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Walking or running is a great form of exercise and a good way to get around when you live in a pedestrian-friendly city. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents remain a major problem in Maryland. In 2021, 131 people were killed in pedestrian accidents. To date in 2022, 82 people have been killed after being struck by motor vehicles in our state.
If you are hit by a car, truck, or SUV as a pedestrian, you can usually file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for your injuries. However, if you were jaywalking at the time of the crash, Maryland’s harsh contributory negligence laws may limit your ability to file a claim. Under these rules, if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident, the case may be dismissed.
At DuBoff & Associates, we advocate for injury victims throughout Maryland – including pedestrians who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with a Silver Spring pedestrian accident lawyer.
When you were learning to drive, you may have heard the phrase “pedestrians have the right of way.” In Maryland, this isn’t strictly true. While drivers are encouraged to exercise care regarding pedestrians, walkers and runners only have the right-of-way when they are in a crosswalk.
Maryland law provides that pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching a roadway when they are not crossing in a designated crosswalk. Specifically, these laws provide that:
Importantly, there are some exceptions to the general rule that pedestrians must cross a street in a marked crosswalk. For example, Maryland law provides that a pedestrian has the right of way when the sidewalk is elongated on both sides of the roadway. This functions as an invisible crosswalk.
Pedestrians are also required to follow all traffic control signals. They are also forbidden from suddenly leaving a curb or other place of safety to walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
Jaywalking includes any type of illegal pedestrian crossing of a road. While this term is not used in the Maryland Code, an individual can still be ticketed for jaywalking in several different scenarios. This includes:
The fines for a jaywalking citation range from $40 to $500. While it is unusual to be ticketed for jaywalking, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore laws on the rights and duties of pedestrians. If you are hit by a motor vehicle while illegally crossing the road, it could affect your ability to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
As a general rule, if you are hit by a car, truck, bus, or another motor vehicle when you are walking or running, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. However, your ability to file a claim may be limited if you were jaywalking at the time of the accident.
Most states allow an injury victim to pursue financial compensation for an accident even if they were partially at fault. Maryland is one of just a handful of jurisdictions – along with Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Washington, DC – where an accident victim can be barred from filing a personal injury lawsuit if they were even slightly at fault.
In the majority of states, an individual can file a pedestrian accident lawsuit even if they were somewhat at fault for the crash – such as if they were jaywalking. Their total recovery will then be reduced by the percentage that they were at fault.
Maryland is different. Under its contributory negligence laws, accident victims cannot file a lawsuit against an at-fault party if they were more than 1% responsible for the accident. As a result, pedestrians who were hit by a motor vehicle while jaywalking may not be able to recover any financial compensation for their injuries – even if they were severely hurt.
In a pedestrian accident case involving jaywalking, the driver’s insurance company will typically use the contributory negligence laws as a reason to deny the claim. This does not mean that it is impossible to file a lawsuit for a pedestrian accident if you were jaywalking at the time. A skilled Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer car accident attorney may be able to argue that you were 1% or less at fault for the crash – and fight for your right to full compensation.
How Pedestrians Can Stay Safe in Maryland
The rules about when and where pedestrians can cross the road exist for a reason: to keep people safe. Using marked crosswalks whenever possible is critical to reducing the risk of being hit by a car. If a marked or “invisible” crosswalk is not available, you should always try to cross at an intersection rather than cutting across the street. You should never assume that vehicles will see you or that they will stop for you.
In addition to increasing your safety, using crosswalks and abiding by Maryland law is also a good way to protect your legal rights. Maryland’s contributory negligence rules can be incredibly unfair. If you follow these laws, the insurance company won’t be able to deny your claim outright based on jaywalking. Instead, you’ll be able to seek justice through a personal injury lawsuit.
Pedestrian accidents can lead to devastating or even fatal injuries. While injury victims can often file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation for their injuries, they may be barred from doing so if they were even slightly at fault for the crash. Our law firm will work with you to put together the strongest possible claim for damages.
With offices in Silver Spring and Baltimore, DuBoff & Associates represents accident victims throughout Maryland. Our legal team has a track record of success, fighting to get our clients the money that they deserve for their injuries. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Maryland pedestrian accident attorney, give us a call at 301-495-3131 or fill out our online contact form.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years. With a few exceptions, this means that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, then the insurance company will likely deny your claim or seek to have the case dismissed because it was not brought within the statute of limitations.
