Earlier this month in Washington, D.C., a woman was killed as she was standing next to her disabled vehicle on the Suitland Parkway. According to one local news report, the woman was struck by an eastbound pick-up truck at around 10:15 in the evening as she was standing on the south side of the Suitland Parkway. The driver of the truck failed to stop and see if the woman needed medical attention.
Evidently, the driver of the truck continued eastbound for a short while before rear-ending another vehicle and then crashing into a light pole. Once his vehicle was disabled, police were able to catch up to the driver and arrest him.
The pedestrian who was hit by the truck was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. The cause of death was listed as massive body trauma. The driver of the pick-up truck sustained minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. Police arrested the driver and charged him with second-degree murder as well as with fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death. Police believe that the man was speeding at the time of the accident.
Pedestrian Accidents in the Maryland and Washington D.C. Area
Pedestrian accidents account for roughly 20% of all the fatal traffic accidents in Maryland. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration, pedestrians themselves are at least partially at fault in about 70% of these cases. In Maryland, this is especially troubling because Maryland law completely bars an accident victim or their family from recovering if they are even the slightest bit at fault.
Under the doctrine of “contributory negligence,” an accident victim is prevented by law from recovering from their injuries if they “contributed” at all to their accident. This doctrine, while not used by many jurisdictions across the country, is still strictly adhered to here in Maryland and Washington D.C.
What this means for accident victims is that they need to be extra vigilant throughout the trial process to ensure that the defendant driver does not shift even the smallest amount of blame onto them. For example, a savvy defendant may try and point to facts such as pedestrian intoxication or failure to cross at a designated crosswalk. It then becomes the accident victim’s attorney’s job to do everything they can to convince the court that their client’s actions were not a contributing cause-in-fact of their injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured or killed in a serious Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help you cover the costs associated with the accident. However, keep in mind that the doctrine of contributory negligence may act to totally bar you from recovery if the defendant can prove that you were even the slightest bit at fault in the accident. To learn more about contributory negligence and other facets of Maryland accident law, call one of the dedicated attorneys at the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600. Calling is free, and there is no obligation to move forward with your case unless you want to.
More Blog Posts:
Underage Drinking May Be Responsible for North Potomac Crash that Claimed Two Teens’ Lives, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published July 2, 2015.
Car Struck and Cut in Half By Amtrak Train, No Fatalities, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published June 10, 2015.