Edgewood Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, it often causes very serious injuries.  There is no car around you to protect you from the impact – no seat belts or crumple zones or air bags.  These crashes are often the driver’s fault, as there are very few situations where it is legal to hit someone with a car.  As such, our lawyers can help you get compensation from the driver who hit you.

Pedestrians are often protected by the law, and they are able to file claims against the driver who hit them.  This usually starts with an insurance claim, but if the defense is uncooperative or refuses to settle for a fair value, we can take the case to court to seek full compensation for your injuries.

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your potential injury case with our pedestrian accident attorneys.

How Fault is Determined in Pedestrian Accident Claims in Edgewood, MD

In a car accident case, fault comes into play as a part of the basic elements of your lawsuit.  Most injury cases are filed as “negligence” claims, where the victim alleges that the defendant caused their injury by failing to uphold a legal duty they owed them.  This breach of a legal duty – and the fact that it was what actually caused the crash – is all part of a fault assessment.

In most pedestrian accident cases, the fault will lie with the driver who hit you.  There are not many laws that tell pedestrians what to do, other than rules requiring them to cross at crosswalks, walk on the sidewalk (if there is one), and wait until they have a signal to cross the street.  Meanwhile, drivers have stop signs and red lights to obey, speed limits to follow, and laws requiring them to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.  Drivers also cannot drive on sidewalks or other walking areas, so it is unlikely that a crash will happen unless the driver broke the law.

This legal violation usually forms the basis of your pedestrian accident claim, whether it be a speed violation, failing to stop at a red light before making a right turn, or simply driving through a crosswalk instead of yielding to the pedestrian.

However, pedestrians can contribute to a crash by violating the few rules they do need to follow.  For example, if you cross when you have a red light, and the driver hits you in the crosswalk, fault might be shared.  In these cases, Maryland law actually shuts down your case and makes it impossible to claim damages under our “contributory negligence” rule.  However, if the driver had the last clear chance to avoid the accident or committed a negligent act after yours, our pedestrian accident lawyers may be able to assign them full blame.

Damages for Injured Pedestrians in Crashes in Edgewood

When a driver hits you, they should be responsible for paying you for any damages you suffered.  The goal of damages in a court case is to restore the victim to the state they were in before the crash, as best as possible.  Courts cannot reverse injuries, and even doctors and hospitals cannot fully reverse some injuries.  However, the court can see that you get paid for the medical care costs and that you get paid additional money to pay you back for the physical and mental harms that they cannot reverse.

In most car accident claims, the victim will face medical expenses to treat their injuries, non-economic or “pain and suffering” damages to account for these irreversible harms, and lost wages if the injury keeps them from returning to work or requires them to return to work at a reduced capacity.

All of these damages can be claimed through an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy, but they might not pay full damages this way.  In an insurance claim, the defense and the insurance company will do whatever they can to claim that values should be reduced or to leave off areas of damages they do not want to pay for.  In court, they cannot do this; the court orders them how much to pay based on the arguments made in court, and the defense has to pay up.  This is why many cases are better off filed as lawsuits in court than as insurance claims.

However, insurance claims are often faster, and many will pay for medical bills and other concrete damages – like property damage – in full.  As such, it is usually up to you whether we settle your case with insurance or take it to court.  The same is true of the decision to settle before trial or take the case all the way to a jury verdict.  In most cases, it is not necessary to go this far, and we can advise you as to when the negotiated settlement is right for your needs.

How Your Own Insurance Might Help Your Case

Many people who get hit while walking also have some kind of driver’s insurance policy that covers them.  If you are a driver yourself or you live in a family where someone has a car insurance policy, it is likely that you have a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) policy, as these are required to be offered to you under Maryland’s insurance laws.

If you do have a PIP policy that covers you, it might cover some damages and medical bills without having to prove fault first.  This can supplement you during the time between the accident and when the defense finally pays you for your injuries.  This money covers bills and expenses in the meantime, making it a very important insurance policy to check on in your pedestrian accident case.

Call Our Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys in Edgewood, MD Today

Call (410) 694-7291 for a free case assessment with the pedestrian accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras.