Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Maryland | Zirkin & Schmerling

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Maryland

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    Being a victim of a pedestrian accident can be devastating. Unlike motorists traveling in a vehicle, pedestrians have no protection whatsoever when struck while walking. Any injuries you sustain can impact your health and well-being, leading to long-term disability, reduced mobility, loss of income, and emotional distress. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help.

    If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in Maryland, the pedestrian accident attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling can help you pursue compensation for your personal injury.

    Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience and provide attentive service and compassionate representation. Contact our office today for a free consultation at 410-753-4611.

    $275,000 Pedestrian Accident Settlement

    Our client was walking down a sidewalk when they were struck by a car backing out of a driveway. Our client sustained a leg injury that required arthroscopic knee surgery. The at-fault driver’s insurance had a policy commitment of $100,000, and we successfully negotiated for the full payment of that policy. Our client, possessing an underinsured motorist policy of $300,000, initially resisted paying any part of it. In response, we filed a lawsuit, ultimately reaching a settlement of $275,000 against our underinsured motorist. This resulted in an additional $175,000 secured against our underinsured motorist coverage. 

    $50,000 Pedestrian Settlement

    A pedestrian was involved in a vehicle collision, and the driver alleged that an elusive phantom vehicle forced them out of their lane, resulting in the impact with our client. Our client sustained soft tissue injuries. The situation became highly complex, with the initially presumed at-fault party blaming another vehicle that had left the scene. Initially, everyone pointed fingers at each other, especially when the vehicle presumed to be at fault shifted blame to a vehicle that had departed the scene. The existence of this vehicle couldn’t be proven, and our underinsured motorist insisted it never existed, placing fault on the other party. After persistent efforts, we managed to secure coverage from our client’s underinsured motorist policy. Today, they have offered the policy limits of $50,000.

    Compensation for Pedestrians Hit by Cars

    pedestrian accident attorneys

    Pedestrian accident claims can yield different types of compensation. The personal injury compensation depends on factors like the circumstances and the severity of the injuries as well as car insurance policy limits.  

    A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you review the types of damages you may have incurred because of your accident. Economic compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, or other financial losses resulting from the accident.  

    Meanwhile, non-economic damages address intangible costs, including physical or emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish and trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, or the negative impact the injuries have on the victim’s relationship with their spouse. 

    Lastly, if a pedestrian dies because of an accident, the surviving family members might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim with the at fault party’s car insurance, seeking compensation for the emotional and financial impact of their loss.  

    Causes of Pedestrian Accidents 

    There are many causes of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accident lawyers can identify the cause of a pedestrian accident so the at-fault party, such as another driver or a vehicle manufacturer, is held responsible and provides compensation. 

    Among the most common causes of pedestrian accident cases are:

    pedestrian traffic deaths
    • Speeding – In 2020, 60% of all pedestrian deaths occurred on urban roads that typically have posted speed limits of 45-55 miles per hour.
    • Failure of a pedestrian or driver to yield the right of way – This may be due to inattentiveness, impatience, or the driver of the other motor vehicle ignoring the laws.
    • The driver or pedestrian was intoxicated – Alcohol was a factor for the driver and/or pedestrian in almost half of crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths in 2021. 
    • Driver fatigue – A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 328,000 drowsy driving crashes occur annually. 
    • Distracted drivers or pedestrians – Manual, visual, and cognitive distractions prevent drivers and pedestrians from paying attention to the road. As you may have guessed, smartphones are the most prevalent cause of distracted driving.  
    • Jaywalking – Vehicle drivers don’t expect someone to dash out into the road without a crosswalk.
    • Pedestrians failing to look both ways before crossing – Failing to look left, right, and left again before crossing can lead to a pedestrian accident that can cause serious injuries.  
    • Pedestrians stepping out into traffic – When a pedestrian darts into the road, the driver may have insufficient time to react promptly. Consequently, they may strike the pedestrian and cause massive injuries.
    • Dark clothing and impaired visibility – It is hard to see pedestrians in poorly lit areas, especially if they wear dark clothing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 77% of pedestrian traffic deaths occurred at night in 2021. If you’re walking at night, wear light or reflective clothing and consider carrying a flashlight to avoid serious injury.
    • Pedestrians working or playing in a roadway – A driver may not see the pedestrian in time to avoid a collision.
    • Weather conditions – Rain, fog, snow, and wet pavement put pedestrian safety at risk.
    • Poor road designSmart Growth America found that even during the pandemic, when fewer people were driving, pedestrian deaths rose, primarily due to poor road design in some states that move vehicles quickly at the expense of other street users. 
    • Vehicle defects – When cars have defective equipment, drivers may struggle to maintain control, leading to accidents involving pedestrians. These defects can result in unexpected and sudden movements, making it challenging for drivers to respond promptly and avoid collisions with people walking nearby. Additionally, visibility issues caused by defective headlights or turn signals may contribute to pedestrians being unseen, especially during low-light conditions and can cause a pedestrian accident.
    Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation today.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    How Often Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur in the United States and Maryland?