Although it can be overwhelming to consider pursuing legal action immediately after a pedestrian accident, acting quickly can help to preserve your legal rights. Contact DuBoff & Associates to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.
Yes. In some situations, an individual can handle an accident claim on their own – such as if they suffered no injuries and the case only involves property damage. But pedestrian accident cases are different because it is incredibly unlikely that a person would not be hurt after being struck by a motor vehicle. If you have any injuries at all – even minor injuries – you should consult with a personal injury lawyer.
A skilled attorney can put together a strong claim for damages, including arguing against the application of the contributory negligence rule. Reach out to DuBoff & Associates to schedule a free consultation with a Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer.
The value of your claim depends on several factors, including how severe your injuries are, whether you are expected to make a full recovery and the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. In addition, the contributory negligence rule may also affect the value of your claim.
The best way to get an idea of how much your claim is worth is to consult with a Silver Spring pedestrian accident attorney. During a free consultation, they will listen to your story, advise you of your legal options, and give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. Call DuBoff & Associates today to learn more about how we can help.
Being in a car accident can be incredibly traumatic – and may result in steep bills for property damage, medical treatment, and more. In many cases, your losses will be paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your own losses, then you can file a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your own insurance company.
Uninsured motorist coverage is required in Maryland. Drivers also have the option to select enhanced underinsured motorist (EUIM) coverage when purchasing or renewing a policy. EUIM policies provide additional protection because you can access the full limits of your policy in addition to recovering financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. In this way, you can maximize your compensation for your injuries.
DuBoff & Associates represents injury victims throughout Maryland in all types of motor vehicle accidents. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. If you have been injured in any type of car, truck, or motorcycle accident, give us a call to talk to a member of our legal team.
In Maryland, all private passenger vehicle insurance policies must either have uninsured motorist (UM) or enhanced underinsured motorist coverage (EUIM). These policies are intended to protect motorists who are involved in an accident with a driver who is either uninsured or who lacks sufficient insurance to cover their losses.
UM policies ensure that drivers who are in an accident with a driver who either doesn’t have insurance or who only has minimal insurance can still recover financial compensation for their losses. This type of coverage is important because Maryland has relatively low minimum car insurance requirements:
For anything other than a relatively minor motor vehicle accident, it is incredibly easy to meet these limits. For example, consider a situation where you are involved in a crash with a driver who only has the minimum insurance. You suffer a broken bone and a head injury, and your car has $20,000 in damage. Your medical bills are $35,000 – and rising.
Without UM coverage, you would be limited to the 30/60/15 policy limits. This means that you would be on the hook for any losses that exceed the policy limits. With UM coverage, you can seek compensation for your losses from your own insurance company.
EUIM is a special type of automobile insurance that insurance companies are required to offer. EUIM coverage is not automatic. Instead, you will need to choose EUIM coverage when you get a new policy or renew an existing car insurance policy.
EUIM differs from traditional UM coverage because it does not take any contribution from the at-fault driver’s insurance company into account. In other words, your insurance company won’t take what the other driver’s insurance company paid you into account when handling your claim. This has the effect of making sure that you get paid as much as possible for your injuries.
Here is how this works in practice. Imagine that you were in a serious car accident that caused severe injuries, substantial medical bills, and property damage, plus intangible losses like emotional distress and pain and suffering. The at-fault driver only has minimum insurance coverage, and your expenses far exceed their policy limits.
With UM insurance, your insurance company would only pay for the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and your own UM coverage. If the at-fault driver had a $30,000 policy for bodily injury and your UM policy had a $100,000 limit, then the most that you could recover for bodily injury would be $100,000. With EUIM coverage, however, you can “stack” your UM coverage onto the other driver’s insurance limits for a total of $130,000 in potential coverage.
Remember: insurance companies (even your own insurer) are in business to make money. Their goal is always to pay out as little as possible on a claim, whether by denying the claim outright or minimizing the amount that they have to pay on the claim. When you choose EUIM coverage, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of having your losses fully covered between the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and your own coverage.
When a careless driver causes an accident, there is no guarantee that they will have sufficient auto insurance coverage to pay for your losses. While it is against the law, it is possible that they may not have any car insurance at all. This can leave you holding the metaphorical bag for paying for your losses – property damage, medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment, and more.
