Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are often more traumatizing than any other type of auto accident. When a pedestrian is struck by a driver, the injuries can be catastrophic and even fatal. In 2019 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 6,000 pedestrian fatalities as a result of traffic crashes. If you are in an accident the Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Zirkin and Schmerling can help.
Not only are the physical injuries following a pedestrian accident devastating, but the emotional experience can be traumatizing as well. The pain and suffering one experiences as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle can alter their life and potentially limit their ability to work or perform other day-to-day activities. Some even suffer from severe emotional anguish and PTSD.
If you are injured as a pedestrian in a traffic accident, working with an experienced attorney can help. Taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind, but a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The financial responsibilities that follow an accident can be burdensome. You will likely have expensive medical bills to pay and miss out on wages while recovering in addition to other damages. However, a personal injury attorney can fight for your rights to hold the guilty party accountable and ensure you are adequately compensated to cover your needs.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have years of experience helping victims suffering in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident. We understand how emotionally and physically damaging a pedestrian accident injury can be and are here to help you receive the compassionate care and service you need to win your case and get the benefits you deserve.
How Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Maryland
Generally, pedestrian crashes occur due to driver negligence. However, it is possible for the pedestrian to have been disobeying the law or for both parties to share accountability. It simply depends on the circumstances.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way: When a driver or even a pedestrian disobeys right-of-way laws, it can lead to an accident. For example, if a car turns when a pedestrian has the signal and is crossing a crosswalk or when a pedestrian crosses the road in front of a moving vehicle where there is no crosswalk or cross signal.
- Distracted driving: Many things can distract a driver, such as the radio, other passengers, looking in the mirror, or even pets. But the number one cause of driver distraction these days is cell phone use. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even if just for a couple of seconds, they can end up hitting a pedestrian.
- Busy intersections: Busy intersections or other areas with heavy foot and car traffic can easily lead to pedestrian accidents. When there are cars and people all around, it can be easy to get confused or not see a pedestrian about to walk in your path.
- Reckless driving: Speeding and disobeying traffic signs and signals is also another common cause of pedestrian accidents. When a driver is operating their vehicle without care, they are more likely to cause an accident.
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication can impair your driving and lead to an accident. Those under the influence often have delayed reaction times and will have a much harder time stopping if a pedestrian steps out in front of them.
Common Maryland Pedestrian Accident Injuries
As pedestrians are more susceptible to injury without protection, their injuries tend to be more severe than motor vehicle passengers. The injuries can vary depending on how the accident occurs and where the pedestrian is struck, but they are often severe and can even be fatal.
Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Other head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Fractured bones
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers see many victims with severe injuries such as the ones listed above. Though some are worse than others, recovering from any injury can be complicated enough on its own, let alone having to deal with filing an injury claim or lawsuit. If you’ve suffered from an injuries and fatalities due to a pedestrian accident, our team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can handle all of the heavy work to get you the benefits you need while you focus on rest and recovery.
Liability in Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland
Pedestrians and drivers have right-of-way laws they must follow. While negligent driving is often the cause of pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian can share some of the blame if they were not obeying Maryland’s right-of-way rules. Unfortunately, Maryland is one of few states that still follow contributory negligence laws. This means that as a pedestrian, if you are found to be 1% responsible for the accident that occurred, you will not be eligible to receive compensation from the guilty party.
This is why working with an attorney is often necessary in these situations. An attorney can help you gather information and necessary evidence to help you win your case and prove the fault of the opposing party. When filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit in Maryland, you must be able to show the following to prove fault:
- The driver owed you (the pedestrian) a reasonable care of duty
- The driver acted negligently, thus breaching the duty of care
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident
- The damages you (the pedestrian) sustained were a result of the accident
Damages Awarded to Pedestrians
Following an accident, you can be awarded compensation for monetary damages, such as medical bills, and non-monetary damages, such as emotional distress. However, collecting these damages can sometimes be tricky as it involves proving the fault of the guilty party and proving the extent of your injuries and your pain and suffering.
Damages Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers can help you receive compensation for include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of current and future wages
- Physical therapy
- Emotional therapy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disability
In the event that a pedestrian dies as a result of the accident, their loved ones can pursue a wrongful death claim and survival action to recover damages. A wrongful death settlement can help loved ones get the money they need to cover losses such as the deceased victim’s income and other contributions they may have made to support the family.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
After you have been in an accident, you should always seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine initially. Your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority. Furthermore, proof that you were injured and sought emergency medical care can help you build a stronger case against the driver.
The following are the steps you should take following a pedestrian accident:
- Get yourself to safety. If possible, move out of the way of oncoming traffic to avoid putting yourself at further risk.
- Call 911 for the police and emergency medical responders.
- Get the immediate medical attention you need before addressing any other issues.
- If possible, take photographic evidence of the accident scene. This includes pictures of the scene as a whole, as well as close-up shots of vehicle damage, property damage, and your injuries.
- Gather witness statements and contact information, including the name of the person who hit you. Though police will collect this information as well for their report, it’s always helpful to have your own evidence to build a stronger case.
- Make sure an official police report is filed.
- Avoid saying anything that can be construed as admitting fault when talking to the police.
- Additionally, you should avoid speaking to any insurance companies until you have hired a lawyer.
- Keep copies of all medical receipts and documents relating to your injuries following the accident.
- Contact a lawyer.
Contact Experienced Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian-related motor vehicle crashes, our team of dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys can help. The injuries that follow a pedestrian accident are often devastating and potentially life-altering. You may experience both physical and emotional pain and suffering for the rest of your life. Even if your injuries aren’t severe, you still have the right to pursue compensation due to someone else’s negligent actions.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we will fight our hardest to win you the compensation you deserve. We understand how drastically a victim’s life can be altered by a tragic accident. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.