On November 21, 2012, a 21-year-old Tufts student was hit by an SUV when crossing at the intersection of Powderhouse Boulevard and Packard Avenue. The student was critically injured, prompting Tufts to launch an investigation into the safety of the intersection.
Our Boston pedestrian accident attorneys applaud the efforts of Tufts University in taking action to work to make the intersection safer. The accident serves as an important reminder that a poorly designed or poorly lit intersection can be extremely dangerous and illustrates the potential harm that can result from bad road design.
The Investigation into the Pedestrian Accident
The investigation launched by Tufts University will involve a review of the area where the accident occurred. A consultant has been hired to study the crossing and to provide advice on what modifications can be put into place to improve safety. The recommendations will then be reviewed and hopefully implemented to make the intersection safer.
According to Boston.com, some steps have already been taken to reduce the risk to pedestrians. For example, new signs and new lights have already been added. Further steps as recommended by the transportation engineer reviewing the intersection should hopefully help to avoid any future accidents.
Tufts has also contracted with the transportation engineering company to begin a review of all of the roadways on the school’s campus once the review of the dangerous intersection has been completed. By studying all of the intersections and providing advice on how to make them safer, the transportation engineering company can hopefully help to prevent more students and visitors from losing their lives.
What Happens When a Pedestrian Accident is Caused by a Dangerous Roadway?
Pedestrian accidents caused by dangerous roadways can be devastating, especially when the pedestrian suffers critical injuries or is killed. The injured pedestrian or surviving family members of a pedestrian who is killed may be left with significant financial losses as a result of medical costs and lost earning potential. The victim or surviving family members also suffer intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of companionship.
If the accident was truly caused by a dangerous intersection, other avenues of recovery may be available in addition to holding the at-fault driver accountable.
In certain cases, the person or entity who was responsible for the design of the dangerous intersection can be held accountable. However, there are limitations on when this is possible. If the entity responsible for designing and maintaining the roadways was a government agency or a government employer, then governmental immunity may apply. This doesn’t mean it is impossible for an accident victim to file a lawsuit to recover damages as a result of an accident caused by a poorly designed intersection — but it does make it more difficult for the injured person to take legal action and win.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
Dangerous Roadways and Lack of Funding Endangering YOU! Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 22, 2012
WAKE UP New England: National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week 2012, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 8, 2012