The first thing you should know is that Maryland is a contributory negligence state. That means that any injured person will not be able to recover any compensation for pain and suffering if the injured person is found to be 1% at fault for being struck by the vehicle.
Both drivers and pedestrians are required to be reasonably careful and to follow the rules of the road at all times. You can find out more in the Maryland laws and lawsuits for pedestrian accident injuries.
It is essential for an injured pedestrian to hire an attorney who has made significant recoveries for pedestrians struck by motor vehicles.
Why Pedestrians Are so Vulnerable in traffic?
Unlike drivers and passengers in cars, pedestrians are not shielded by the metal frame of the car nor are pedestrians protected by seatbelts, airbags, or helmets. In fact, when a pedestrian is hit by a car he/she/they are usually thrown to the ground. Oftentimes, both impacts cause injuries.
Sometimes, more than one car hits the pedestrian. And there might even be a two-car collision, and the pedestrian could get caught in the middle of it. Pedestrian accidents generally result in severe injuries and often result in the death of the pedestrian.
Could the Pedestrian Be at Fault in an Accident?
Even though pedestrians are the ones who suffer the brunt of the injuries when they are struck by a car, pedestrians are regularly found to be at fault for the accident because they did not follow the rules of the roadway.
These rules of the roadway require pedestrians to walk in crosswalks or their equivalent when crossing streets, and, if there is a stoplight, pedestrians may only cross when the pedestrian walk signal is lit up. Unfortunately, people often jaywalk, which means that they cross a street where there is no crosswalk, or cross an intersection when the pedestrian signal is red, indicating that pedestrians do not have the right of way. Pedestrians are required to take great care to protect themselves from getting injured in traffic.
When Are Drivers Found at Fault?
Drivers are typically found to be at fault for hitting pedestrians who are crossing a crosswalk in accordance with an activated/lit up walk signal. Drivers are also required to pay reasonable attention to the roadway and to obey the speed limit and traffic control devices.
If drivers neglect their duties, such as driving while impaired or distracted, for example by texting or talking on the phone, the drivers may be found solely at fault for striking the pedestrian.
What Should a Pedestrian Do When He Or She Is Injured in an Accident?
When pedestrians are injured in an accident, they should immediately call the police and make sure that the responding officer files a report. It is crucial for the injured pedestrian to obtain the contact information of all persons who may have watched the accident. If possible, and if it is safe to do so, both the pedestrian and those who watched the accident should remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Naturally, injured pedestrians’ adrenaline levels become elevated after being hit by a vehicle. This is also known as the fight or flight response. Typically, when a person’s fight or flight responses activates, a person may not initially feel pain. The pain often develops and increases as the adrenaline levels return to baseline. Therefore, it is best practice for injured pedestrians to immediately seek medical attention, either by way of ambulance or by private vehicle to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Emergency rooms and many urgent care facilities have radiological imaging devices that can check internal and non visible injuries, such as fractures, herniations, and ruptures.
Pedestrians often suffer serious injuries when they are struck by cars, such injuries include fractures to the arms, legs, pelvis, and vertebrae which may lead to paralysis, bruising and road rash, cuts and lacerations, concussions and traumatic brain damage, bleeding and ruptures of the internal organs, and sprains and strains.
What Can Help a Pedestrian Injury Victim’s Case?
Careful documentation of all injuries and treatment received for those injuries is crucial. It’s also important to follow all the instructions you get from your doctors and specialists. Be upfront and honest with your medical providers. Don’t try to “tough it out,” tell your providers exactly how you feel, including any levels of pain you are experiencing so that your providers can effectively treat your injuries and make necessary recommendations. The goal is for you to reach the maximum level of recovery and that may be prolonged or may not be accomplished if your provider is not aware that you are suffering from lingering pain.
Also create a record for any other losses you are suffering due to your injuries, whether it is your quality of life, lost wages, difficulty performing your job duties, or inability to participate in hobbies that you did before you became an injured pedestrian.
File a claim with the insurance company right away. Keep a folder of all of your documents, including witness information, pictures, videos, lost wage documentation, work excuses written by doctors, journals, discharge summaries, etc. You want to give your case the best chance you can.
Most importantly, you’ll need an experienced pedestrian injury attorney who has your back and will fight for you and who will work tirelessly to get you compensated for your injuries and losses. We have the experience to help you. Call us or email us for a free case evaluation. We’ll be happy to talk with you.