Pedestrian safety is a critical issue, as accidents involving pedestrians often result in severe injuries, given their vulnerable position relative to motor vehicles. Despite pedestrian safety laws in place, accidents still occur due to negligent drivers, inadequate infrastructure, or other factors. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, understanding your rights and the legal recourse available to you is imperative. As an experienced personal injury law firm in Maryland, The Law Office of Ben Evan is committed to guiding victims and their families through the complexities of pedestrian accident cases and securing the justice they deserve.
Equipping yourself with knowledge about pedestrian safety laws and understanding the process of seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident is crucial to protecting your rights. This blog post emphasizes the value of consulting with a dedicated personal injury attorney, like those at The Law Office of Ben Evan, to help navigate your pedestrian accident case, ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Pedestrian Safety Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, pedestrian safety laws have been established to protect both pedestrians and drivers, aiming to reduce the number of accidents and ensure safe roadways. It’s important for all road users to understand these laws and their respective responsibilities:
1. Right-of-way: Pedestrians have the right-of-way at both marked and unmarked crosswalks, and drivers must yield to them. However, pedestrians must not suddenly enter the path of a vehicle, making it impossible for the driver to yield.
2. Signals and Crosswalks: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, including pedestrian-specific signals like “Walk” and “Don’t Walk.” If there is no signal present at a marked crosswalk, pedestrians should exercise caution and only proceed if it is safe to do so.
3. Walking Along Roadways: Maryland law mandates that pedestrians use sidewalks where available. In the absence of a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
By adhering to these pedestrian safety laws, both pedestrians and drivers can help prevent accidents and maintain safer roadways in Maryland.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents. Some common causes include:
1. Distracted Driving: Drivers engaging in texting, phone calls, or other distractions while behind the wheel may fail to notice pedestrians, increasing the risk of an accident.
2. Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds reduces reaction times and increases stopping distances, making it challenging for drivers to avoid collisions with pedestrians.
3. Alcohol or Drug Impairment: Impaired drivers are more likely to exhibit poor judgment, delayed reaction times, and impaired coordination, which can lead to pedestrian accidents.
4. Poor Visibility: Poor lighting or adverse weather conditions may hinder a driver’s ability to see pedestrians, especially those wearing dark clothing or crossing the road improperly.
5. Left Turns: Accidents often occur when drivers make left turns without noticing pedestrians in the crosswalk, as their attention may be focused on oncoming traffic.
Understanding these common causes can help both pedestrians and drivers take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of accidents.
Determining Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
Establishing liability in pedestrian accidents involves determining which party’s negligence contributed to the incident. In many cases, the driver may be found liable due to factors such as speeding, distraction, or impairment. However, Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that if the pedestrian is found even partially responsible for the accident, they may be precluded from recovering any compensation. Examples of pedestrian negligence may include:
1. Disregarding traffic signals or crossing when the “Don’t Walk” sign is displayed
2. Crossing the road outside a marked crosswalk or “jaywalking”
3. Walking along a roadway while intoxicated
Because of the contributory negligence rule, it is especially important for pedestrians to exercise caution and adhere to safety laws to protect their rights in the event of an accident.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages related to your injuries. Some common types of damages in pedestrian accident claims include:
1. Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and future medical costs related to your injuries.
2. Lost Wages: Reimbursement for lost income due to time off work during your recovery, as well as compensation for any loss of future earning capacity.
3. Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma experienced as a result of the accident.
4. Disfigurement or Permanent Disability: Compensation for lasting physical impacts, such as scars or disabilities that may affect your quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.
To pursue these damages effectively, consider taking the following steps:
1. Document Your Injuries: Seek immediate medical care after your accident and keep thorough records of all treatments, diagnoses, and expenses.
2. Preserve Evidence: Collect and safeguard any relevant evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and surveillance footage, if available.
3. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, protect your rights, and advocate on your behalf to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Conclusion: Partner with The Law Office of Ben Evan to Pursue Justice in Your Pedestrian Accident Case
Navigating the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. At The Law Office of Ben Evan in Maryland, our dedicated and compassionate team of personal injury attorneys is committed to supporting you through the legal process and advocating for your rights. Trust our expertise to guide you toward a successful resolution in your pedestrian accident case. Contact The Law Office of Ben Evan at 301-423-8100 or visit us at 5210 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746 today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards recovery.