If you or someone you know is hit by a car or a truck or motorcycle while you are crossing the street or walking along it, here are some things you should do.
First, stay at the scene. Call 9-1-1 and ask that the police respond. If the driver has stopped, ask for his or her driver’s license and registration. Write down the driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, and what state issued the license. From the vehicle’s registration certificate, write down the owner’s name, address, license plate number, state of registration, and insurance company. Some states do not put the insurance company on the vehicle registration, and if that is the case, ask for the vehicle’s proof of insurance.
When the police come, they will ask if you are injured and want to go to the hospital. Don’t shrug it off, don’t try to tough it out. You will be tempted to minimize your injuries, it is a natural reaction. Plus, you won’t even feel a lot of the damage at first because your body is in shock and has not had the time to react to the trauma. It is best to take the time to assess whether you have been hurt and have a doctor check for internal damage.
As soon as you have taken care of treating the immediate injuries, you should call KJC Law Firm for a free consultation. We can help you figure out whether you might have a case. Below are a few key questions that we need to get answers to that could help us to prove negligence and build a case against the driver and their insurance company and the sooner we get started, the better.
Where were you when you were hit? In a marked crosswalk? On the sidewalk? On the side of the road? If you were crossing at an intersection, was there a walk light? Did it say “Walk” or was it flashing when you started across. If there was no walk light, were you crossing with the green light?
What were the lighting conditions? Was it day or night? Were there enough streetlights for you to be seen clearly? Was the sun low and shining in the driver’s eyes?
Was the driver distracted by his or her cell phone at time of the accident? While it is permissible for those over 18 years old to talk on their cell phones while driving, it is against the law in Massachusetts for drivers in their teens, between 16 1/2 to 18 years old to operate a cell phone in any manner while driving. Drivers of any age are prohibited from texting while driving. But even if the driver was just talking on the phone, that can be a distraction and may signal negligence.
Was the driver obeying the marked speed limit? Massachusetts law requires drivers to observe and obey the posted speed limit which is usually 30 mph in business districts and 20 miles per hour in school zones.
Was the driver under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident? In Massachusetts it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or above. The limit is lower for drivers under the age of 21 and drivers of commercial vehicles.
Was there a third-party vehicle like a delivery truck, illegally stopped or parked at the scene of the accident that impaired your ability or the driver's ability to see and react to the collision? Very often, delivery trucks will double park or park too close to an intersection in order to make their job easier and the sheer size of these vans and trucks could impair your ability to see traffic or a driver’s ability to see you and cause a pedestrian accident.
Did the police issue the driver a citation or warning for a moving violation? This can be powerful evidence of the opinion of a neutral professional as to whether the driver was at fault.
These are some of the most common question that need to be answered to investigate the facts in a pedestrian accident. If it looks like you have a case, we will need to know a lot more, and we will conduct a thorough investigation. But these facts will give us a good start. The KJC Law Firm has more than 60 years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies on our clients’ behalf, and in litigating major personal injury cases. We have the resources to investigate your claim, hire the necessary experts, and get you the compensation that you deserve.