Due to the sheer size of trucks, a pedestrian who is hit by a truck is likely to sustain very severe injuries. A truck accident involving a pedestrian may even cause wrongful death.
Unfortunately, being hit by a truck while walking is a fairly common occurrence here in New England. As a pedestrian, you can reduce your risk of being hit by always using marked crosswalks and wearing highly visible clothing. But a reckless, careless, or inattentive truck driver may hit even the most diligent pedestrian.
What to Do If You’re Hit by A Truck
The steps you should take if you’re a pedestrian injured in a truck accident are similar to those in other auto accidents. First, call 911, if someone else has not done so already. If you are able to tell the police what happened, tell the truth, but do not admit fault.
It’s crucially important to get medical attention if you are hit by a vehicle of any kind. Even if you think you’re okay, you may have suffered internal injuries or head injuries that might not present with symptoms until later on. Document everything to preserve the details of your case.
Finally, talk to a lawyer about the accident. He will give you advice on whether you can recover damages for your injuries.
Who Pays My Medical Bills?
Massachusetts is a no-fault state. Therefore, your own health and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance should pay your medical bills.
If you are severely injured and the driver’s negligence caused the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. The strength of your case will depend on how clearly you are able to prove that the driver was at fault.
Who Is at Fault?
Determining fault in an accident involving a truck and pedestrian involves many factors. Pedestrians crossing the street in marked crosswalks always have the right of way. So, if you were in a crosswalk or had a walk sign when you were hit, the truck driver is probably at fault.
If you were jaywalking or stepped out into the street from between parked cars, the truck driver may not have been able to see you or stop in time. In these situations, you may be found completely or partially at fault for the accident.
Here are two recent examples. In Cranston, Rhode Island, an 11-year-old girl was hit by a truck while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Police cited the truck driver, a city employee, for multiple traffic violations.
In Cambridge, a woman in her 60s was hit by a truck while crossing the street. She was not in a crosswalk. The truck driver was not charged.
In some cases, the city where the accident occurred may be partially responsible as well. If there is no signage to warn you of a dangerous intersection, the traffic light is broken, or if signage blocked the driver’s field of view, you might be able to make a claim against the city. Your truck accident attorney can help you maximize your settlement by evaluating all your options.
Compensation for Being Hit by A Truck While Walking
Through a personal injury lawsuit, a pedestrian who was hit by a truck may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Damages may also cover future lost wages, funeral expenses, and disability and disfigurement.
Can the Truck Driver Go to Jail?
In most cases, the truck driver will not face criminal charges, unless he was driving recklessly or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Hit and Run Accidents
If the truck driver doesn’t stop and drives away after hitting you, it is known as a hit and runs. This is a crime, but you may also sue for civil damages.
Get Help If You’ve Been Hit by A Truck While Walking
If you’ve been injured because a truck hit you while you were walking, it’s important to discuss your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Having qualified legal representation will help you maximize your settlement value.
At our law offices, we have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements for pedestrians who were hurt in auto accidents. Please contact us for a free consultation.