At one time or another, we all find ourselves as pedestrians, even in the heart of winter. Whether we merely have to walk from our parked car to the office, or if walking is our only means of transportation, those on foot near traffic could be at risk of being struck. In instances when a pedestrian accident occurs, victims are often left with significant hardships. They may have to face pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses and lost wages.

Since the impact of pedestrian accidents can be so severe, Massachusetts residents should do everything they can to prevent them. Those on foot can take certain actions to help ensure their safety. First, they can be sure to obey all intersection walk signals. Since these signals are tied to traffic lights, they allow pedestrians to safely cross busy streets. Second, pedestrians should be sure to use crosswalks. Motorists are more aware of pedestrians when nearing crosswalks, which better ensures safety. Pedestrians can also avoid darting out into traffic, which may particularly pertain to children.

Yet, despite the steps taken by pedestrians to protect themselves, a negligent driver can still cause a devastating accident. A speeding, distracted, or otherwise negligent motorist can fail to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, run a red light, or swerve onto a sidewalk. When this happens and innocent individuals suffer harm as a result, then legal action may be necessary.

Those who choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver will need to prove certain legal elements before they can claim success and recover compensation. Negligence and causation must be shown, as well as the fact that compensable injuries were suffered by the victim. Each of these elements has its own difficulties when it comes to satisfactorily establishing them, which is why it is often beneficial to have the assistance of an experienced attorney on one’s side.

Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview,” accessed on Jan. 22, 2015