    Pedestrian accidents are a persistent problem in Maryland and the United States. One pedestrian dies every 80 to 85 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 20 people a day lose their lives after being hit by a motor vehicle. 

    maryland pedestrian accidents

    The nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Administration believes that motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian deaths have skyrocketed because law enforcement agencies across the country initially reduced traffic enforcement spending during the pandemic. The lack of enforcement made drivers more likely to drive recklessly and engage in other high-risk behaviors, such as drinking and driving.

    In 2021, Maryland had 2.09 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents. Although the number of pedestrian-involved road accidents in Maryland declined from 3,466 in 2017 to 2,548 in 2021, they increased by 9 percent from 2020 to 2021. 

    Every year, Maryland vehicle drivers are involved in around 3,000 pedestrian crashes. In 2021, they accounted for less than three percent of the state’s 109,000 car accidents but accounted for almost 23 percent of the fatalities. From 2017 to 2021, one of every four people killed in the state in a motor vehicle accident was a pedestrian. 

    Where Do Pedestrian Crashes Occur in Maryland?

    Unsurprisingly, Maryland’s metropolitan areas have the highest concentration of pedestrian accidents. Between 2017 and 2021, 92 percent were in the Baltimore and Washington metro areas. 

    vulnerable road user law

    Although most pedestrian accidents happen in Baltimore City (31 percent), Prince George’s County had the most pedestrian fatalities (24 percent). 

    Maryland has taken steps to try to protect pedestrians and reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In 2021, it instituted the Maryland Vulnerable Road User Law, which mandates stricter penalties for those who harm “vulnerable individuals” while operating a motor vehicle. Among those Maryland defines as “vulnerable individuals” are pedestrians, cyclists, road workers, and emergency personnel. 

    In addition, anyone charged with violating that law must appear in court, and a conviction can result in a fine of up to $2,000, participation in a motor vehicle safety course, and up to 150 hours of community service. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will also suspend a convicted driver’s license for at least seven days and up to six months. 

    What Vehicles Pose the Greatest Risk to Pedestrians?

    When it comes to how pedestrian accidents occur, not all vehicles are alike. While speeding and poorly designed infrastructure have helped fuel the increase, many safety advocates have also drawn a connection to the growing number of pickup trucks and SUVs.

    pedestrian crashes

    The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that pickups, SUVs, and vans with hoods taller than 40 inches are 45 times more likely to cause fatalities in pedestrian crashes than vehicles with hoods lower than 30 inches.

    Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation today.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

    Pedestrian accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries. The seriousness of the pedestrian injury depends on many factors, including how fast the vehicle is going, what part of the body it hits first, and the impact angle. Some of the most common injuries are: 

    • Broken bones: Leg fractures in the tibia, femur, or both are common. 
    • Traumatic brain injuries: If a car collides with a pedestrian and causes them to hit their head against a solid object such as a lamppost, they are likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury. Many traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries and require surgery.
    • Concussion: A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Signs of concussions are cognitive changes such as difficulty remembering information, confusion, or difficulty concentrating. 
    • Spinal cord injuries: If a pedestrian’s back impacts a solid object, they may have spinal cord injuries. These injuries can cause permanent paralyzation.
    • Internal injuries: If a vehicle traveling at a high speed hits a pedestrian, it may cause damage to internal organs, including the lungs, heart, and intestines. 
    • Soft tissue injury: Lacerations and cuts are common among pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents.
    • PTSD: PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is a common pedestrian injury and can cause nightmares, flashbacks, sleeping difficulties, fear, guilt, or avoidance of activities related to the event. 
    crossing the street safety laws

    Maryland Safety Laws

    Maryland’s safety laws target drivers and pedestrians to reduce pedestrian/car collisions and promote pedestrian safety.  

    According to Maryland’s driver laws, drivers: 

    • Must stop completely and allow pedestrians to cross the street in a marked crosswalk if the pedestrian is on the half of the road where they are driving or approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half.
    • May not pass another vehicle stopped for a pedestrian, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked.
    • Must yield right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
    • May not block a crosswalk. 
    • Paying attention and yielding to pedestrians when turning on red.
    • Must honk the horn and steer away if a pedestrian appears confused, incapacitated, or unaware.  
    • Drive at reduced speeds in areas dangerous for pedestrians or high pedestrian traffic. 

