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In the state of Maryland, more neighborhoods are trying to attract tenants and homeowners to live in their locations. One of the trending features to add in the neighborhood is walkability, as people are foregoing driving to instead walk to work, school, and to local shops as well as restaurants. However, an increase in pedestrian foot traffic has also increased the likelihood of vehicle accidents that involve pedestrians.
In 2017, the Maryland Department of Transportation reported that 3,452 pedestrian accidents occurred throughout the state. This statistic had not changed from 2016 accident reports as the same number of people were involved in accidents. However, more people were injured or killed in 2017:
Most of the pedestrian accidents occurred on or near county routes (CO) at 723 accidents. Maryland routes (MD) and municipal routes are other areas where pedestrians could be injured or killed frequently. In addition, the most accidents occurred on the road but not at a crosswalk with 986 accidents, at a crosswalk with 604 accidents, and at intersections which were marked with crosswalks at 205 pedestrian accidents.
Both pedestrians and drivers need to take precautions when encountering each other along roads, interstates and municipal routes. When it comes to a pedestrian accident, trying to figure out who is liable can fall on the pedestrian, the vehicle driver or both parties. Here are a few common causes for pedestrian accidents involve:
Both drivers and pedestrians have a duty of care to prevent accidents that could result in damages, injuries or death. Obeying all traffic signals, being observant of other pedestrians and drivers, not being intoxicated when driving, and yielding to pedestrians at designated crosswalk locations can lower the number of accidents that occur each year.
The types of damages that a pedestrian will experience will be based on the speed of the vehicle and the impact of the vehicle striking the person. Other secondary injuries can also occur when the pedestrian is flung from the vehicle and strikes a solid, unyielding object such as the road, another vehicle, poles, sidewalks and walls. Pedestrian injuries can range from simple bruises and scrapes to more serious spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, torn ligaments or bone fractures.
When filing a personal injury claim against an insurance company, you can claim a range of damages that are similar to the ones if you are a driver or passenger in a vehicle that has experienced an accident. You may make claims for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You can also make a claim for the loss of enjoyment of life. In many instances, such as medical expenses and lost wages, you could receive compensation for both present and future expenses.
The first thing that you should do when you’re in a pedestrian accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries. Next, you want to gather evidence about the accident scene and the events that led up to the accident to help prove the driver’s liability. Gather police reports, eyewitness testimonies, accident photographs, and the driver’s personal information as well as insurance information.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you or someone who witnessed the accident should try to record details about the vehicle that left the scene. Write down driver’s license plates, the make/model/year of the vehicle, and the driver’s description to help the police locate the fleeing driver.
With all of your medical bills, photographs, police reports and other documentation, you can then file a claim with the insurance company. You should be able to prove the driver’s liability, and negligence, your damages, and the proximate cause of the driver’s actions that resulted in you obtaining damages from the accident.
Pedestrian accidents aren’t always open-and-shut claims cases. Insurance companies may deny claims because they believe you, the pedestrian, was at fault or you couldn’t prove that your damages were related to the accident. Even if you have the claim accepted, you may not be sufficiently compensated because the insurance company believes you were partially at fault.
Obtaining legal help can help you in a number of ways if you or a loved one has experienced a pedestrian accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and within the necessary statute of limitations deadline. The attorney can also help negotiate the claim settlement amount as well as file lawsuits if your claim is denied. If you are looking for legal help, contact Duboff & Associates for a free consultation.