For this reason, Maryland drivers are required to either have UM or EUIM coverage as part of their insurance policy. Having UM coverage can help you avoid this situation – and EUIM coverage provides even broader protection.
Unfortunately, too many accident victims have substantial losses that go far beyond the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. In some cases, they are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver and cannot file a claim against that at-fault motorist. In these situations, having UM coverage is good – but having EUIM coverage is even better.
The bottom line is that EUIM is often the only way to get full compensation for your injuries. While EUIM costs more than UM coverage, it is worth it in the event that you are hurt in any type of motor vehicle accident. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer would advise anyone to purchase EUIM coverage if they can afford to do so.
When you get a new auto insurance policy in Maryland – or renew your existing policy – you will have three options for UM/EUIM coverage. Insurance companies must offer you UM and EUIM coverage as part of the process.
While your UM or EUIM coverage must meet the policy minimums (30/60/15), you can choose:
Standard UM coverage protects drivers from situations where they are involved in an accident with a driver without auto insurance or without enough insurance sufficient to cover your losses. Standard UM coverage must equal your auto insurance policy limits unless you specifically choose otherwise. For example, if your insurance policy covers $100,000 in bodily injury, $300,000 in bodily injury for 2 or more people, and $50,000 in property damage, then a standard UM policy would also have 100/300/50 limits.
It is possible to purchase UM coverage for less than your policy limits. However, you cannot choose a lower amount than the minimum required insurance coverage of 30/60/15.
Finally, you can choose EUIM coverage. It provides the same benefits as UM coverage, but the policy limits will not be offset by any payments from the at-fault driver’s insurer. EUIM coverage must equal your policy limits.
Remember: you are required to choose either UM or EUIM coverage. The best way to protect yourself in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver is to get as much coverage as you can afford – ideally with an EUIM policy.
After a motor vehicle accident, you may be dealing with lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and the anxiety and stress that often accompanies such a traumatic event. You may also be getting calls from the other driver’s insurance company as well as from your own insurer. Our law firm can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
With offices in Silver Spring and Baltimore, DuBoff & Associates represents accident victims throughout Maryland. We have substantial experience handling all types of accident claims – including those that involve uninsured and underinsured motorists. To learn more about how we can help or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Maryland car accident lawyer, give our law office a call at 301-495-3131 or fill out our online contact form.
If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injuries that resulted from an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you’re of course going to be concerned about everything that’s required in terms of obtaining your fair and rightful compensation towards all the economic and non-economic damages you’ve sustained.
In order to win any personal injury case, the plaintiff must be thoroughly concerned about the burden of proof that’s involved with the specific scenario. The whole concept of burden of proof relates to the amount of evidence that’s necessary in order to successfully claim compensation, and it’s absolutely crucial that anyone involved in a personal injury case to fully understand what you’ll need to provide in court in order to win.
The burden of proof always falls on the plaintiff in personal injury lawsuits, which inherently gives the defendant a slight advantage considering they don’t have to initially prove anything. Our team of legal experts is here to help you when it comes to meeting the burden of proof and presenting the proof of your case in a convincing manner that persuades a jury or judge of the defendant’s negligence that caused your injury, as well as the damages associated with your injury.
On this page, we are going to discuss everything you need to know in terms of understanding the burden of proof in your personal injury case, and how we can work together as a team to prepare the most convincing preponderance of the evidence as possible.
The burden of proof in personal injury cases is often referred to as a preponderance of the evidence, which essentially means that the plaintiff has better or more convincing evidence than the defendant. This doesn’t mean you have simply more evidence than your opponent, but it does mean your evidence provides enough proof that the defendant’s negligence leads to your injury and essentially makes them liable for the associated damages.
Personal injury cases fall within civil law, which makes the burden of proof much less than in criminal law. In criminal law, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, but within civil cases, plaintiffs only need to provide enough evidence that shows that there is more than a 50% chance that the defendant caused the damages that the plaintiff suffered.
This is where the legal phrase “More Likely Than Not” derives from, because a plaintiff’s attorney only needs to present evidence and an overall argument that a judge or jury considers at least 51% accurate. This may seem outlandish for such serious legal matters, but if a jury believes your evidence and story is “more likely than not” true then you’ve gained a preponderance of the evidence and will win the case.
