Anyone who spends time walking down busy streets or rural roads in Maryland has probably had a close call with a speeding vehicle. Even if the driver is in the wrong and the pedestrian has the right of way, that may do nothing to protect you from serious injuries. In any accident between a driver and a pedestrian, the pedestrian will inevitably lose.
According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in this country. That amounts to a pedestrian killed every 2 hours. Another 150,000 pedestrians were taken to the emergency room for injuries in non-fatal car accidents. For every trip a driver or passenger takes, the passenger is 50% more likely to be killed in a car accident than a driver.
Pedestrians are much more vulnerable than drivers in an accident. Pedestrians do not have seat belts, airbags, or thousands of pounds of metal surrounding them. Even a low-speed accident that results in the pedestrian being knocked to the ground can end in a serious head injury, back injury, or even death. Pedestrians have to be more defensive than drivers, wearing reflective clothing at night, carrying a flashlight, crossing at designated intersections, and staying on the sidewalk when possible.
Children and older adults can be more vulnerable to pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians 65 and older accounted for almost 20% of pedestrian deaths in 2013, and 20% of children under the age of 14 killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians. Additional factors include higher rates of fatalities in urban areas, at night, and at non-intersection locations.
Fault in pedestrian accidents can be complicated. In most cases, a driver who is alert and driving responsibly will be able to avoid an accident with a pedestrian. Unfortunately, many drivers are not so alert, aware, and operating a safe vehicle. A number of pedestrian injury accidents involve distracted or intoxicated drivers. A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not be able to respond as quickly to a pedestrian in the road, or they may drift off the road and directly into the path of an unsuspecting pedestrian. Other drivers may be in a hurry, speeding to make a right turn at an intersection, even though a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. In these situations, the driver is usually at fault for the accident.
In some cases, the pedestrian can be at fault, or contribute to the cause of an accident. This may be an issue for the jury to determine based on the specific facts of the case. Some examples include intoxicated pedestrians who step off the sidewalk into traffic or trying to run across a busy highway at night. However, just because you may think you are partially to blame for the accident, or the driver blames the accident on you, that does not necessarily mean you cannot recover damages for your injuries. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you may have a legal claim for compensation.
Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits
Pedestrians involved in an injury accident may be facing serious injury, hospitalization, permanent disability, and extensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, they may also have to deal with trying to get compensation from the driver or their insurance company, at the same time. This can be extremely stressful, especially if the driver or the insurance company is being difficult. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer will allow you and your family time to recover, to focus on getting better, so you don't have to think about fighting with the insurance company.
Your attorney will deal with the insurance companies, fighting to get you the full compensation you deserve. If the insurance company doesn't want to settle your claim, or only offers to cover a fraction of your damages, your attorney can take your case to court. After an injury, you can seek economic and non-economic damages from the individuals or companies responsible. This can include lost wages, medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Maryland Pedestrian Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Pedestrians can face devastating injuries while the driver walks away without a scratch. An experienced personal injury attorney can take on your case so you can focus on your recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile and pedestrian accident cases throughout Maryland. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.