When we think of a pedestrian-car accident, we usually assume that the driver is always at fault. We believe that the driver, being in control of the vehicle, must have been negligent when they struck an innocent pedestrian. But this isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, pedestrians are reckless too and run into vehicles whose drivers are exercising due diligence. This is why authorities wouldn’t assume that one party is at fault until they have concluded the necessary investigations. However, even during the inquiry, finding the at-fault party is still a difficult task.
There are many factors to consider, and sometimes, both the driver and pedestrian could have been at-fault at the same time. If you’re wondering how to determine fault in a pedestrian-car accident in Maryland, read on to find out. We’ll also let you in on what happens when either party is the defaulter.
Finding Fault in a Maryland Pedestrian-Car Accident
Maryland’s Accident Laws determine fault based on who had a duty of care and violated it. In the state, both drivers and pedestrians have corresponding responsibilities to exercise ordinary care on the road to avoid injuring other persons. This means that they should observe the necessary traffic rules and be vigilant to ensure personal safety and that of others.
To this end, the “At-fault” party is the one who failed to be on the lookout and make logical judgments based on the circumstances. While every pedestrian accident case is
Didn’t yield the right-of-way to vehicles when not using a crosswalk. unique, pedestrians would be at fault if they:
- Disregard traffic and pedestrian control signals.
- Run into an oncoming vehicle that is in its appropriate lane.
- Disregard sidewalks or where there are no sidewalks, walked on the right side of the road without facing oncoming vehicles.
- Crossed the highway under the influence of drug or alcohol.
The driver will almost always be liable for damages in a pedestrian-car accident if they:
- Disobey traffic and pedestrian signs.
- Fail to use the horn to warn pedestrians where necessary.
- Drive above the recommended speed limits.
- Fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while in an alley, building, or driveway.
- Fail to exercise extra caution when the pedestrian is a child or someone with a disability.
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When the Driver Is at Fault
It’s important to note that Maryland is an “At-fault” state. This means that whoever is at fault in a car accident is liable for any injuries caused to other parties. In such scenarios, the driver’s insurance company would pay for the medical bills and damage to any of the pedestrian’s properties.
They may also pay compensation to the pedestrian for pain and suffering and any other losses that may have occurred as a result of the accident. If the driver is without insurance, he’d still pay for out-of-pocket damages in installments.
When the Pedestrian Is at Fault
When pedestrians are at fault in a pedestrian-car accident in Maryland, they will cater to their injuries. They would not receive any compensation for lost or damaged personal items. Instead, they will pay for the driver’s losses if they decide to sue. This is because the “At-fault” rule applies to both drivers and pedestrians.
When Both Parties Are at Fault
The majority of the time, the pedestrian is hardly 100% responsible for an accident. Some blame usually falls to the driver. For example, except in unavoidable circumstances, a driver must always yield to the pedestrian even when the person is on the wrong side of the road.
If the driver doesn’t give the right of way to the pedestrian, they will share in the blame. Maryland uses the contributory negligence rule in cases like this. Contributory negligence is to the effect that if both parties are at fault in a pedestrian-car accident, neither of them would be able to claim damages for their injuries. All at-fault parties would be liable for their wounds and losses and none else’s.
Consult Pinder Plotkin Immediately!
Whether you’re a driver or pedestrian in a pedestrian-car accident, and regardless of who’s at fault, you need a personal injury attorney by your side as soon as possible. If you’re at fault, your lawyer will help you reduce your liability to the barest minimum.
If you’re the innocent party, your attorney will ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve. We, at Pinder Plotkin, are the best injury lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland, and you can count on us to put you first. Schedule a free consultation with us today!