Once a plaintiff has presented their evidence that shows the defendant’s negligence and liability to damages, it’s then the defendant’s responsibility to show enough evidence that they didn’t commit the certain act, or aren’t responsible for the damages. There are several pieces of evidence that are effective within personal injury lawsuits, and some of the more commonly used pieces of evidence include:
There’s no way of telling which piece or how much evidence will be enough to meet your burden of proof, and there’s no concrete way of deciding how much weight your provided evidence compares to the defendants. The weight of evidence is always going to be subjective, which means the judge or jury will make their own decisions in terms of how important each piece of evidence is when making their final verdicts.
Like we said earlier, it’s the plaintiff’s burden to prove the defendant liable of their injuries at the beginning of every personal injury lawsuit, and the plaintiff only needs to present what’s known as a “prima facie” case. This translates from Latin to “on its face”, which means you only need to present enough evidence that can show the court that you have a good reason to blame the defendant for what happened in your accident.
A prima facie personal injury case will typically require providing proof that the at-fault party:
You’ll also have to provide evidence that you suffered legitimate damages as a result of the at-fault party’s negligent behavior. Some common damages within personal injury lawsuits include the following:
It’s always really important to be able to shift the burden of proof in civil cases, and this can ultimately switch back and forth between the plaintiff and defendant through the showing of sufficient evidence.
If the plaintiff can shift the burden of proof to the defendant and the defendant can’t shift it back to the plaintiff, then the entirety of the lawsuit can be reviewed and presented to the judge or jury via the plaintiff’s attorney. If the court is persuaded by the plaintiff’s presented evidence then the plaintiff will likely win the case’s judgment.
Personal injury cases usually will only require a preponderance of the evidence when it comes to the burden of proof, but there is a different burden of proof associated with punitive damages.
Punitive damages are meant to essentially punish the defendant for their negligence so they act differently in the future, and so it’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove to the judge or jury through convincing, clear evidence that they deserve punitive damages. This means you’ll have to show proof that the defendant acted out with malice, oppression or some form of fraud.
Punitive damages will always inherently have a much higher burden of proof than other types of damages, and this is because court systems everywhere want to ensure that only the worst wrongdoers and guiltiest defendants receive these types of harsh penalties.
There’s no doubt about it that personal injury claims are always very complicated, and it only gets even more complicated when a plaintiff has to deal with an at-fault party’s insurance company and their convoluted deception tactics.
At DuBoff & Associates, we pride ourselves on being experts in proving everything that is needed in order to have a successful personal injury claim, and we’re always here to help you with your case’s burden of proof from the very first steps.
So if you believe you have a case that you’d like to pursue, contact us for a free consultation so we can go over the facts involved with your accident and set you up on the right track towards your right to compensation.
Truck underride accidents are some of the most horrific car accidents that can end up causing devastating injuries and death. An underride truck accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides into the back or side of a commercial tractor-trailer and ends up sliding underneath. Underride accidents are considered to be among the most fatal roadway accidents, attributing to more than 300 yearly deaths in the United States.
What’s so scary about underride collisions is that it’s very common for the roof of a car to be completely sheared off when it slides underneath a tractor-trailer. Our team of MD truck Accident Attorneys is here to support you and your family after these horrific types of collisions, and we understand that your legal strategies aren’t something you’d want to worry about when recovering from a serious injury or wrongful death in the family.
On this page, we’re going to discuss the types of underride collisions and the Truck Underride Act of 2017 so you can have a better understanding of the regulations involved within the commercial trucking industry, and why these regulations are so important for all of our safety.
If you or a loved one was unfortunately involved in a truck underride collision, then you’re going to need legal assistance right away. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can go over the details of the accident and begin the necessary steps towards developing a successful legal strategy.
There are 2 types of truck underride accidents, including:
Weather conditions are also a major underlying factor that leads up to many underride accidents. When cars spin out of control due to slippery road conditions they can end up sliding under a nearby commercial truck.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted tests that show the benefit of side underride guards, but lawmakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) still haven’t fully committed to requiring side guards on commercial tractor trailers. However, rear guards have been mandated since 1998.
