Recovering Damages in a Boston Pedestrian Hit-and-Run
A hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood resulted in serious injuries to a person walking along Beacon Street.
The vehicle that struck the victim, a Bentley, was allegedly operated by a driver drag racing with a white BMW convertible near the Exeter Street intersection. After the crash, occupants of the Bentley piled into the BMW and fled toward Storrow Drive.
Hit-and-run crashes - particularly those involving pedestrians - are on the rise across the U.S. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports 1 in 5 pedestrian fatalities are caused by hit-and-run drivers, and 60 percent of all hit-and-run fatalities are pedestrians.
M.G.L. Ch. 90, Section 26 makes it illegal to leave the scene of an accident with personal injury.
The Boston pedestrian accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone know these devastating crashes can leave victims and their families reeling, severely injured or worse. Our dedicated injury attorneys know there are options for financial recovery in some cases, and we will doggedly explore every possible avenue.
The exact course of legal action will depend on a myriad of variables.
If the driver is eventually caught, the case would be treated like any other car accident litigation: If the pedestrian had no auto insurance of his or her own, he or she could pursue personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from the driver for up to $2,000 in medical bills (if he or she had health insurance) or up to $8,000 otherwise, regardless of fault. If the injuries were serious (i.e., broken bones, disfigurement or loss of eyesight) or damages exceeded the aforementioned amount, the pedestrian could seek to hold the driver, driver's employer or vehicle owner accountable for damages.
However, if the driver is never caught, there may still be some options for recovery. Those include:
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This might also apply if the driver was caught, yet had no insurance (one of the main reasons drivers flee in the first place). This coverage is required of anyone who drives an automobile. Obviously, pedestrians are not required to carry UM coverage to walk the streets, but this protection will cover them in the event they are struck by a vehicle - even if the insured was on foot. UM coverage usually extends to related household members; so, for example, if a child is struck, his or her parents' UM coverage should apply. Minimum UM coverage rates in Massachusetts are $20,000 per individual and $40,000 per accident. It's often a good idea to purchase coverage in excess of these amounts, however, because losses in a pedestrian accident can easily exceed these figures. UM coverage is one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident - whether you are driving or not.
Health Insurance. Your health insurance should help to cover a substantial cost of your medical bills if you are injured in a car accident.
Workers' Compensation. This coverage would apply if the pedestrian had been working at the time of the hit-and-run injury.
Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime Compensation. This will depend on the circumstances, but hit and run with injury is a crime. As a victim of crime, you have certain rights under the law and may be eligible for certain services. Police must have been alerted to the incident within 5 days, victims must cooperate with police officers and victims must apply within three years of the incident.. Victims who were under 18 may apply up until they are 21, under some circumstances. Coverage may be available for medical expenses, counseling, funeral/ burial costs, lost wages and more. Your injury attorney can discuss with you if this is an option.
It's important if you are injured in a Boston hit-and-run accident that you discuss your options with an experienced accident attorney.