Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Each year, three million people are injured in auto accidents according to the CDC. Auto accidents involving pick-up trucks, however, may be particularly devastating for all parties involved. Pickup trucks are distinct in size, shape, and design, and generally have a separate frame and an open box. These trucks tend to have tall hoods and large blind spots and can be deadly for pedestrians and drivers of smaller vehicles when accidents occur. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, within the light trucks category, SUVs and pickup trucks are the vehicles most likely to be involved in roller crashes. Rollover crashes are a specific type of vehicle crash in which a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof.

Are Larger Vehicles More Dangerous to Pedestrians?

Consumer Report testing has found that bigger vehicles in general have a harder time avoiding crashes. Another Consumer Report analysis showed that the hood height of passenger trucks has increased by an average of at least 11 percent since 2000 and that new pickups grew 24 percent heavier on average from 2000 to 2018. Consumer report data shows that drivers have poorer front sight lines, creating a blind spot that can hide a pedestrian or smaller car right in front – and these alarming developments may lead to more accidents and injuries.

Everyone knows that before crossing a street, especially when you are at a busy intersection, checking left, then right, and then left again is the best practice to maximize your safety as a pedestrian. What happens, however, when a driver is speeding, does not see you, or runs a red light? Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable when crossing the street but can be particularly powerless when drivers are negligent or reckless. Thus, it is important for Maryland pedestrians to understand what common causes of pedestrian accidents are so that they can remain vigilant and avoid them the best they can.

According to a recent news report, a county bus crashed into a woman while she was crossing the street. As investigators still work to piece together what happened during the collision, initial reports say that the woman was walking in the crosswalk as the bus was making a left-hand turn. The woman was then struck by the bus and was pronounced dead on the scene. Local authorities have been unable to identify if the woman works or lives in the area and are working to get in contact with coworkers or family members of the woman. As the accident remains under investigation, police are urging drivers and pedestrians to pay more attention to their surroundings. Authorities plan to analyze surveillance cameras to determine what led to the collision and to identify who in fact had the right of way in this accident.

Although pedestrian accidents can take place for a number of reasons that may not always mean that the driver is at fault, many times they happen because of negligent or reckless maneuvers executed by drivers. Left-hand turns, distracted driving involving talking on a cell phone or texting, impaired driving, speeding, rolling stops, and inexperienced drivers are all common reasons why accidents involving pedestrians take place.

In order to successfully recover in a personal injury lawsuit after a Maryland truck accident, a plaintiff must prove that there was negligence on the part of the defendant. In everyday language, negligence just means failing to be careful. However, it is actually a fairly complicated legal term. In Maryland personal injury lawsuits, proving negligence means proving four distinct elements: (1) duty; (2) breach; (3) causation; and (4) damages.

How Does a Truck Accident Victim Prove a Trucker Was Legally Negligent?

First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant (usually the truck driver) owed a duty of care to the victim. Truck drivers—in fact, all Maryland drivers—owe a duty of care to others on the road or around them, including pedestrians, drivers of other vehicles, and cyclists. The duty of care means they must act reasonably carefully as to not injure others. The next step is proving that the defendant breached this duty. Here, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not act with reasonable care. Perhaps they were texting while driving, or ran a red light, or driving while intoxicated. All of these things could be sufficient to prove that the defendant breached their duty. Third, the plaintiff must connect this breach of duty to the accident. In other words, did the defendant’s breach cause the accident? If the defendant ran a red light, they might have breached their duty, but if the crash was caused three minutes later because of a brake failure, then the breach was not likely the cause of the accident. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages as a result of the accident. This can be proved by submitting medical bills, or bringing an expert witness who can testify to the damage the plaintiff suffered.

In some cases, proving negligence can be pretty straightforward, as the facts of what happened are obvious, but it may be more difficult in other cases. Take, for example, a recent truck accident that occurred not on the highway, as many do, but at a truck stop. According to a local news article, the crash happened early one Thursday morning this month at a truck stop and service center off the highway. Many details are not known at this time, but a tractor-trailer struck a pedestrian, killing them. The accident is still under investigation by the state’s highway patrol. Because so few facts are known, and the victim of the accident was tragically killed, this is a perfect example of a case where proving negligence may be more difficult.

Most motorists understand that there is always a small risk of being injured in a Maryland truck accident. Maryland’s roads are often traveled by trucks transporting goods within the state or across it, and, like any vehicle, these trucks occasionally get involved in accidents. However, it is important for Maryland residents to remember that it’s not just drivers and passengers who are at risk of Maryland truck accidents. Tragically, these accidents can also injure or kill pedestrians who are not even in a vehicle but happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, take the recent tragic death of a college freshman, who was struck by a semi-truck earlier this month. Not much is known about what caused the accident, except that it occurred around 2 PM one Friday afternoon. According to a local news source, when officials responded to the scene, they escorted the pedestrian to the hospital, where he tragically died. Unfortunately, this tragic accident reflects a harsh reality: truck accidents can occur in the blink of an eye and cause serious injuries or even death to unsuspecting pedestrians.

Pedestrians should always be on the lookout for trucks, and can take certain precautions to avoid accidents, such as avoiding walking near busy streets, looking both ways before crossing a road, and not walking on or near a road in the dark or other low-visibility conditions. However, sometimes there is nothing a pedestrian can do to avoid an accident. When truck drivers are negligent and careless, they may run a red light or swerve off the road, hitting even the most careful pedestrian. While this is a tragic reality, and nothing can undo the harm caused in these truck accidents, Maryland pedestrians should keep in mind that state law allows them an avenue to recovery — a personal injury lawsuit.

Every parent is nervous the first time they send their child to school on the school bus. School buses are generally known to be safe for students. However, accidents can happen while students are on the bus, but also while they are approaching the bus. In fact, students are most at risk of being involved in a Maryland bus accident when they are getting on or off a school bus.

