Pedestrian Accidents

Bowie Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

I never saw him until it was too late!

Most pedestrian accidents occur when a driver fails to see a pedestrian.

Why won’t the Driver take Responsibility?

The Driver should have Seen Me!

The Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers handle pedestrian accident cases throughout Maryland. There are dozens of factors that impact the liability or responsibility of the driver or pedestrian for a pedestrian accident. Any analysis of pedestrian accidents is not as simple as finding that a driver is liable only if he hit a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. In most pedestrian accidents the driver claims he never saw the pedestrian or didn’t see the pedestrian until it was too late. If you know why the driver did not see the pedestrian in time, then you will know who is at fault for the pedestrian accident.

The experienced Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers  at Patterson Law have handled dozens of pedestrian accident injury cases.  The Maryland pedestrian accident attorneys at Patterson Law routinely handle claims where the driver has denied responsibility.

Who is at Fault?

Drivers and Pedestrians owe Duties to Each Other.

The Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers look to several factors to determine whether a driver or pedestrian was responsible for an accident that include but are not limited to:

1. The age of the pedestrian. Maryland is a contributory negligence state. If a pedestrian was partially responsible for the accident they may not recover. In Maryland, young children are incapable of contributory negligence and older children are judged by a more lenient standard than adults.  A recovery may still be available to a young pedestrian that entered a roadway in violation of the law.

2. Was the pedestrian in a crosswalk? Maryland law requires a driver of a vehicle to stop for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the approaching vehicle’s half of the roadway or within one travel lane of the approaching pedestrian. Pedestrian accidents in a crosswalk are the easiest pedestrian accidents to hold a driver responsible.

3. Was the pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk? The case law regarding unmarked crosswalks often requires the analysis of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. The most common example of an unmarked crosswalk is the portion of a roadway that is in between the path of a sidewalk that ends at the roadway and begins on the other side.  Unmarked crosswalks are often found at exits and entrances from businesses on busy roads.  An unmarked crosswalk also exist where driveways interrupt the path of a sidewalk.

4. The clothing worn by a pedestrian at night. Pedestrians and drivers have duties to each other. The clothing that a pedestrian is wearing at night is very important to these duties. Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night makes it harder for a driver to comply with their duty to see and stop for pedestrians even if they are in a cross-walk.  It is important to preserve the clothing that was worn by a pedestrian after an accident.

5. The geography of the accident scene. A pedestrian should cross a roadway at a safe location. Crossing a roadway where the approaching driver has a limited sight distance due to a hill or a sharp bend in the roadway could be negligence on the part of the pedestrian. The geography could also help the driver argue that he did not have an opportunity to see and avoid striking the pedestrian. Likewise, a pedestrian that is crossing a long straight flat roadway should expect approaching traffic in the distance to be able to see the pedestrian and safely come to a stop.

6. The type of area where the pedestrian accident is also important. Drivers have a duty to reduce their speed to account for numerous factors, including pedestrians. If a pedestrian accident occurs in a city, neighborhood or rural area then the analysis may change considerably.  Areas with high pedestrian traffic place drivers on notice that they should drive at a reduced speed due to pedestrians.

7. The location of the pedestrian in the roadway at the point he was struck is critical. Was the pedestrian walking on the edge of the roadway (facing traffic or with his back to traffic), in the travel portion of the roadway or entirely off the roadway.  Pedestrians have a duty to maintain a lookout to avoid pedestrian accidents in Maryland.

8. Did the driver remain at the scene after the accident? Fleeing the scene of an accident can be used as evidence that the driver was aware that she was negligent.  Maryland pedestrian accident law permits judges and juries to infer that a driver fled the scene of a pedestrian accident because they were negligent.

9. Was alcohol or drugs involved on the part of the driver or the pedestrian? Alcohol or drug use on the part of either party is a strong factor in determining responsibility for a pedestrian accident in Maryland.

10. Speed of the vehicle and the pedestrian. The speed of the driver may often be determined by witness testimony and also by an accident re-constructionist. Even in cases where a pedestrian is killed and the driver flees the scene a considerable amount of evidence is often left behind. This evidence is typically sufficient for an accident re-constructionist to estimate the speed of the vehicle. The speed of the pedestrian is often very important. A common situation involves a teenager playing catch in a residential area. Did the teenager run into the roadway after a ball without looking for approaching cars? Insurance companies refer to this as a “dart out” case. This situation may leave the driver with little or no time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

11. The lighting at the time of the accident. In areas that are well illuminated at night it will be harder for the driver to suggest that he was paying attention and did not see the pedestrian. On dark roadways with no illumination, a pedestrian should take care to wear brighter clothing and cross roadways with greater care.

12. Was the sun low in the horizon? Many times drivers are blinded when the sun is low in the horizon and they fail to see pedestrians.

13. Did the driver apply his brakes? If so did the driver leave any skid marks? The length of the skid marks coupled with the injuries and distance that the pedestrian travelled after impact can be used to establish the speed of the driver. If no skid marks were left on the road then it will be difficult for the driver to claim that he saw the pedestrian before the accident.

14. Did the pedestrian after impact land in front of the car, hit the windshield of the car or fly over the car? These three scenarios lead accident re-constructionists to drastically different conclusions as to the speed of the driver.

15. Was the pedestrian’s leg broken, amputated or injured? If so which leg? This is important in determining the speed of the car and the direction the pedestrian was moving at the time of the impact.

16. The location of the pedestrian in the roadway and the location of the property damage to the vehicle. This information is critical in determining the credibility of allegations that a pedestrian darted out into the roadway.

17. Was the driver using a cell phone when he hit the pedestrian? Drivers that text while driving are more likely to be distracted and strike pedestrians on the roadway as well as walking on the edge of the roadway.

The Maryland pedestrian accident attorneys can analyze these factors to assess whether a pedestrian accident case should be pursued.

A pedestrian’s leg can be amputated by a vehicle that is driving at or above highway speeds.

Why was my claim denied?

Insurance Companies will stand by their Driver.

Drivers that do not see a pedestrian before an accident often will not accept responsibility. The driver will typically fill in the blanks and assume that the pedestrian darted in to the roadway or was not otherwise visible. Insurance companies will gladly defend a driver in a personal injury claim where the driver claims he was not at fault. The Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers have successfully exposed beliefs by such drivers to be flawed.

During stressful legal matters, Mr. Patterson treated my case as if it was his only one--always returns calls/emails, very personable and kind, explains legal matters in understandable ways.

A Personal Injury Client

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Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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Best Attorney Lifetime Charter Members are extraordinary lawyers with an extraordinary level of legal expertise, competency, professional reputation, professionalism and ethical standards. Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America® has personally invited George Patterson  to be a Lifetime Charter Member. Best Attorney Lifetime Charter Membership is limited to 100 attorneys in each state.

The Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers at Patterson Law serve clients in Prince George's County and throughout Maryland. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have handled serious pedestrian accident injuries in most Maryland counties.

Get Started Today

The analysis of a pedestrian accident, particularly one involving a fatality is complicated. Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers, George and Maria Patterson have recovered on behalf of the families of pedestrians where police officers and accident re-constructionists have placed the blame for the accident on the pedestrian. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have litigated dozens of pedestrian accidents. Please contact, the Bowie pedestrian accident lawyers at Patterson Law for a free consultation at their Bowie office by calling 301-383-1522. For immediate assistance after hours or on a weekend please call the pedestrian accident injury line at 240-893-7474 to speak to an attorney.

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