Being injured in a traffic accident is always a possibility regardless of the type of vehicle in which one is riding. And while cars, SUVs and minivans are much safer than motorcycles when it comes to highway collisions, it is pedestrians who may be one of the other most at-risk groups as far as serious injuries and death following a traffic wreck.
Especially in densely-packed urban areas like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the odds of being hit by a car, truck or bus may be higher than anywhere else. Besides crosswalks and busy intersections, people on foot have been badly hurt and even killed while traversing crowded parking lots and dimly-lit multi-level garages. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, the legal professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, are all too aware of the various threats awaiting joggers, bicyclists, shoppers and business people whenever vehicular traffic is nearby.
As with any fatal accident, whether caused by a traffic collision, a household accident or worksite mishap, if negligence is found to be a factor in the victim’s death there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Sadly, some accidents result in tragic loss of life. Traffic-related accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists can often lead to the victim dying at the scene of the collision or passing away at the hospital due to complications brought on by the initial crash.
If an innocent person is killed due to somebody else’s negligent, careless or deliberate actions, it is only reasonable to hold that party responsible for the victim’s death. Depending on the facts of the case, the family of a pedestrian traffic accident victim may be justified in filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver who caused the family member’s death. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney, such as the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, will allow the victim’s family to better understand their rights when considering such a legal action.
It should be recognized that anyone who travels on foot beside a roadway or near vehicular traffic is taking some amount of risk in doing so. Every year in this country, there are several thousand pedestrians who are killed in a motor vehicle collision; and many tens of thousands of people are injured as pedestrians every year. There are certainly some activities that increase the risk that a person on foot will be hit by a car, truck or city bus.
One of the most common causes of fatal pedestrian crashes is distracted driving. Motorists can become distracted in numerous ways, including talking on cellphones, texting or surfing the Web on smartphones, eating fast food or drinking coffee, even applying makeup. In fact, the simple act of changing stations on a car radio can be sufficiently distracting as to cause a driver to not notice a serious traffic situation directly ahead of them.
Having represented many traffic injury victims, the legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen understands the various hazards facing the occupants of motor vehicle as well as those on foot. One of these is driver distraction, which is a huge problem in many parts of the country. When it comes to pedestrian crosswalks in busy urban centers like the District, a distracted motorist may completely fail see a person walking in a marked crosswalk. Cars that are turning onto a side street or navigating a busy intersection may also fail to notice a pedestrian in the street and hit them with their vehicle. Although the State of Maryland has made it illegal to text while driving, or talk on a cellphone without using a hands-free device, the opportunities for fatal pedestrian traffic accidents continue to persist.
Besides the serious threat posed to pedestrians by dangerous and poorly designed intersections, other related dangers include faulty or improperly placed traffic signals and crosswalk warning signs, as well as lack of proper merging lanes and poorly timed pedestrian crossing signals. Away from public roads, parking lots and parking decks can also be the scene of fatal pedestrian accidents. Poorly lit interiors of older parking garages can present a constant threat to the safety of those on foot as they walk to and from their car and the garage exits.
In the case of a pedestrian fatality, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand fully the importance of determining which party or parties should be held responsible for the death of an innocent victim. While in injury-related cases the responsible party should be liable for the victim’s medical and rehabilitation costs resulting from the accident, fatal accidents call for a more detailed view of the loss -- both financially as well as emotionally -- to the victim’s family and loved ones.
If you have lost a family member as a result of a fatal pedestrian accident, it is important to contact a qualified Maryland personal injury lawyer who understands injury law and who handles traffic-related accident claims on a regular basis. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are always eager to assist victims and their families. Please feel free to call us at (800) 654-1949 to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may also send an e-mail to either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen if you have questions or concerns about injury claims in Maryland and Washington, D.C.