—especially blurred vision
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Motor problems
  • Personality or behavioral changes
  • Depression
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Sleep problems

Keep in mind that you may be suffering a TBI without experiencing any of these symptoms. Even if no symptoms are present, you should visit your doctor if you’ve experienced any kind of head trauma, or violent shaking.

Do You Have a Concussion?

Concussions are the most common type of mild TBI. A concussion can begin with a brief loss of consciousness—generally, only a few moments—or no loss of consciousness, and symptoms will usually appear within a few days of the injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 14.3 percent of all concussions are caused by motor vehicle crashes. As such, crashes are the third most common cause of concussions. A Boston car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Neuro-degeneration

According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, even a minor traumatic brain injury can initiate the neuro-degeneration associated with Alzheimer’s. This is true even when the injury occurs in young people. Neuro-degeneration is “the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons and is the cause of such diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington.” The researchers established a link between TBI and all three of these neuro-degenerative diseases. Continue reading

Traffic-related accidents involving pedestrians are shockingly common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians accounted for about 13 percent of total traffic-related fatalities in 2010, and more than 70,000 pedestrians were injured that year. These are nationwide figures, but MA is no exception. Read on for more information about pedestrian accidents, and what to do if you are injured by a negligent driver while walking.

Most traffic-related pedestrian accidents are the result of drivers or pedestrians who are simply not paying attention. As little ones rarely pay attention to their immediate surroundings, it’s not surprising that children under 15 account for more than one-third of annual pedestrian injuries.

In MA, pedestrians have the right of way when using a crosswalk, or crossing at an intersection with a green light or walk signal. If such signals are not present – or if they are malfunctioning – it is up to the driver to yield to any pedestrian using a crosswalk. If the driver fails to do so, and the pedestrian is injured, the driver may be liable for any resulting damages. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

What do Do if You’re Injured as a Pedestrian

Immediately after a traffic-related accident in which you are injured as a pedestrian, following the steps below will help to protect you now, and in the future:

  • Call police immediately if no one has already done so. If medical assistance is required, police can call for help. They will also file an accident report, which will be invaluable if you choose to file a personal injury claim in the future.
  • Photograph the scene, including injuries and property damage. If your lap top was smashed, and you have a cut on your leg, use your cell phone to take pictures. You should also photograph anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as a blocked stop sign or patch of ice on the road.
  • Ask any witnesses for their names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. Do this as soon as possible. Unless injuries are severe, witnesses don’t often stick around for too long.
  • Exchange information with the driver, and anyone else involved.
  • Once you get to a safe place, record details about the accident, including the date and time, weather conditions, and possible causes. For example, if you saw the driver texting just before you were struck, write this down. Memories fade quickly. Preserving your memories in writing will help immensely if you decide to file an injury claim.
  • Contact an experienced MA pedestrian accident lawyer You should consult with an attorney before speaking to the insurance companies. It is the insurance investigator’s job to figure out how not to pay for your damages. Anything you say can be used against you at a later date. An attorney can help you navigate this process effectively so that you can get the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.

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Eight months after new high-tech traffic signals were installed in Quincy Center, there have been no pedestrian accidents. That’s a significant achievement, considering that there were 88 accidents involving pedestrians in this area between 2004 and 2013. Of those accidents, 58 resulted in injury and one pedestrian was killed. Despite this success, not everyone loves the new, odd-looking traffic signals.

How to Read the New Signals

The new signals in Quincy Center are known as “high-intensity activated crosswalks”. They are more conveniently referred to as HAWK beacons. Unfortunately, some people find the strange new lights more confusing than helpful. Below are some tips to help you safely navigate HAWK beacon signals when you come across them.

  • Drive through normally if no lights are on.
  • A steady or blinking yellow light means that, while vehicles still have the right-of-way, the light will soon turn red.
  • When both lights are on, the signal should be treated as a red light. Even if no one is using the crosswalk, you must still stop and wait.
  • You should treat the signal like a train crossing when the two red lights are blinking alternatively. Stop, check for people in the crosswalk, then proceed when it is safe to do so.

