Navigating Pedestrian Accident Claims: Rights and Responsibilities in Maryland

With an increasing emphasis on pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and promoting eco-friendly transportation, the number of pedestrians on Maryland’s roads and sidewalks is steadily growing. As a result, pedestrian accidents have become a real concern, and understanding one’s rights and responsibilities is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers alike. This article will provide insight into Maryland’s pedestrian laws, the factors that contribute to accidents, and the importance of hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer to help navigate the claims process.

We aim to educate readers on the essential aspects of pedestrian rights and responsibilities in Maryland, such as the legal obligation to use crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and exercise due care in avoiding potential hazards. We will also cover the responsibilities of drivers and how both pedestrians and drivers might share liability in certain accident scenarios. Additionally, we will delve into the elements that must be proven for a successful pedestrian accident claim and emphasize the need for professional legal assistance in navigating this process.

Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities in Maryland

Understanding pedestrian rights and responsibilities in Maryland is essential for promoting road safety:

1. Use Crosswalks: Maryland law requires pedestrians to use crosswalks whenever they are available. If no crosswalk is present, pedestrians should cross the street at a right angle to ensure the shortest crossing distance.

2. Obey Traffic Signals: Pedestrians must follow traffic signals and signs, including “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signals at intersections.

3. Exercise Due Care: Pedestrians have a legal duty to exercise care in avoiding potential hazards. This means staying alert, avoiding distractions while walking, and not assuming that drivers see them or will yield the right-of-way.

4. Stay on Sidewalks: Where sidewalks are available, pedestrians must use them. Walking on the roadway is not permitted unless there is no sidewalk or other suitable path.

Driver Responsibilities and Shared Liability

Drivers also have essential responsibilities to help prevent pedestrian accidents:

1. Yield to Pedestrians: Maryland law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within crosswalks, including unmarked crosswalks at intersections.

2. Exercise Caution: Drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and must give warning by sounding the horn, if necessary.

3. Shared Liability: In some scenarios, both the pedestrian and the driver may be at fault for an accident, resulting in shared liability under Maryland’s contributory negligence law.

Elements of a Successful Pedestrian Accident Claim

To successfully pursue compensation in a pedestrian accident claim, the following elements must be proven:

1. Duty of Care: The driver had a legal duty to exercise care while operating their vehicle and had an obligation to avoid causing harm to pedestrians.

2. Breach of Duty: The driver failed to uphold this duty of care, whether by violating traffic laws, driving recklessly, or failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian.

3. Causation: The driver’s breach of duty directly resulted in the pedestrian’s injury.

4. Damages: The pedestrian suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, as a result of the driver’s negligence.

The Importance of a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

Given the complexities of pedestrian accident claims, having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side is invaluable:

1. Investigating the Accident: A skilled attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, collecting evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage to help build a strong case.

2. Proving Liability: Your attorney will work diligently to establish the driver’s liability and prove that their negligence caused your injuries.

3. Overcoming Contributory Negligence: In Maryland, a plaintiff who is found even partially at fault for an accident may be barred from receiving compensation under the state’s contributory negligence law. Your attorney can help argue your case and reduce any potential liability, allowing you to seek compensation for your damages.

4. Negotiating Settlements: An experienced personal injury lawyer will handle settlement negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries without having to endure a lengthy court battle.


Pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injuries, and understanding your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian or driver is crucial for navigating these incidents. By adhering to Maryland’s pedestrian laws and obtaining legal support from a skilled attorney, injury victims can increase their chances of reaching a favorable outcome in their accident claims.

The experienced legal team at The Law Office of Ben Evan is dedicated to helping injury victims in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. With our experience in personal injury claims, we will guide you through this complex process, advocating for your rights and providing invaluable support every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you on your path toward justice and recovery.

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