Bicyclists and Pedestrians
The attorneys at Law Office of Joseph C. Borsellino, LLC represent persons who are injured or killed while they are bicyclists and pedestrians. Massachusetts law favors and affords special protections to bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists and pedestrians usually have the right of way on cross-walks, roadways, while crossing drive ways and on parking lots and sidewalks. Ordinarily, drivers must yield to bicyclists and pedestrians who are in cross walks regardless of whether the traffic signals change. Vehicle drivers are expected to gain a full view of intersections before entering them, enter only when safe, drive at safe speeds and anticipate the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians, especially in crowded areas. Drivers must also not attempt to pass a vehicle which has stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicyclists to cross the road ahead of them. Finally, drivers must not stop their vehicles in cross walks.
In general, Massachusetts’ driving laws require that drivers operate their vehicles at a speed which is safe and reasonable under the circumstances, which may require a speed less than the posted speed limit. In many accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians, drivers are expected to have been able to stop their vehicles to avoid impacting these unprotected victims. Factors important to determining liability may include time of day, zone or district of street, visibility, weather, traffic conditions, presence of special events, road configuration and the functioning of traffic controls signals and signs.
Massachusetts law requires that vehicle operators be aware of and take into account the propensity of young children to act impulsively. Drivers must be especially careful to keep a proper lookout and to control their speed in residential neighborhoods, school zones and near driveways, playgrounds and parks.
The right of way of bicyclists and pedestrians is not absolute and they too must obey traffic laws and rules. In practice, in deciding negligence, fact finders tend to focus on whether the bicyclist or pedestrian appeared instantaneous or “darted out” and whether the parties in involved in the accident looked in all relevant directions leading up to the accident.
Massachusetts also has a collection of bicycle laws which regulate how motorists are expected to operate their vehicles in the presence of bicyclists. Cities have also added bicycle lanes on streets which factor into the evaluation of bicyclist and pedestrian accidents. Cities such as Boston have their own traffic rules and regulations. Bicyclists are often injured when motorists negligently open their vehicle doors into oncoming bicyclists.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are entitled to up to $ 8,000 of no-fault personal injury protection insurance to pay their medical bills and lost wages. The liability polices of negligent vehicle owners and operators are available to injured bicyclists and pedestrians. They may also be covered by under and uninsured motorist insurance on their own auto or household policies.
Our attorneys have successfully handled bicyclist and pedestrian accidents involving muscle injuries, fractures, brain injury, scars and death for more than 33 years. If you are a loved one has been injured as a bicyclist or pedestrian, call Law Office of Joseph C. Borsellino, LLC at 781-329-9500 or complete our contact form.