These days, all school buses are equipped with additional safety features such as swinging gate arms or deployable stop signs that bus drivers can use to warn other motorists that students will be getting on or off the bus. Of course, these signals are not recommendations, and drivers must not pass a stopped school bus, or drive around a lowered gate arm. However, whether it be because they are in a rush or because they are not paying attention, too many drivers ignore school bus drivers’ signals and try to navigate around buses as they drop off or pick up students, putting children at great risk.

In most situations when a child is struck while getting on or off the school bus, the driver that struck them is responsible. However, in some situations, the bus driver may also bear some responsibility. In either case, injured students and their families can pursue a Maryland personal injury case against all potentially at-fault parties. It is important to keep in mind that the student’s own potential negligence may come up as a defense to their claims.

Pedestrians face many dangers when walking or working along the edge of a road. Indeed, each year, there are nearly 3,500 Maryland pedestrian accidents. Of those, roughly 92% result in either injury or death to the pedestrian. Not surprisingly, these figures show that pedestrian accidents are among the most dangerous type of Maryland car accidents.

To be sure, drivers and pedestrians share the duty to prevent Maryland pedestrian accidents. And each must behave safely and predictably. However, ultimately, many of the pedestrian accidents that occur on Maryland roads are the result of negligent drivers who are either not paying attention or consciously make a poor decision. Maryland law requires motorists follow all traffic laws and posted signs when driving, and yield to pedestrians when appropriate. When drivers fail to live up to this duty, they put pedestrians at risk.

Those who work along the road’s shoulder, such as utility workers, law enforcement, construction workers, and other city workers, are at unusually high risk. The state’s “Move Over Law,” attempts to reduce the number of Maryland roadside accidents by requiring motorists to change lanes to avoid certain vehicles on the side of the road. The state’s move over law applies mostly to government workers such as police officers, firefighters, hazmat workers, ambulances, and emergency rescue vehicles. There is a similar law requiring motorists to move over for bicyclists and scooters.

Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case discussing whether the defendant power company voluntarily assumed a duty to provide adequate light for the section of road where a semi-truck struck the plaintiff. Ultimately, the court concluded that the power company assumed no such obligation, and dismissed the plaintiff’s claim.

The case is important for Maryland truck accident victims because, although the plaintiff was ultimately unsuccessful in holding the power company liable, it illustrates the principle that there may be parties other than the driver who can be held responsible in a Maryland truck accident. In fact, many Maryland truck accident cases are pursued against the employer of the truck driver, the owner of the truck, or an insurance company.

The Facts of the Case

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff set out to go to a convenience store that was located across a four-lane highway with a center median. The plaintiff was crossing from the west side of the road to the east side when she stopped in the center lane to let traffic pass. As she was waiting, a semi-truck struck her, as well as the two others who were with her.

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While semi-trucks present a serious danger on Maryland highways, the risk of a Maryland truck accident only increases when these large trucks exit the highway and begin to travel through Maryland cities on smaller and more crowded roads. In fact, each year about 450 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed in semi-truck accidents, most of these occurring on urban or suburban roads.

Semi-trucks carry large amounts of cargo long distances, and they are specifically designed for this purpose. Thus, these trucks are large, difficult to maneuver in close spaces, and have enormous blind spots when compared to passenger vehicles. This undoubtedly makes it difficult for semi-truck drivers to navigate the tight roads of Maryland’s urban hubs. However, Maryland semi-truck drivers always have a legal duty to ensure that they are safely operating their rig, regardless of the type of road they are on.

Man Run Over by Semi-Truck in Dark Parking Lot

Earlier this month, one man in Georgia was killed when he was run over by a semi-truck while walking across a dark parking lot. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the truck driver was heading into company headquarters for the night when he heard a “bump” that he initially thought was a drop in the pavement.

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Earlier this week in Utah, a young woman was killed when she was struck by a semi truck as she was on the side of the highway changing a flat tire. According to a report by the local CBS affiliate, the woman was on the side of a major highway in the emergency lane when both her and her friend were struck by a semi truck. Apparently, there was no damage to the car, which led some to the conclusion that the two friends were pulled towards the semi truck by the suction created as it passed at a high rate of speed.

Police are currently investigating the accident, trying to determine how far the woman had pulled off to the side of the road and also how far into the emergency lane the truck driver crossed.

The young woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her friend, who was also hit by the semi truck, is still in the hospital in critical condition. The latest update is that doctors are trying to save his arm, which was broken in three places.

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As passenger car drivers and motorcycle riders, most people traveling Maryland’s highways and surface streets know how often they encounter a commercial motor vehicle on the same stretch of roadway. For most of us, the reality of having to share the road with a large and potentially dangerous 18-wheeler, big rig semi, or tractor-trailer rig is just something that we learn to accept. Until, at least, a person is involved in a traffic collision with one of these deadly machines.

As Baltimore auto accident attorneys, I and my colleagues have seen the results of multi-vehicle highway and interstate wrecks caused by a negligent trucker. The carnage wrought by these huge vehicles and very heavy trailers can be extensive, causing severe injuries to the occupants of one or more passenger vehicles in the process. As anyone who follows the news understands, roadway collisions involving large box trucks and big semi tractor-trailers can also result in multiple fatalities given the right circumstances.

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is not something anyone, who themselves has tangled with a commercial motor carrier, would likely wish upon another individual. Not only the potential physical injuries and long-term medical complications, but also the financial and emotional toll, are something that victims of trucking-related traffic accidents suffer from most. While nobody would want to be involved in a car or motorcycle accident, being caught up in a commercial truck wreck is another experience best left to the movies or television dramas.

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