Despite the high risks, many individuals choose traveling on foot as their mode of transportation in Maryland. Each year, a concerning number of pedestrians get injured or killed in traffic incidents. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as pedestrians aren’t afforded the same level of protection as those inside vehicles, making them more susceptible to catastrophic and fatal injuries in the event of a collision. Pedestrian accidents can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences for victims. As such, one of the most fundamental questions in pedestrian cases is who is at fault for the accident. That often depends on whether or not the pedestrian was in a crosswalk. Please continue reading to learn when a pedestrian can be at fault for an accident in Maryland and how a determined Prince George’s County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can help you fight for the justice you deserve. 

Who is Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident?

As mentioned above, there is an alarming number of pedestrian accidents that occur each year in Maryland. Unfortunately, several factors contribute to the occurrence of these collisions. However, they most commonly arise as a result of driver negligence. The following factors can contribute to the cause of pedestrian accidents:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Poor road conditions
  • Driving without headlights at night or during inclement weather conditions
  • Pedestrians failing to pay attention
  • Failure to follow traffic laws

It’s crucial to understand that drivers and pedestrians must exercise reasonable care and follow the rules of the road at all times. When pedestrians are in a marked crosswalk, they have the right of way, meaning the driver is responsible for ensuring their safety. The pedestrian retains the right to assume that the driver will abide by traffic laws and yield the right of way.

When no crosswalk is present, pedestrians must cross from the corner of an intersection. They are prohibited from crossing outside a crosswalk, otherwise known as jaywalking. They are afforded the same protection when crossing unmarked crosswalks as in marked crosswalks. Ultimately, pedestrians are typically only at fault if their behavior was grossly negligent or the driver who struck them didn’t violate any traffic laws.

How is Fault Determined in Pedestrian Accidents Under Maryland Law?

Maryland is a contributory negligence state. This means that an injured plaintiff will be barred from recovery of any compensation for pain and suffering if they were partially at fault for the cause of the accident that caused their injuries and damages. Essentially, even if they were found only 1% at fault for the cause of the accident, they would not be able to recover compensation for their losses. Therefore, if a pedestrian is found partially at fault for the cause of the accident, they will not be able to recover any compensation.

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, please don’t hesitate to contact a talented lawyer from the legal team at Timian & Fawcett, LLC, who can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.