If you’re familiar with Georgia Avenue (MD Route 97) in Montgomery County, you know how dangerous a road it can be, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. And while some measures have been taken to address the problems on Georgia Avenue, and elsewhere, there’s much more work to be done. In March, the Maryland House of Delegates approved legislation aimed at accelerating safety improvements along the state’s highways. The bill would require the Maryland Department of Transportation to include design and safety improvements in “any construction or improvement project, or post-construction project, preservation, or maintenance.”
The main idea behind the bill is to implement as many shorter-term safety improvements as possible if a new project is scheduled to take more than a year to complete–this would provide an added element of safety until the project is concluded. This would mean extra money spent on safety improvements such as new crosswalks, bike lanes, and special safety signals.
Maryland Pedestrian Fatality Statistics
The number of pedestrian deaths in Maryland have remained fairly consistent over the past few years–though the numbers are still far too great. According to Zero Deaths Maryland, crash data showed that in 2019 there were 125 pedestrian deaths, 138 in 2020, 129 in 2021, and 25 to date in 2022. Perhaps even more disturbing is that, in 2019, approximately one out of every four people killed in a traffic accident in Maryland was a pedestrian on foot. Additionally, 92% of pedestrian-involved crashes in Maryland that year resulted in injury or death. These numbers are impossible to ignore, but they mean that if you often walk to get where you need to go, it’s critical to stay vigilant and safe to avoid becoming one of these unfortunate numbers.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
When you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, the priority is your well-being. Even if you think your injuries don’t require immediate care, seek medical care right away. Why? Because some victims who refuse treatment for a cut or a bump on the head learn later that the injury was much more serious than initially thought. Take the advice of the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm–get treatment as quickly as possible. Even if that means calling an ambulance to receive medical treatment for your injuries.
There are some major benefits to calling an ambulance:
- You’re prioritizing your health. By opting for immediate treatment, you’ll receive valuable care that can positively affect how your injuries heal.
- You’re getting a police report filed. 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.
- By using the police report as proof of your injuries, the insurance adjusters have less leverage to dismiss your injuries and offer you a lowball settlement. When your attorneys are able to prove that you were injured in the accident, negotiating power increases.
So, if you’re 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 Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm Can Help
Once you’ve received medical care, you will need to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Be prepared, however–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 top 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). That’s why you need a Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for your legal rights.
The personal injury attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims of pedestrian accidents receive fair and reasonable settlements. It’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t have representation from a lawyer, your settlement offer will be significantly smaller (though no lawyer can ethically guarantee you a settlement). So, if you or someone you know needs a pedestrian accident lawyer, call us at (301) 852-7500 or (202) 785-5111 for your free, no-obligation consultation.