Every time you step into your vehicle, you are aware that you are putting yourself at some level of risk that you might be in an accident. However, you are also protected by the car around you and the safety features that are part of the car. Pedestrians do not have the same opportunity. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23% of car accident fatalities every year are pedestrians who did not have a vehicle to help protect them. Whether it’s a driver ignoring a stop sign or turning without looking first, if you are injured in a pedestrian accident, it can be devastating. What should you do after you’ve been hit?
Who Is Considered a Pedestrian?
The law considers a pedestrian anyone who is walking on the road, walking on a sidewalk or crossing the street. In Maryland, fault can be on the pedestrian and not just the driver. The state will consider who had the duty of care, as everyone using the road needs to follow the rules that govern the road regardless of whether they are walking or driving. What makes a driver negligent? Something like not following the speed limit or running through a red light would make them at fault, as they did not follow the rules of the road. What makes a property owner at fault? If they failed to maintain their property in a safe manner, whether that’s as a result of the driveway or the lawn, they could be held at fault. However, pedestrians can also be found to be at fault if they ignored the walk signal or were jaywalking. This is why you need an experienced attorney to fight for you if you are injured in a pedestrian accident.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are hit by a car, you should first try your hardest to remain calm. If you were seriously injured, you should remain as still as possible while you wait for emergency assistance to arrive. If there is nobody there to call emergency services and police, you should do so. Even if you only think that you have a few scrapes and bruises, you should still take a trip to the emergency room or doctor if you are injured in a pedestrian accident. Receiving a medical exam can identify things that might become future problems once the adrenaline has worn off. This exam will also be particularly important if you might need to file a claim with the other insurance company or want to get your attorney involved.
What Evidence Should You Collect?
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident but able to speak with others on the scene, you should take care to collect as much evidence as you can. Do not worry if you cannot move and collect information, as your health and safety are most important. If you can get information, make sure that you get the details of the driver. Write down or record their name, contact information, license plate number, insurance provider and the type of car that they were driving. If you can, you should also take pictures of the area where the accident occurred. How was the car positioned? What did the surrounding area look like? What are your injuries that are visible after the accident? If there are witnesses present, you should also gather their information so that they could be used as testimony in a case.
Contact Your Attorney
When you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to secure representation as soon as possible. Hoffman, Comfort, Offut, Scott & Halstad LPP has a great deal of experience working with accident victims, and we will help to ensure that you are protected through every step of the recovery process. Protecting your legal rights is our mission, and if your quality of life is negatively impacted by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you deserve monetary compensation. We have the experience necessary to help ensure that you get what you deserve.
What Are the Maryland Laws for Pedestrians?
As a pedestrian on Maryland roadways, you should understand what laws you are expected to obey to avoid having liability attached to your injury. Some of the laws that pedestrians are expected to abide by include:
- You cannot enter the road if you are facing a steady red light
- You cannot cross the street toward a solid “don’t walk” sign
- You have to yield the right of way to a vehicle if you are crossing the road anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk that is at an intersection
- You can only cross the street in a marked crosswalk if you are in between adjacent intersections where there is a traffic signal
- If there is a sidewalk present, you have to use the sidewalk and cannot walk on the road. If there is no sidewalk, you can walk on the road or shoulder of the road
In the same way that there are laws that you are expected to follow, there are also many laws that drivers are required to follow to ensure your safety. When one side does not obey the law, you can end up injured in a pedestrian accident. Whether you are at fault or don’t think that you are, contact us for representation.
Help for Accident Victims After a Pedestrian Accident
Hoffman, Comfort, Offut, Scott & Halstad LPP is an established law practice dedicated to assisting auto accident victims throughout Maryland. We specialize in wills, estates, trusts, family law, personal injury law, business law, elder law and real estate law. To get in touch or schedule your consultation, call us at your convenience at (410) 848-4444. We are here to help you get the restitution that you deserve and start on the path to healing.