Massachusetts Crosswalk Accident Law

Massachusetts crosswalk accident law

Pedestrians are unfortunately struck much too frequently by motor vehicles.  Many of these accidents are caused by negligence.  The victims of these accidents understandably want to know if they may file a claim or sue the driver that caused the accident.  Motor vehicle operators must use caution so as to avoid striking pedestrians.  When they fail to they may be held liable.

But pedestrians too have a duty to walk safely in order to avoid being struck.  Pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts occur all the time and oftentimes result in soft tissue injuries, bruising, broken bones, and even wrongful death.  I was surprised to recently learn that most most crosswalk buttons in Boston do not work, which I recently wrote about.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car in or near a crosswalk, you likely will want to know about Massachusetts crosswalk accident law.  Massachusetts law concerning pedestrian accidents occurring in crosswalks is found at MGL c. 89, 11:

    When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk marked in accordance with standards established by the department of highways if the pedestrian is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling.

    No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.

    Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.Whenever a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle in a marked crosswalk, the department of state police or the municipal police department with jurisdiction of the street, in consultation with department of state police if deemed appropriate, shall conduct an investigation into the cause of the injury and any violation of this section or other law or ordinance and shall issue the appropriate civil or criminal citation or file an application for the appropriate criminal complaint, if any. This section shall not limit the ability of a district attorney or the attorney general to seek an indictment in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle which causes injury or death and which violates this section.

    This law and its provisions provides pedestrians with legal protection and also mandates motor vehicle operators to drive safely when pedestrians are in crosswalks.

    Things To Do If You Are Ever Hit By A Car

    Here are some things you should do if you ever get hit by a car whether you were inside or outside of a crosswalk:

    • Get the insurance information and full contact information for the driver who hit you
    • Call the police
    • If you are in pain and discomfort, consider calling an ambulance
    • Obtain prompt medical attention
    • Never sign anything an insurance company sends to you
    • Never speak with the driver’s insurance company
    • Consult a local pedestrian crosswalk accident lawyer

    Things To Do To Avoid Being Struck By A Car

    • Try to avoid walking at night
    • Always use crosswalks whenever possible
    • Make eye contact with the driver
    • Never assume the driver sees you

    Massachusetts Crosswalk Accident Lawyer

    Many times these accidents could have been avoided.  If you feel you were negligently stuck in a crosswalk as a pedestrian, contact the Law Office of Christopher Earley today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.