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Widely-known neighbor dies after Arlington pedestrian accident


Massachusetts civil courts don’t award damages for losses felt by a community when a person dies suddenly in a crash. If courts did consider widespread losses, we might have a better idea of the true impact of each person’s personal contributions to lives of neighbors, friends, co-workers, employers and local organizations.

People in a community just north of Boston were familiar with the good deeds of an elderly man, which included playing music for customers of a pharmacy and the local library. Even at the age of 91, the man continued to shovel snow and make his daily trek with a cane around East Arlington. A postal carrier, sitting in a parked work truck and talking on a phone, saw the man get hit by a car not far from the victim’s long-time home.

The elderly man, retired from a Harvard University typewriter repair job, made a stop outside a restaurant to pick up a newspaper just before the midday motor vehicle accident occurred. Police investigators were able to obtain a surveillance video of the collision that showed the victim was struck by a Honda Civic while crossing the street. Charges were not filed against the female driver, an unidentified Woburn resident.

Drivers who are negligent can be held accountable for accident injuries and deaths they cause. Crash victims and surviving family members may file petitions for damages, which are awarded based upon the losses suffered by plaintiffs. Personal injury claims involve losses to the victim, while wrongful death claims focus on hardships suffered by surviving spouses, children or parents.

The burden of proof in accident liability cases rests with injured parties. The plaintiff must prove an injury and other losses were caused by the negligence of a driver or third party. Compensation covers lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages that can be identified by a liability attorney.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Arlington neighbors mourn a ‘fixture’ killed in accident,” Laura Crimaldi, March. 25, 2015

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