Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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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The unfortunate and mostly unavoidable side-effect of modern day motoring is that large and small vehicle alike end up sharing Maryland’s high-speed and congested thoroughfares. Regardless if one lives or works in Germantown, Glenn Burnie, Waldorf or the District, the potential for an accident involving a commercial delivery truck, semi tractor-trailer, or even a commercial repair van is ever-present across our state.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we serve the victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents who have been sent to the hospital with serious to life-threatening injuries all because of another individual’s error in judgment or simple careless actions. Thousands of innocent people are hurt or killed annually by negligent driving attributed to operators of 18-wheelers, flatbed tractor-trailers, commercial box trucks and gasoline or chemical tankers. We understand how a simple drive to the mall or a trip to the supermarket can end in weeks or months of medical treatment, physical pain and difficult rehabilitation.

Many auto accidents in here in Maryland typically happen on some of the more frequented byways, such as Interstate 695 (also known as the Baltimore Beltway), the Baltimore-Washington Pkwy (I-295), Interstate 95, and I-495/Washington Beltway. Simply bad driving, possibly overworked truckers, and illegally loaded and oversized trailers are just a few of the dangers that can confront Maryland drivers on a daily basis.

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Head, neck and spinal cord injuries are all part and parcel of a roadway collision between a pedestrian and a car or truck. This is not to say that people injured on a motorcycle (or while riding a bike) are any more or less apt to be similarly hurt in a traffic accident, but those individuals on foot have no other protection other than their own bodies.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues know, first-hand, the physical pain and emotional suffering felt by those who have been hurt as a result of a negligent act by another motorist. For pedestrians hit by a motor vehicle, a trip to the hospital is more than likely. The length of their stay is dependent on the type and extent of those injuries.

Closed-head injury is one of the more serious kinds of accident-related bodily trauma that can occur when a person is struck by a truck or car. During the collision or in the aftermath as the victim falls to the ground, striking one’s head on part of a metal vehicle or onto hard pavement can impart serious force to the brain. In either case, the human skull can only provide so much protection to the brain as the result of an impact from a car crash.

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As a personal injury attorney here in Maryland, I know how much the odds are stacked against pedestrians and bicyclists in cases of traffic-related accidents. Pitting oneself, as a virtually unprotected human being, against a two ton passenger car — not to mention being hit by a large commercial vehicle, such as a large box truck, semi tractor-trailer or even a metropolitan transit bus — is a situation few would want to experience.

Pedestrian roadway accidents involving cars and trucks can result in some pretty serious bodily injuries on the part of the hapless person on foot or riding a bike. Simply being knocked over by a motor vehicle that passes too close can cause an individual to fall to the tarmac, potentially causing broken bones or even a concussion; closed-head injuries are not uncommon in such collisions between people and vehicular traffic.

As Baltimore car, truck and motorcycle accident lawyers, I and my legal staff have met numerous individuals hurt or severely injure in a random car or trucking-related wreck. In pedestrian-related collisions, the people traveling on foot are rarely the winners; many people do, in fact, suffer extensive injuries that may require days or weeks in a hospital bed. Expensive medical treatment is sometimes followed by a fair amount of physical therapy in order to get the victim back to some semblance of normalcy once back at home.

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It’s the old saw: Safety first. But is this really too trite a phrase to use when approaching the dangers of a busy intersection? Whether one is driving a car, riding a motorcycle or pedaling a bike, each activity has its own specific risks. For the passenger car driver, there is the possibility of a crash if another driver is in too much of a hurry and turns in front of the other car.

A motorcycle rider can be injured simply by not being seen in time by another driver, while a cyclist or pedestrian can be blind-sided by a city bus or delivery truck, causing serious or fatal injury. Regardless of the type of accident, the resulting bodily injuries and possible trauma can send an individual into shock, something which quick medical attention from an EMS team can provide if there is time.

From broken bones to ruptured internal organs, a serious traffic collision can make for a long and costly hospital stay for the survivors. If the accident was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another party, there may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. As Maryland injury attorneys, we know how a family can be spun into turmoil after a bad car or trucking-related collision.

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For most of the drivers here in Maryland and Washington, D.C., maintaining the safety of oneself and one’s vehicle occupants involves more than a modicum of active participation. In short, to survive in this part of the country a drive must, out of necessity, watch out for the other guy.

What this means for the average passenger car, light truck and motorcycle rider is to be certain that your vehicle is well-maintained, tuned up and mechanically safe and sound. We won’t go into a discussion on the dangers of defective vehicle equipment here, but suffice it to say that a percentage of roadway wrecks are sometimes found to be a result of poorly designed safety components and other critical systems, such as steering and braking systems (an area of law known as Products Liability).

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff understand the causes of many traffic accidents and how easily a quiet Sunday drive can turn into a serious and sometimes life-threatening event. Keeping a vehicle in good running condition is a basic requirement for safe driving. This goes as much for automobiles as it does for commercial trucks, usually more so.

Speaking of trucking-related accidents, one cannot argue with the laws of physics when it comes to serious traffic accidents involving semi tractor-trailers, such as Kenworths, Peterbilts, and Mack Trucks; not to mention large box trucks and rather heavy and extremely dangerous tanker trucks.

Many passenger car occupants, not to mention motorcyclists, are killed on a tragically frequent basis when they become caught involved in a crash with a commercial delivery vehicle or 18-wheeler. Those smaller, lighter and less substantial motor vehicles are hardly a match for a fully loaded semi, commuter bus or dump truck. Injuries from car-truck collision can take months or years to recover from, both physically and financially, which makes prevention a no-brainer.

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It goes without saying that commercial trucks can cause horrendous injuries in the event of a traffic accident with a passenger vehicle such as a sedan, minivan, SUV or pickup truck. But just consider the effect that a similar crash — involving a delivery truck, 18-wheel semi or dump truck — might have on a pedestrian or motorcyclist involved in traffic collision.

Considering that the relatively protected occupants of these smaller motor vehicles can still receive terrible injuries or even be killed outright in a commercial trucking accident, imagine how small the chances for survival would be for a person on foot, riding a bicycle or traveling on a moped, scooter or full-size motorcycle involved in a similar roadway collision.

As Baltimore automobile accident attorneys and Washington, D.C., personal injury lawyers, we represent numerous clients from around the state of Maryland and the District. We understand all too well the deadly force that a 20-ton tractor-trailer can impart to a much smaller, 3,000-pound passenger vehicle

Commercial drivers have much the same responsibilities as other non-professional drivers on the road. But they also have the duty to maintain and operate their vehicles per federal regulations, all of which have been designed to help keep the public safe from injury or death due to negligence or other careless actions.

While it is common to see news stories about 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs — such as Peterbilts and Freightliners — that go out of control on the interstate and causing untold misery, other commercial vehicles can cause injury or untimely death when not driven correctly or with the public welfare in mind.

A recent news item caught our attention in regard to the latter of these scenarios. According to reports, a resident of Pasadena, MD, came forward and admitted to police that it was his vehicle that struck and fatally injured 77-year-old Richard Oles last January. Based on police reports, the hit-and-run traffic accident took place in the early morning hours of January 27, at which time Oles was hit by the Ford F-350 fitted with a snow plow and driven by 21-year-old Maximilian Bode.

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