As you can see from the above instructions, HAWK beacons are not as straightforward as standard traffic signals, at least not until we get used to them. But it’s hard to argue with the fact that since their installation, there have been zero pedestrian accidents in what was once considered one of the most dangerous intersections in all of Massachusetts.  According to Chris Walker, a spokesman for the city’s Mayor Thomas Koch, the new signals are helping drivers and pedestrians alike use the busy intersections in a safer, more responsible manner.

“You can see the benefit of the dedicated signal,” he said. “It’s slowing traffic down through the area.” In addition to the complete absence of pedestrian accidents in the area, there has been a significant drop in motor vehicle accidents since the installation of the signals. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine how to move forward if you’ve been involved in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident.

Not Everyone’s Feeling the Love

So, why doesn’t everyone love the HAWK beacons in Quincy Center?  Shanayta Carmody would prefer that the city bring back signs instructing vehicles and pedestrians on how to safely deal with the crosswalk. ”It’s very confusing and chaotic since they put this new crosswalk in,” said Carmody. And the new signals may impede the flow of traffic. An observation of the intersection during busy traffic hours revealed backed up traffic from Hancock all the way to the Granite Street intersection. In one instance, cars blocked a crosswalk instead of leaving space for pedestrians. According to Rob Keyworth, who uses the crosswalk on his daily commute to Boston, people don’t know what to do with the new lights. “Nobody has ever seen a setup like that,” he said. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a successful injury claim following a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident.

Quincy Center isn’t the only area in MA to install HAWK beacons. Several towns across the state have installed similar systems. The federal government considers the HAWK systems to be a “proven safety countermeasure,” and recommends their installation in busy pedestrian crossings. The design, which was developed in the 1990s in Tucson, resulted in a 69 percent decrease in pedestrian accidents following their installation in that city. Continue reading

A boy was struck and killed while riding his bicycle in Brockton Tuesday night. According to Brockton Police Sgt. James Baroud, the accident occurred on Main and Plain streets just before 7:00 PM on Tuesday. Baroud say the unnamed boy, who was about 12 to 14 years of age, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck the boy stopped at the scene and was interviewed by police.

In an unrelated accident on the same day, a pedestrian was struck and killed by an SUV in Waltham, and a second pedestrian suffered non-fatal injuries in the same incident. According to Waltham police, the accident, which occurred shortly before 7:00 AM Tuesday, is under investigation. The victim, a 65-year-old Watertown man, was exiting a bus on his way to work when a Lexus SUV struck and killed him. The other person injured in the accident was a 70-year-old Boston man who had also just exited the bus. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries to the face and legs, but his injuries are non-life threatening. Both men were in the crosswalk on Wyman Street when the accident occurred.

Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a collision with a car than occupants of motor vehicles. In 2013, a total of 4.735 pedestrians suffered fatal injuries from traffic accidents in this country. On average, this is one traffic-related death every two hours. And many more are seriously injured; approximately 150,000 pedestrians are rushed to the emergency department for non-life threatening injuries each year. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident involving a motor vehicle, contact a Boston personal injury lawyer today.

Who’s Most at Risk?

Any person can be injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, but certain people are more at risk.

  • Young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are more likely to receive treatment in an emergency department for pedestrian injuries related to a crash than any other group.
  • Male pedestrians have a greater risk of serious or fatal injury in traffic-related accidents than their female counterparts.
  • The incidence of fatal pedestrian accidents generally rises with age.
  • Alcohol increases the risk of fatal pedestrian accidents; in 2013, approximately 34 percent of pedestrians who suffered fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
  • Child pedestrians have the greatest risk of serious injury or death in a traffic-related accident due to their smaller size.
  • In one out of every five traffic-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under, the victim was a pedestrian.

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A young child is in critical condition after an accident that took place in Lynn, Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon. Initial reports have indicated that a 3 year old boy was struck by a car as the vehicle was turning a corner. According to police officers responding to the scene, the boy had been standing on the sidewalk with his older brother when the older child lost his hold on the young boy. Shortly thereafter, the young boy ran into the street and was struck by a vehicle that was reportedly being driven by an elderly individual. Identities for the victim and the driver of the vehicle have not been released at this time.

