Every 1.5 hours, a person is killed due to a pedestrian accident, according to the CDC. You don’t have to be walking through the busy streets of downtown Washington, DC to be the victim of a pedestrian accident. You might be walking down a quiet street in Laurel or crossing an intersection in Silver Spring. Since pedestrians often have the right-of-way, some may not consider the possible dangers when walking across a street. Even when traffic lights and signs indicate that vehicles must stop, it does not always mean that they will. Accidents, unfortunately, do happen, and in a split second, you could find yourself or a loved one injured, in need of medical treatment, and unable to work.
Medical bills can pile up and extended time off from work will delay paychecks and may even result in termination. However, there is hope: The goal of the attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm is to help you receive a fair and reasonable settlement. Read on for the need-to-know information about pedestrian-related accidents.
Unlike the passengers in vehicles, pedestrians have no steel or metal protecting their bodies during a collision. And so remains the unfortunate fact: pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than car occupants. Injuries sustained from a pedestrian accident can be life-threatening and extremely costly.
When you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, there is one priority: health and well-being. It doesn’t matter if you think your injuries are too minor to receive immediate care. Some individuals will postpone treatment for a cut or a head bump, only to find out later that the injury was much more serious than initially thought.
The best advice from your Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers Larry and Michael Lapidus, is to get treatment as quickly as possible. The best way to make this happen? By utilizing an ambulance for transportation to receive medical treatment for your injuries.
When you use an ambulance, there are three key benefits:
- You will be prioritizing your health and well-being – when you choose to get treatment immediately, you’ll receive valuable care that can effectively shape the course of how your injuries heal.
- You will prompt the filing of a police report. In the state of Maryland, police will file a report only if the injured uses ambulance transportation to receive medical treatment. This report serves as formal documentation of your injuries and will be used by your lawyer as we seek a favorable settlement for you.
- When we use that police report to support proof of your injuries; the insurance adjusters then have less leverage to dismiss your injuries and offer you a lowball settlement. When we can prove that you were injured in the accident, our negotiating power increases.
In short, if you are injured in a pedestrian accident, get care as soon as possible, preferably from a medical doctor at a hospital (as opposed to an Urgent Care facility).
The Second Step
If you have been the victim of an accident as a pedestrian, you will need to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. The problem is that many drivers are slow to admit fault (if they ever do), and insurance companies are often reluctant to offer a fair and reasonable settlement.
After all, it is the insurance company’s #1 priority to pay out as little as possible, which can lead to the insurance adjusters blaming you, the victim, for your own injuries (even when you’ve done nothing wrong)! When this happens, you need a Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for your legal rights. Which leads us to…
The Third Step
Once a medical doctor has assessed your injuries, you have one more thing to do. Call your Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at The Lapidus Law Firm. This step is crucial to the outcome of your case because if you don’t have representation from a lawyer, your settlement offer will – without a doubt – be significantly smaller (though no lawyer can ethically guarantee you a settlement in the first place).
Alternatively, if you call us, you will likely join the ranks of our many satisfied clients who have kindly taken the time to share their satisfaction with our work in the form of online reviews. Go ahead – take a look to see what people are saying!
They’re glad they got their Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer from The Lapidus Law Firm because without our vast knowledge of pedestrian laws and unwavering commitment to each case, they would not have secured the favorable settlement that we were able to obtain!
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Many roads in the state of Maryland are built to favor drivers, not pedestrians. This, combined with driver error, contributes to many pedestrian accidents. According to Capital News Service, 138 pedestrians were hit on University Boulevard in Langley Park between 2009 and 2016.
According to the CDC, some other factors that cause pedestrian accidents are nighttime driving, busy roads, speeding, and driving while impaired.
But there are many other ways pedestrian accidents can occur:
- Disregarding traffic laws or signals
- Not yielding to passengers that have the right-of-way
- Driving a faulty vehicle
- Road rage
- Texting, eating, putting on makeup and doing various other activities while driving (aka distracted driving)
- Failing to adjust speed downward in snow, ice, and heavy/moderate rain conditions or at road construction sites
- For pedestrians:
- Ignoring walk signs
- Crossing highways and entering heavy traffic
- Abruptly crossing in front of a vehicle
- Using a cell phone or device while crossing the street
- Wearing dark clothing at night
- Darting out into roadway or parking lot from between parked cars
- Failing to look and effectively see an oncoming car
Even when all proper precautions are taken by the pedestrian, driver error can still result in an accident and serious injury.
Although pedestrian accidents generally involve vehicles hitting pedestrians, both parties can be held liable. The job of your attorney is to defend you to the fullest extent and also to work tenaciously to make sure the other driver is held accountable for their wrongdoing.
Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
As we previously stated, no matter the severity of the accident, it is important to seek medical attention in a timely manner. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Spinal injury
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries and concussions
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
How Are My Injuries Calculated for a Settlement?
The settlement cost for a pedestrian accident will vary greatly, based on individual situations. Insurance adjusters are trained to pay out as little as possible for insurance claims. It bears repeating again…to prevent medical complications, alleviate pain, and hasten your healing process, it is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible for an additional reason: insurance companies will see the time you delay treatment as a reason to reduce your settlement offer.
Another tip: keep a journal of all of your injuries and damages associated with the accident.
Your lawyer will seek to include the following in your settlement:
- Costs of medical expenses, past, and future (MRI tests and other exams, ambulance, and emergency room fees, etc.)
- Pain and suffering, which is the biggest harm in every case
- Lost wages and, if applicable, loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
- The value of any and all functional impairments whether temporarily or permanently
- Loss or impairment of intimacy in marriage due to accident-related Injuries
Why You Need a Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident and have been struck by a moving vehicle, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Get the name and insurance information of the driver and make sure to file a police report. Do not attempt to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your own without the guidance of our legal experts. The insurance company is not on your side and will do everything in their power to offer you a lowball settlement or deny your claim entirely.
Insurance adjusters are not above blaming the victim and have a team of lawyers on their side whose primary job is to find ways to reduce the dollar amount paid to victims of pedestrian accidents (just like you). This is one reason to contact a Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Another is because filing a lawsuit for accident damages can be incredibly confusing and exhausting. It is crucial that you find an experienced personal injury lawyer that will assist you throughout the legal process, including litigation and trial representation if needed.
Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims of pedestrian accidents receive fair and reasonable settlements. If you or someone you know needs a pedestrian accident lawyer, call us at (301) 852-7500 for your free, no-obligation consultation. We stand ready to serve you and will treat you with nothing less than the utmost dignity and respect. When you choose The Lapidus Law Firm, you’re choosing to be treated like a VIP. We are here to help you!
Written by Attorney Larry Lapidus