Pedestrian Struck in Crosswalk
Cambridge Pedestrian Struck in Crosswalk
It was early in the morning on February 8, 2010 and the sun was just peeping up in the east. Our client, Raven, was in Cambridge, walking to the MBTA at Kendall Square. There is a crosswalk by the Marriot Hotel that enables pedestrians to go from Broadway to Main Street. Raven, our client, stopped at the Starbucks in the hotel. Coffee in hand and purse over her shoulder, she approached that crosswalk. She looked to the left; there was traffic on Broadway but no vehicles with their blinkers on so she started to cross in the crosswalk.
Suddenly, and without warning, a Boston Taxi turned right, onto that Main Street ramp, speeding through the crosswalk. Because the ramp faces due east and the sun was very low in the sky, the driver claimed he could not see Raven. He struck her when she was halfway across the crosswalk.
Raven’s body was thrown into the air. As the taxi progressed, the left side of Raven’s head hit the passenger’s side of the windshield, smashing it. She was then flung onto the side of the road, unconsciousness.
Unfortunately, Raven did not gain full consciousness for weeks. She was admitted to Mass General’s trauma ward and subsequently to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The diagnosis was severe traumatic brain injury. Fortunately, she was able to go home after about a month, and able to resume work a few months later. While Raven made a remarkable recovery, she has a permanent brain injury which affects her every day. She gets headaches, she has reduced capacity to focus, and she suffers regularly. The injuries have changed her life.
Our office took immediate action following this Massachusetts pedestrian accident. We met with the family, who were from out of town. We assisted in placement at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. We secured a police report immediately because Raven could not recall how the accident happened initially. We went to the scene of the accident and took photographs at the same time of day. We filed a claim with the taxi’s insurance company and demanded that they immediately reveal the available insurance coverage.
Drivers who strike pedestrians often state that the pedestrian “darted out” and that is the reason the driver did not see the pedestrian. Another defense is that even though they should have seen the pedestrian, no reasonable driver would because of the conditions at the time: it was dark, or the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing, or there was another vehicle blocking their way. As a personal injury lawyer, it is our job to reduce those defenses to zero, or at least to minimize the defenses. One thing we do is to get witness statements which help show that the driver’s memory is not accurate. In this case, there was a witness who gave his name to the police officer who filed the report, and his statement was helpful; he said that Raven was in the crosswalk, that the taxi turned suddenly and without a blinker.
Once we had the photographs showing the angle of the sun and, the police report, and the witness statements, we convinced the taxi’s insurance company to fold and pay the full policy. In addition, we convinced Raven’s own insurance company to pay the full Massachusetts underinsurance policy.