Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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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Things happen pretty fast in the case of a traffic accident, and it’s not always easy to remember how the event transpired or even what happened afterward. For this very reason it is always a good idea to consult a qualified auto accident lawyer or Maryland personal injury attorney following a serious car, truck or motorcycle crash.

Knowing what to do following a commercial truck accident, it is important to remember some other things. Especially where injuries or property damage are concerned, the victims may be approached by attorneys representing the trucking company’s insurance carrier. Do yourself a favor; do not talk to anyone until you have consulted a trucking accident attorney to better understand your situation.

For instance, as a person who has been hurt or seriously injured following a trucking-related roadway collision, it is your legal right in Maryland to present the police-issued traffic citation as one of the pieces of evidence should you decide to bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a commercial truck driver or cartage company.

As Maryland trucking accident lawyers, we know that being involved in a crash with semi tractor-trailer rig can present the victims with serious medical complications, some of which can manifest themselves as life-threatening or certainly life-changing problem. We know this from first-hand experience representing victims and their families.

Whether you live in the Baltimore, Rockville or Washington, D.C., area, whenever an individual is caught up in a serious collision with a commercial delivery truck, tanker trailer rig or even a commuter bus, the resulting medical treatments and physical therapy can present a financial nightmare to those affected.

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Traffic collisions can occur in a myriad of ways. And as varied as car, truck and motorcycle accidents are, the injuries sustained in these wrecks range from minor to severe. How people are injured, or killed, can also be affected by numerous factors, including being hit by debris thrown through the windshield, striking a hard surface within the vehicle upon impact, being tossed about (usually when a seatbelt has failed or not been used), being ejected from the vehicle during a rollover accident.

As Baltimore trucking accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers, our job is to help victims of automobile, truck and pedestrian accidents recover medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with a highway wreck or urban traffic collision. In some cases, when the victim has died as a result of the crash and is no longer able to speak from himself, we assist the victim’s family in recovering damages due to wrongful death.

Not long ago, an 70-year-old retired gentleman lost his life following a traffic accident along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Anne Arundel County. According to news reports, the victim was former sportswriter, Harry Blauvelt, who had worked for numerous news agencies over the years. Sadly, the history of the Bay Bridge caught up with this individual as it has with others before him.

Based on reports, Blauvelt was apparently returning home to Kent Island on Monday morning around 10:30am when his Honda experienced some kind of mechanical problem along the center span. There is no breakdown lane, which makes for an extremely dangerous situation whenever a car or truck becomes disabled on the two-lane bridge.

Just as Blauvelt was getting out of his stalled vehicle to investigate the trouble, a 2003 International commercial truck slammed into the rear of the man’s car and threw him over an adjacent barrier wall into the water 50 feet below the roadway.

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As reported not long ago, pedestrians in Maryland’s urban areas are apparently some of the most at-risk groups in the nation. This is not a distinction that many would be proud of, but it is a fact that persons on foot and riding bicycles here in Baltimore, or over in Annapolis, Rockville or Washington, D.C., have a high likelihood of being struck by a car, SUV, pickup or commercial deliver truck than pedestrians in other states.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we can understand the pain and suffering that can occur following an pedestrian-automobile collision, much less a crash involving a bicycle and commercial truck, or city bus. And apparently the MTA (Maryland Transit Authority) also understands the risks.

No long ago, news articles reported that 10 so-called talking buses were being put into service here in Baltimore with the intent to reduce the chances of tragic pedestrian accidents. According to reports, the MTA is running tests of this talking bus technology, which is designed to warn people that one of these large vehicles is bearing down on them.

The idea is to alert individuals who might otherwise be distracted and not aware of the presence of a city bus amidst all the noise and activity in a metropolitan area. While the concept may seem a little silly to some, it’s no joke that many people have been seriously injured or even killed by commuter buses in the past.

According to the news reports, the “voice” of these buses is female and announces to everyone within earshot a repeating message of, “Pedestrians, bus is turning.” Bus drivers have apparently noticed a distinct difference in that way that people on foot react to the rather authoritative warning. The test buses are equipped with one of two different systems during the trial period.

Out of the 100-plus fatal pedestrian accidents in Maryland, the percentage of city bus-related pedestrian deaths in Maryland are rather small, however the MTA’s actions speak volumes. Back in February, publicity from the death of a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner’s office shined the spotlight again on the MTA.

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Commercial truck wrecks end up taking the lives of many Marylanders every year. Even more people are injured as a result of delivery truck and tractor-trailer accidents in cities like Gaithersburg, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis. As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the pain and suffering that victims and their families experience following the aftermath of a serious trucking accident.

We’ve spoken of this before, but the feeling of safety that people have when it comes to professional drivers of commercial vehicles may be a bit misplaced, especially when we hear of accidents like the one that occurred a little while back in Baltimore. These kinds of accidents can cause severe trauma to the victim, in the form of head and neck injuries, internal bleeding and compound fractures of the arms and legs.

Many times the extent of the injuries can result in the individual’s death, either at the scene of the traffic collision or later in the hospital due to complications from those multiple injuries. In the case of last month’s fatal Baltimore bus-pedestrian crash, the victim was hit while walking in a crosswalk during the late afternoon.

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