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Bar agrees to cover damages suffered by patron struck in parking lot by driver

If you are ever struck by a vehicle and injured, do not assume the driver is the only party who can be held responsible for your injuries. Talk to a lawyer who can further investigate the situation, because others may have played a part and may have liability under the law.

For example, in a recent case in Massachusetts, a 62-year-old man was able to recover from a property owner (a bar) when he was struck by a rental truck while walking across a parking lot. In that case, the man had just left a bar near Worcester and was walking across the parking lot to meet his ride when he was struck by a rental truck that had just pulled into the lot.

The man suffered brain and head injuries and a neck fracture, and he tore his meniscus, MCL and ACL. His head wound required staples and he needed surgery. The rental truck had low insurance coverage limits, which would not have covered the harm suffered as a result of the collision, so the driver was not the best source of recovery. However, on investigation, it was discovered there was video of the accident, and a police report described the parking lot as "poorly lit." An engineer, serving as an expert, provided an opinion that the light level in the parking lot was below what was recommended for the area and contributed to the collision.

While the fact that the pedestrian was intoxicated, with a 2.0 blood alcohol level, might not have helped his case, there was no indication that his intoxication played any role in the collision. As such, his intoxication was not a bar to recovery.

Ultimately the rental truck's insurer paid its policy limits and the man was able to recover a significant amount of his damages in a settlement with the premises owner. Without that level of investigation, he might have been left with just his own insurance, if he had any, to cover his medical bills and other costs.

Every case is different, but if you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian/motor vehicle collision, call us at (413) 663-3200 to discuss your claim. Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP has offices in North Adams, Pittsfield and Springfield, Massachusetts and Bennington, Vermont.

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