Gaithersburg: 301-670-7030
Baltimore: 410-769-5400
Frederick: 301-668-2100
Contact Us For Legal Help

Auto Accident Blog

So, You Ignored My Previous Article And Got Hit By A Car

Thursday, August 01, 2013
So, You Ignored My Previous Article And Got Hit By A Car

One of the worst types of collisions is the pedestrian strike. There is no real positive outcome when a 2,000 lb. vehicle strikes or runs over a person. Generally, the law in Maryland is that pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk; after that, each case has to be reviewed individually. A few years ago, the state of the law was that anyone who crossed the street outside the crosswalk was at fault as a matter of law, until proven otherwise. That meant that a pedestrian struck outside the crosswalk started the case off with the presumption that she caused or contributed to her injury and could not win her case until she proved that the collision wasn’t her fault. That is called burden shifting. That was a difficult uphill battle for both claimants (injured people) and attorneys. Although that is no longer the law, the idea that the pedestrian contributed to her injury still prevails among many, if not most, Maryland citizens and jurists. The shifted burden is difficult but not impossible to overcome.

For a pedestrian to have contributed to a collision, the fact that she was outside the crosswalk must be an actual and legal cause of her injury. In legal terms, this is called the legal cause or the “proximate cause.” For instance, if a pedestrian is two feet from the crosswalk, it is often fair to say that the motorist should have seen the pedestrian. The cause of the collision was not, in such a case, the fact that the pedestrian was not in the crosswalk, simply being a step or two out makes no difference on whether a motorist should anticipate the pedestrian being there or whether the pedestrian was visible. The failure to walk in the crosswalk did not cause or contribute to the collision.

Another example is if a pedestrian crosses the street mid-block, and a motorist who has been traveling straight for a half mile fails to see the pedestrian and strikes her, the driver should have seen the pedestrian. In this case, the driver could have slowed, stopped, or otherwise avoided the pedestrian, notwithstanding the fact that she was outside of the crosswalk. The fact that the pedestrian was outside the crosswalk was unrelated to the fact that the motorist did not see her. This is because if the motorist did not see the pedestrian prior to the strike then she wouldn’t have seen the pedestrian if she was in the crosswalk. Here, the pedestrian was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; and under Maryland law, that is not negligence.

From the other perspective, where you have a pedestrian step off the curb directly in front of the and into the path of a moving car, the pedestrian is usually at fault. It does not matter if the pedestrian steps off the curb mid-block, or in the crosswalk, it is impossible for the car to stop. Another important fact to remember is that the driver must yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk, not the pedestrian on the sidewalk who is thinking about crossing. While the driver owes a duty to the pedestrian, the pedestrian also owes a duty to both herself and the driver. A pedestrian must make sure it is safe before she steps off the curb.

Pedestrian strike cases that occur outside of a designated crosswalk are difficult, but not impossible. Before pursuing such a case, a client must know that there are no guarantees and that the odds of winning and losing are about equal.

By Craig I. Meyers, Esq.

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

RSS

What Our Clients Say

Known for our unwavering commitment to clients, for our integrity, and for delivering the best results, our clients continue to refer their friends, families and neighbors to us for their legal needs.


"One year ago today I made the call to your office. The best decision I could make. I wanted to share with you how impressed I am with your staff and your professionalism."

Heather P.


"Craig did a great job representing me! He's the lawyer I have trusted with my legal needs because he's professional, knowledgeable, and keeps me informed about my case."

Jaclyn K.


" wanted to thank you, in writing, for your kindness and prompt response. Customer service is a dying art, and you gave me hope for my family."

Karla


"I would like to express my gratitude for your efforts and dedication for my disability case. It's has been quite a long and upsetting process but you have handled my case in an extremely competent and responsible manner."

Leo H.


"I have recommended Mr. Feldman to several of my friends and colleagues and have heard nothing but excellent reviews. He is the best lawyer I have ever used."

Martin


"I received the check today. I could not believe it until I saw the check. Thank you so much. You have improved my family's quality of life tenfold."

Mike F.


"These guys go above and beyond! They always have your best interest in mind."

Mike W.


"I would like to express my thanks to Amanda Knott and Gretchen Rogers for their patience with me through my ordeal with my workers comp claim. I was impressed from the very beginning when I spoke with G. Rogers on the phone and although she did not have to, she met with me personally and walked me through the steps of what to expect in this process."

Mr Sagal


"You have been kind throughout this process and I appreciate your professionalism as well as your gentle concern. Thanks for helping us and all the others who need your legal expertise. We are grateful."

Nancy F.


"Thanks to Mr. Shultz's aggressive and professional work ethic style I was able to receive the medical services and compensation pertaining to my case."

Navdeep C.


"I can honestly say this firm is simply TOP NOTCH! They not only have handled countless cases for my members that require their services, they also have gone well beyond their "scope" to help some of my folks in other areas of need. "

Rick H.


"I wanted to compliment your law firm on having Amanda Knott as a paralegal. She worked tirelessly for almost 2 years making sure I understood what was happening and at the same time keeping all my records straight and in order, which allowed Gretchen Rogers to represent me in the best way possibl"

Terrye G


"The attention and professional care the staff has taken toward my needs has always been excellent. I have no complaints nor worries that my issues discussed are not addressed."

Tim T.


"I just got off the phone with Craig and let him know how thankful we are to you, him and Ken for all your efforts – you are all really terrific to work with!"

Val K.


Locations Throughout Maryland, Virginia & Washington DC

Gaithersburg Office

481 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301-670-7030 / 800-248-3352
Fax: 301-670-9492

Lutherville Office

1301 York Road, Suite 600
Lutherville, MD 21093
410-769-5400 / 800-248-3352
Fax: 410-769-9200

Frederick Office

30 W. Patrick Street, Suite 105
Frederick, MD 21701
301-668-2100 / 800-827-2667
Fax: 301-668-2000


TOP