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What Is Considered A Pedestrian Accident Under Personal Injury Law?

In order to define a pedestrian accident under personal injury law, it is necessary to first define pedestrian. A pedestrian is a person on foot near a public highway or on the roadway, and if a pedestrian (as defined) is involved in a collision with a car or a bicycle, that would be considered a pedestrian accident.

Are Bicyclists Considered To Be Pedestrians As Well?

In Maryland, bicyclists are considered to be motorists and bicycles are considered automobiles.

What Is The First Thing That Someone Looking To File A Pedestrian Accident Claim Should Do?

If someone is looking to file a pedestrian accident claim, the first thing they need to do is seek treatment. A person is more protected when they are in a car, as opposed to a person on foot who will experience a direct impact. After seeking treatment, a person should contact the driver’s insurance company. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, then the owner’s insurance company should be contacted. In addition, anyone who has to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim should contact their own insurance carrier as well, which is something that many people forget to do, or do not believe is necessary.

What If I Was Partially At Fault For The Accident?

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC are covered by the law of contributory negligence, which means that if someone contributed at all to an accident, then they might be precluded from obtaining any sort of recovery. However, it is not as though a person’s negligence would automatically disqualify them. This is because there are defenses that can be considered; especially if there is the right set of facts and circumstances, like last clear chance. Even if a pedestrian was in the wrong, a motorist cannot decide he/she is going to run the pedestrian over. With that said, a person may be precluded from recovery if their actions contributed to an accident by even one percent.

What If I Was At Fault Due To Walking Off The Crosswalk Or Running On The Street?

If a pedestrian’s negligence was the approximate cause of an accident and there are no viable defenses for that pedestrian, then they may be unable to receive recovery. If an insurance company learns that a pedestrian was crossing the street against the light, meaning that the hand signal did not tell them to proceed, or they were walking outside of the crosswalk, then they will decide not to pay. If a pedestrian was acting prudently by obeying the light signals and not darting in and out of traffic, then they will have a good chance of winning a case on liability. However, once a pedestrian has been found to be negligent or careless, it becomes a steeper hill to climb to prove they should be paid. As a result, insurance companies and jurors will not want to award the pedestrian for being careless. In situations where pedestrians dart into the street, jurors (usually) put themselves in the position of the driver and think to themselves “if that was me, I wouldn’t want to be on the hook for millions of dollars because of someone’s reckless behavior.”

Under The Law, What Responsibilities Do Motorists Have With Regard To Pedestrians?

Under the law, motorists have a duty to watch out for people on foot. The injuries suffered by pedestrians are usually more severe than they are for the person who was driving the vehicle, so drivers must exercise due care to make sure they do everything they can to avoid an accident. This is true even if the pedestrian was crossing illegally or otherwise doing something wrong. Drivers should honk their horn and swerve if they can do so without hitting someone else or putting their own life in danger.

For more information on Pedestrian Accident Claim In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 400-2350 today.

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