Lynn Fire Chief Steve Archer has stated that the accident took place Wednesday afternoon around 1:00 PM at the intersection of Western Ave and Franklin Street in Lynn. The young boy and his older brother had apparently being waiting outside while their mother was finishing up at a laundromat just steps away. Following the accident, the child was immediately transported via ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is currently listed as being in stable but critical condition in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Reports have indicated that the child was conscious at the time that he was being transported to the hospital. According to the law enforcement officials investigating the matter, the child had suffered a broken leg after being hit by the vehicle. The child had surgery on Wednesday night at approximately 8:30 PM following his admittance to the hospital in an effort to repair the damage. Lynn Police Lieutenant Dave Brown has stated that all reports indicate that the child is expected to be okay. Lieutenant Dave Brown went on to say that authorities are not immediately aware of any internal injuries the child may have suffered in addition to the broken leg.

The investigation into the matter is ongoing. Police have not indicated if they are going to pursue charges against the elderly driver in regards to the accident. It appears as though the individual operating the vehicle may not have been able to see the small child dart into the street prior to striking him. Lieutenant Glenn Dunnigan has indicated that the child had gone underneath the vehicle after being struck but that he had not been pinned underneath the car following the accident. Law enforcement officials have not stated if there were any additional factors that could have contributed to this accident taking place. It appears as though there may not have been enough time between when the child ran into the road and when he was struck for the operator of the vehicle to have proper time to react and avoid the situation. It is not clear at this time if the driver of the vehicle suffered any injuries during the incident.

The family of Elizabeth Peralta-Luna is suing truck driver Zachary Barngrover and his employer Monson and Sons Inc. for wrongful death. Peralta-Luna, 30, and her two young children, ages 4 and 9, were killed last month in a semi-truck crash.

The three of them were crossing an intersection when they were hit by the truck, driven by Barngrover. The pedestrian accident case contends that the truck driver did not keep a proper lookout, did not yield the right of way to the pedestrians, and he was using a cell phone while operating the large vehicle. Police cited Barngrover for not yielding to the pedestrian, who were walking in a crosswalk, and turning left improperly.

Distracted driving is dangerous driving regardless of the size of one’s vehicle. That said, truck accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries and deaths, which makes driving one while talking on the cell phone or texting even more of an injury and crash risk. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned bus drivers and commercial truckers from texting while operating a vehicle in 2010. The following year they banned commercial drivers from using hand-held cell phones at all.

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Several people were seriously hurt in a Somerville, MA multi-vehicle crash today. According to police, the collision occurred when a driver, age 56, suffered a medical incident, causing her to crash her vehicle into a Honda Civic, which burst into flames. The 26-year-old Medford driver of the Honda was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

The initial traffic crash caused a chain-reaction that involved three other vehicles. Fortunately, the drivers of those cars were not hurt. However, a 16-year-old pedestrian was struck by a car. He was also taken to the hospital for his injuries.

On Thursday, a 62-year-old woman was injured in a Winthrop pedestrian accident when she was struck by an alleged drunken driver who ran a red light and drove onto the sidewalk, striking the victim and a tree. Police say that they found open alcohol bottles in the vehicle, along with two children, an infant and a 6-year-old.

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If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Massachusetts motor vehicle crash please contact our Boston car accident law firm right away. Unfortunately, serious collisions can happen during the holiday season. You want to speak with an experienced attorney to explore your legal options.

On Christmas Eve, one man died in an East Boston pedestrian accident when he was hit by a truck. No criminal charges have been filed against the driver. The pedestrian was in his sixties.

On Monday, a Charlton multi-vehicle crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike seriously injured one person and killed another. The collision happened in heavy traffic when two cars and a tractor-trailer collided. Another tractor-trailer then hit one of the cars, a 2011 Toyota Camry. The driver of the car was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead but was later revived with critical injuries. His wife, a 64-year-old woman, died.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting a decline in both the number of Massachusetts motor vehicle crash fatalities as well as how many occurred in total in the U.S. According to the figures for 2013, there were 326 traffic deaths in the state last year, which is a decline from the 383 fatalities in 2012. Alcohol was a factor in 118 of the Massachusetts traffic deaths in 2013.

Nationally, the country lost 32,719 people in roadway crashes in 2013. This is also a decrease from the 33,782 traffic deaths from the year previous.

Overall, between 2012 and 2013, the U.S. saw a reduction in deaths and injuries of truck occupants, passenger car occupants, pedestrians, and young drivers, as well as in accidents where alcohol was a factor.

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