Earlier this week in Upper Marlboro, a tragic accident claimed the life of a well-loved woman and fixture of the neighborhood. According to a report by one local news source, the woman was walking along Route 210/Indian Head Highway near Berry Road when she was hit by a passing truck.
Evidently, the accident occurred around 5:30 in the morning, when it was still dark outside. Police told reporters that the driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident, and that the woman was not in a crosswalk when she was struck and killed.
One neighbor told reporters that the specific section of Route 210 where the woman was hit is a very busy, fast, and dangerous area with traffic constantly zooming by. It is not clear who is at fault in the accident. However, it does not seem that the driver of the truck was cited for any violation.
Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most likely to be fatal. However, in Maryland, there is a specific law that makes it more difficult to recover in pedestrian accident cases. The rule is called “contributory negligence.”
In most other jurisdictions, whenever there is an accident, the fault can be apportioned among all parties involved. For example, in the above situation, a jury could determine that the pedestrian was 40% at fault and the truck driver 60% at fault. If the jury came to that conclusion, the accident victim would be entitled to 60% of the total damages award that the jury decided was appropriate. This is called “comparative fault.”
However, in Maryland the rule of contributory negligence prevents any plaintiff who is determined to have been at all at fault from recovering even a penny. This means that, in the above example, an accident victim who was found to be just 40% at fault would be ineligible to recover from a driver who was 60% at fault.
The Importance of Quality Representation
Due to the state of the law in Maryland, it is incredibly important for accident victims to ensure that they are dutifully represented by an attorney who is prepared to fight for their right to recover. Even if the defendant can show that the plaintiff was just 5% at fault, that may bar the plaintiff from ever recovering for his or her injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland pedestrian accident, or any other kind of Maryland accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other party’s negligence. However, as discussed above, it can be difficult for an accident victim to recover if there is the possibility of the defendant shifting blame onto you or your loved one. To prevent this from happening to you, ensure that you contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney before bringing your case. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
One Injured, Another Killed in Olney Head-On Collision, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 9, 2014.
Single-Vehicle Accident Takes the Life of One Fifteen-Year-Old and Injures Two Others, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published September 3, 2014.