As a pedestrian, you are uniquely vulnerable on the road. Maryland State law recognizes this and affords pedestrians a number of protections and rights. Read on to learn about the pedestrian’s rights in an accident in Maryland.
Pedestrian Rights in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Traffic laws require pedestrians to only cross the street at crosswalks and take care while crossing. For their part, motorists also have a duty of care to protect pedestrians’ safety, which includes:
- If you are in a crosswalk as a pedestrian, approaching vehicles must come to a complete stop.
- Before turning right or left, drivers must first look for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- When a vehicle is stopped to turn right on red, the driver must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland
Pedestrian accidents are typically due to the driver’s negligence. Examples include:
- Failure to “see” a pedestrian. More often than not, motorists who fail to “see” a pedestrian simply don’t look for one, especially before reversing. This is a common cause of backover collisions in parking lots.
- Distracted driving. Whether it’s eating, texting, talking on a cellphone, fiddling with the radio, or putting makeup on while driving, distracted driving is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents in Maryland.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving is a step above negligent driving and includes behaviors such as speeding.
- Failure to follow traffic laws. This category includes a wide range of accidents, from failing to yield to pedestrians in an intersection and running a red light to merging or changing lanes without checking for pedestrians.
- Drunk or impaired driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes serious and potentially fatal pedestrian accidents in Maryland. That’s why DUI driving attracts severe penalties.
Pedestrian’s Rights in an Accident: Are You Eligible for Compensation?
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Maryland or Washington, D.C., you may be eligible to seek financial compensation, also known as damages. Damages available in pedestrian accident cases include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost income and benefits
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
You can pursue compensation by filing an insurance claim or initiating a personal injury lawsuit. In either case, it’s critical to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney first.
Your attorney will explain your legal options and build a robust case that maximizes your chances of success. They can also negotiate with the insurance company or the at-fault driver on your behalf. If the other side makes a lowball settlement offer or refuses to settle altogether, your attorney can take your case to court.
Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Maryland or Washington, D.C.?
At Johnnie Bond Law, our experienced and compassionate legal team can walk you through the pedestrian’s rights in an accident and help you seek compensation for your injuries. Call us at (202) 683-6803 to schedule your free consultation with a Maryland pedestrian accident attorney.