The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 was a proposed bill that established the requirement for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a rule that enforces the implementation and maintenance of both rear and side underride guards for all commercial tractor-trailers. The proposed law also states the necessity for a study oriented around front underride guards that will help prevent trucks from overriding passenger vehicles.
The bill also requires pre-trip and post-accident inspections by commercial vehicle drivers and their respective companies.
As of today there still are not requirements for side guards on commercial tractor-trailers, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made official recommendations that every new trailer has side guards installed. What’s strange about this issue is that the proposed bill has been criticized by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and throughout the trucking industry for ignoring potential technical issues.
What’s important about this incredibly vital roadway safety issue is that there’s a real necessity to update the overall standards of rear guards for all commercial vehicles, and they’re also needs to be legitimate rules for side guards that can save countless lives.
Lawmakers have been working to make side guards a priority for trucking manufacturers even before they can officially turn this requirement into legislation, but for now, the safety of our roadways is still in jeopardy.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck underride accident or any kind of truck accident, reach out to us for a free consultation so we can go over the details of your case and begin the initial steps towards securing justice for you and your family.
Our attorneys are here to help you fight for your rightful compensation, and our team of Silver Spring, Bowie, College Park, Landover and Upper Marlboro Injury & Accident Attorneys have the experience to provide you with the very best results possible after such a traumatizing roadway experience.
Truck accidents are unfortunately very common throughout Maryland, Virginia and the D.C. area, and all of these cases involve large commercial vehicles that can create very dangerous injuries when involved in collisions. We understand how truck accident victims keep compensation recovery as a to priority, and how difficult it is to even imagine fully absorbing all of your medical costs, lost wages, future costs and other damages.
Health insurance coverage will only go so far, and you’ll undoubtedly need support when it comes to obtaining the necessary financial resources for physical rehabilitation, your overall trauma coping, any necessary home renovations to assist with long-term disabilities and so much more. We are more than confident that our MD truck accident attorneys will help you determine all your damages after a truck accident, but before we do that we have to undoubtedly prove which party/entity was responsible for the crash.
Determining liability within truck accidents is a lot easier said than done because these are such complex personal injury cases, so on this page, we are going to dive into the finer details that you should know about when it comes to determining liable parties so you can better understand how to file valid claims.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a truck accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you should contact us for a free consultation so we can go over the details of how your accident happened and begin the initial steps of our own comprehensive, independent investigation.
There’s no doubt about it that truck accidents are much different than typical car collisions, which is why they require a somewhat different legal approach. First of all, there are several more regulations and laws that are important considerations when it comes to truck accidents. This is partly because both state and federal laws come into play when regulating the entire trucking industry.
It’s also important to understand that there are some situations in which a driver’s negligence was not the root cause of a trucking accident, and some factors may make a business entity the liable party in these types of personal injury cases. Liability in trucking accidents simply could fall on several different parties, and sometimes multiple parties per claim.
Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has handled these types of cases before and knows how to properly investigate a trucking accident to fully decipher who caused your injuries. Some common defendants in trucking accident claims that could be held liable include the following:
We’ll always make sure we are using much more than just police and witness reports when conducting our investigations. One thing we always do in these cases is looking through a truck driver’s required logs that detail their hours have driven/worked, as well as the vehicle’s maintenance records and reviews.
All of these additional documents can help better determine the proper liable party within a trucking accident claim. We understand the necessary processes that are required when it comes to properly request and reviewing these pieces of evidence while we are working diligently to fully establish the liability involved with your truck accident case.
Other pieces of evidence we’ll gather to help prove negligence and overall liability include:
Insurance policies tend to be much different for commercial trucks, so it’s always crucial to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side who knows how to negotiate with insurance providers and other lawyers when it comes to the magnitude of damage recovery that’s typically associated with trucking accidents.
Once you’ve been able to successfully establish liability within a trucking accident, it’s then necessary to establish what damages you’ve sustained. Some of these damages can include:
We understand how truck accident injuries can ultimately have a devastating effect on a victim’s life, which is why our team of Silver Spring, Bowie, College Park, Landover and Upper Marlboro Injury & Accident Attorneys are here to help you maintain financial security while you recover from your injuries. Every truck accident case is unique, so we’ll be ready to put in the necessary investigation to help you fully determine who was liable for your accident and who owes you your rightful compensation.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation if you have any questions or concerns about how you can be successful in your truck accident case.