Pedestrians are vulnerable in Maryland’s largest city. Every year, hundreds are seriously injured, and dozens are killed. It’s important to know what to do if you are a pedestrian hit by a car in Baltimore. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable during car accidents.
Unlike motorists, they lack the protection of a steel frame. Even motorcyclists usually wear helmets that can reduce the severity of a blow to the head. Pedestrians have no such protection.
If you are a pedestrian hit by a car in Baltimore, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the driver who maimed you. Drivers habitually flout the rights of people crossing the road, fail to stop at crosswalks, or even back into pedestrians in parking lots. If you or a family member has been hurt, talk to our Baltimore pedestrian accident lawyers as soon as possible.
How Dangerous is Baltimore for Pedestrians?
Baltimore is an extremely dangerous place for pedestrians, and the city is becoming riskier for people on foot. In 2018, 133 pedestrians and six bicyclists were killed in Maryland.
About half of those deaths occurred in the Baltimore region. The 133 deaths were up from 117 in 2017. About 3,000 pedestrian accidents occur every year in Maryland. Pedestrian injuries are habitually very serious.
Drivers do not always face up to the consequences of their actions. In September 2019, a man died when he was hit by a car in a hit and run accident on East Madison Street near Kenwood Avenue. The driver fled the scene.
The pedestrian accident situation is so serious in Baltimore that the city passed a bipartisan budget in 2019, including dedicated capital funding for both bike lanes and pedestrian improvements to make notorious parts of the city like Towson safer. It’s the first time a dedicated budget for pedestrian safety has been created in Baltimore.
Maryland officials are working on a five-year plan to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries by half by 2030.
The Toward Zero Deaths plan focuses on pedestrian and bicyclist safety, better driver education, road engineering, enforcement of traffic rules, aggressive drunk and distracted driving and seat belt use.
What Should You Do If You Are Hit by a Car in Baltimore?
Seek immediate medical attention if you were hit by a car. Call 911 or ask another person at the scene to call the emergency services on your behalf. If the driver who hit you remained at the scene, make sure you get his or her personal and insurance details.
Talk to witnesses at the scene if you can and get their details. Take pictures or video of the accident scene before vehicles are moved and drivers leave.
If your injury was not serious enough to require hospitalization at the scene, you may still be hurt. Make an urgent appointment with your doctor to be checked out.
After seeking treatment, consider filing a claim against the driver who caused your injuries. Drivers can be held liable for injuries to those on foot as well as other motorists.
The fact you were seriously injured may not alone be enough to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In Maryland, the driver must be completely to blame for a pedestrian injury to be sued by the victim.
How to Establish Liability if You Are a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in Baltimore
Drivers can be held liable for a pedestrian injury if the walker has the right of way. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration sets out when a pedestrian has the right of way. These scenarios include:
When a pedestrian is on a crosswalk. Under TR§21-502(a)2 a driver must come to a complete stop when a pedestrian is on a crosswalk. This applies to a marked or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection;
It is against the law for a driver to pass a vehicle stopped either in a marked or an unmarked crosswalk;
Drivers must yield the right-of-way when they are turning on a green signal or green arrow. When vehicles are facing a circular green signal, they must yield right-of-way to a pedestrian who is lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk.
However, pedestrians must follow all pedestrian control signals. They should obey the “Walk,” “Don’t Walk” and “Wait” signals at crosswalks.
Not all cases are cut and dry. A driver may argue you stepped onto a crosswalk when a car was passing close by or were distracted by your phone or other circumstances.
It’s often necessary to hire a Baltimore personal injury lawyer to counter the arguments made by drivers and insurance companies that drag their heels in settling pedestrian claims.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way in Baltimore?
Pedestrians do not always have the right of way in Baltimore. However, you should never assume a driver was not liable for your injuries or accept an insurance company’s refusal to make an offer at face value.
Drivers who hit pedestrians are often distracted, drunk, fatigued, or reckless.
Factors to Consider If You Are a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in Maryland
Important factors to consider in auto/pedestrian accidents include:
- Which party had the right of way;
- The visibility and weather conditions at the time of the incident;
- Whether the driver was distracted;
- Whether the pedestrian looked before crossing the road;
- Whether the pedestrian crossed the road while the ‘walk’ sign was flashing;
- The speed of the driver;
- If alcohol or drugs were factors
- Whether the accident was caused by road rage.
- If a driver fled the accident scene.
Talk to a Baltimore Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we have represented many pedestrians hurt in car wrecks. We also represent the families of pedestrians who tragically did not make it in wrongful death suits.
We know the terrible damage an auto/pedestrian crash can cause you. Please get in touch with us for a free consultation at (410) 694-7291.