    Maryland’s pedestrian laws mandate pedestrians: 

    • Follow traffic signals, and don’t enter a crosswalk or roadway if the light is red.
    • Don’t cross if there is a raised orange hand or the sign says “Don’t Walk,” even if there is no traffic. 
    • Give vehicles the right of way when not in a crosswalk.
    • Use marked crosswalks when available.
    • Don’t cross intersections diagonally unless directed by signals or a police officer.
    • Always use sidewalks when available.  

    Who is Liable for a Maryland Pedestrian Accident?

    It depends. Both pedestrians and drivers have right-of-way laws they must follow. Although a negligent driver is often the cause of accidents, injured pedestrians can also share part of the blame if they don’t obey Maryland’s right-of-way rules.  

    Maryland follows contributory negligence rules, which means that a pedestrian struck by a negligent driver won’t receive any compensation for damages if they played any role in their injury, even if their contribution was minimal.

    You should work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to assist with your pedestrian accident claim. A pedestrian accident attorney can help you gather the information and evidence you need to seek compensation from the insurance company of the at fault driver if you sustain a severe injury.

    To prove fault when filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit and pursue a personal injury claim in Maryland, injury victims must show: 

    1. The driver owed a reasonable care of duty
    2. The driver breached that duty by driving negligently 
    3. The breach was the cause of the car accident
    4. The damages were a result of the accident
    Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation today.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    What Should You Do Immediately After a Pedestrian Accident?

    Being involved in a pedestrian accident is scary and overwhelming. As a pedestrian injured in a collision, what you do at the accident scene can help determine how quickly you recover and what type of financial compensation you receive for future medical expenses and other damages.

    First and foremost, seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Without a proper diagnosis, you won’t be able to seek damages for future medical expenses and lost wages related to that injury. If you can’t move, stay still and wait for medical help.

    You must also get the driver’s information, including their address and insurance company, witness names, and phone numbers. Don’t talk extensively or admit fault. 

    Call the police or emergency services to report the accident so you have official documentation for your pedestrian accident claim. In addition, if you can, take photos or videos of the scene, including all involved, visible injuries, road conditions, traffic signs and signals, and any other details.

    Once you’ve seen a medical professional, keep records of your treatment and bills and contact your own insurance company even though you were not driving. You may need to utilize your uninsured motorist coverage if the at fault party does not have bodily injury liability coverage. 

    How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

    While accidents and pedestrian fatalities are common, they are also preventable. Here’s what you can do:  

    • Cross the street at intersections and crosswalks only. Avoid walking between cars.
    • Don’t use your cell phone so you focus on what is happening around you.
    • Use the sidewalk when you can and watch for vehicles backing out of driveways.
    • Face traffic so you can see the cars and the drivers can see you.
    • Watch your young children closely, hold their hands, and teach them safety rules.
    • Look left, right, and left again.
    • When you cross the street, assume the driver can’t see you. 
    • Wearing bright clothing can make you more visible and help you stand out from parked cars and dim areas. 
    • Walk in a predictable manner, following established walking patterns. Sudden movements can surprise drivers and lead to accidents.
    • Establish eye contact with drivers before crossing the road. This ensures that they see you and are aware of your intention to cross.
    Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation today.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    What Can an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Do for You?

    As an injured pedestrian, you must obtain legal representation from a personal injury law firm. A personal injury attorney has the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complicated legal process.

    Here’s how they can help: 

    •  Personal injury lawyers can help determine fault. 
    • An accident lawyer can help determine the value of your claim beyond medical bills for a fair settlement amount. 
    • Injury lawyers protect your rights by negotiating with the driver’s and your insurance companies.  

    Most importantly, pedestrian accident lawyers allow you to focus on your personal injury recovery so you can get on with your life as soon as possible.

    Zirkin & Schmerling: Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

    finding a lawyer after a pedestrian accident

    If you have been in a pedestrian motor vehicle accident, an accident lawyer can guide you through the personal injury claim process. When you hire a personal injury attorneys, you are entitled to prompt resolution, personal attention, an unwavering commitment to getting you the compensation you deserve, and highly personal attention. You need the best pedestrian accident lawyer. We can help.

    The dedicated legal team at Zirkin & Schmerling understands the consequences of pedestrian injuries caused by pedestrian accidents are often devastating and potentially life-altering.

    We are 100% committed to fighting to get you the personal injury compensation you deserve, whether your pedestrian accident case was catastrophic or minor. Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer for a free consultation today at 410-753-4611.

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