Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Every day in Maryland, pedestrians who are crossing in a crosswalk, jogging down the street, walking through a parking lot and even walking on the sidewalk are stuck by a cars or trucks. Obviously, a pedestrian does not have the luxury of a seat belt, the steel protection of a car, or even the luxury of a motorcycle helmet. There are several dangerous areas where pedestrians are at higher risk: near the confusion of a construction site, while crossing the street (particularly where there is no crosswalk), while walking alongside a road (and not on a sidewalk). Some professions, activities and demographics that are high risk for pedestrian impact injuries include utility workers, landscapers, police officers, garbage collectors, runners, the elderly (because it takes them longer to cross the street, and they are sometimes less able to evade negligent drivers) and children.
Proving a Maryland Pedestrian Accident Case
Contrary to popular belief, a police report is typically not evidence in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. The report, which may have a police officer's opinion about whether the pedestrian was at fault for the collision, is usually inadmissible at court. This is a good thing in many pedestrian accident cases. The police - most police officers anyway - do not understand the deference Maryland law gives to pedestrians. Most pedestrian accident cases hinge on whether the pedestrian was lawfully where he was at the time of impact. This is especially true if the pedestrian was hit while crossing the street - the defense will be that the pedestrian crossed against the signal, or crossed outside of a crosswalk.
Important evidence to prove a pedestrian's claim includes:
- statements of any witnesses, particularly witnesses who have no relationship to the pedestrian
- photographs or video (often from red light cameras, traffic cameras, or security cameras from neighboring businesses)
- skid marks (indication the location of impact)
- cell phone records showing that the negligent driver was talking on a cell phone or texting at the time of the accident
Defenses to Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits
Defense lawyers in Maryland pedestrian accidents often contend that the pedestrian was contributorily negligent. In Maryland, a victim who is even 1% negligent is not allowed to recover in a civil lawsuit. Defense lawyers are pulling out all of the stops, and try to convince a jury that the pedestrian was distracted (using a cell phone or MP3 player) Often, a good investigation can destroy these defenses.
Finding Insurance Coverage In Maryland Pedestrian Accidents
One important question in Maryland pedestrian accidents is whether there is any insurance coverage to pay for the pedestrian's injuries. The simple case is where the negligent driver has insurance - that driver's insurance will be responsible to pay for the pedestrian's injuries. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, flees the scene and cannot be found (hit-and-run accident), or has low insurance that won't cover the full cost of the pedestrian's injury, then the pedestrian's automobile insurance policy will kick in if it has uninsured/underinsured coverage. If the pedestrian does not have automobile insurance and does not live in a household with a family member who has uninsured/underinsured coverage, then the pedestrian can recover from the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund's (MAIF) Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment (UCJ) division. MAIF may be responsible to pay up to $30,000 for pedestrian accidents where the negligent driver is uninsured or cannot be located.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- 1998: 70,000 pedestrian crashes in the United States (1.1% of all police-reported crashes) (NHTSA)
- 1998: 5,294 fatal pedestrian crashes in the United States (NHTSA)
- 1998: children aged 5 to 9 were involved in 14% of all pedestrian crashes (NHTSA)
- 2008: 112 Fatal pedestrian crashes in Maryland (20% of all Maryland automobile fatalities) (Maryland State Highway Administration)
- 2008: 70% of the pedestrians killed were at-fault, according to police reports (Maryland State Highway Administration)
- 2010: 4,280 fatal pedestrian crashes in the United States (NHTSA)
- 2010: 101 fatal pedestrian crashes in Maryland (NHTSA)
If you have been injured in a serious pedestrian accident in Maryland, call us at 1.800.553.8082, or click here for a free consultation/case evaluation.
More Pedestrian Accident Information
- Miller & Zois $664,000 Jury Award (media article of Miller & Zois pedestrian accident verdict against State Farm)
- Maryland Is the 7th Riskiest State to be a Pedestrian
- Texting Causes Particular Rist to Maryland Pedestrians
- Motion for Summary Judgment Response (in a Maryland pedestrian accident case)
- Distracted Walking (not surprisingly, applies with equal force to pedestrians)
- Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Help Center (assistance for lawyers handling injury and malpractice cases, including pedestrian claims)
- Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Blog (discussion of Baltimore specific injury and malpractice cases)
- Pedestrian Dog Bite Claims (an overview)
- Lawyers Seeking to Refer Their Personal Injury Case to Miller & Zois (for lawyers around throughout the United States considering to involve co-counsel in their clients' pedestrian or auto accident cases)