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Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland: Understanding Causes, Prevention, and Your Legal Rights

Pedestrian accidents can have severe, life-altering consequences for those involved, and it is crucial to understand their common causes, prevention techniques, and legal rights if you or a loved one has sustained injuries in such incidents.

This educational article offers essential insights into the factors contributing to pedestrian accidents in Maryland, as well as practical advice on preventing them. We also delve into your rights and actions to consider if you find yourself injured in a pedestrian accident.

As a crucial aspect of handling personal injury cases, knowing your legal rights and options empowers you to make informed decisions and work toward the compensation and justice you deserve. Stay informed, protect yourself, and secure your future with the knowledge and resources you need to navigate the complex world of pedestrian accidents in Maryland.

1. Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Understanding the common causes of pedestrian accidents can help you be more vigilant and cautious while walking or driving. Some of the primary reasons for these incidents include:

– Distracted driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 3,142 fatalities in 2019 alone. Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can take a driver’s focus off the road, increasing the risk of pedestrian accidents.

– Speeding: Excessive speeds reduce a driver’s reaction time and make it harder to stop or avoid pedestrians. The NHTSA reports that in 2019, speeding contributed to 26% of traffic fatalities.

– Failure to yield: Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks, intersections, and other designated areas increase the likelihood of accidents.

– Poor visibility: Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur when visibility is low, such as during nighttime, foggy, or rainy conditions.

– Alcohol impairment: Alcohol-impaired drivers and pedestrians alike contribute to an increased risk of pedestrian accidents. In 2018, 12% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.

2. Effective Prevention Strategies

Pedestrian accidents can be reduced by employing effective prevention strategies and staying aware of potential dangers. Consider the following tips for both pedestrians and drivers:

– As a pedestrian:

– Always use designated crosswalks and wait for signals before crossing the street.

– Make yourself visible to drivers by wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially at night.

– Stay alert and avoid using headphones or devices that may distract you from your surroundings.

– Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic on the shoulder as far away from vehicles as possible.

– As a driver:

– Always yield the right of way to pedestrians, even if they are not in a designated crosswalk.

– Slow down and be extra vigilant when driving in neighborhoods, schools zones, and areas with heavy foot traffic.

– Avoid distractions while driving, such as using your phone or engaging in activities that take your eyes off the road.

– Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

3. Legal Rights for Injured Pedestrians

If you have been injured as a pedestrian in Maryland, it is crucial to understand your legal rights and options. Injured pedestrians are typically entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

– Maryland follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you, as a pedestrian, are found to be partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. However, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you may not recover any compensation.

– It is essential to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling pedestrian accident cases to understand your rights, evaluate your options, and, if necessary, file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

4. Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, taking immediate and appropriate action is crucial for protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.

– Seek medical treatment: Prioritize your well-being and seek immediate medical attention, even if your injuries appear minor. Proper documentation of injuries is crucial for supporting your claim.

– Gather evidence: Compile all available documentation related to the accident, including photographs of the scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Collect contact information from witnesses and request a copy of the police report.

– Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance provider without admitting fault or providing a recorded statement.

– Consult with a personal injury attorney: As soon as practicable, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you assess your legal options and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

By understanding and addressing the causes and consequences of pedestrian accidents in Maryland, you can prevent such incidents and protect your legal rights in case an accident occurs.

Empower Yourself with Expert Legal Support for Pedestrian Accidents

Being knowledgeable about the common causes of pedestrian accidents, implementing effective prevention strategies, and understanding your legal rights as an injured pedestrian are crucial in ensuring your safety and securing just compensation.

At Robinson & Associates, our experienced legal professionals provide the guidance, expertise, and unwavering advocacy you need to seek justice and navigate the complexities of your pedestrian accident claim. Don’t face the challenges of personal injury law alone; contact us today for a free consultation, and let our dedication and expertise work for you in obtaining the maximum compensation and peace of mind you deserve.

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