Pedestrian injuries and fatalities can happen anywhere people on foot mix with automobile traffic; whether in crosswalks, at bus stops, near taxi stands or on neighborhood streets, there always exists the potential for an individual to be hit or run over by a commercial vehicle or passenger car; even as a result of a motorcycle collision.
Auto-pedestrian traffic accidents are not simple incidents, since they can very often result in serious injuries to the relatively unprotected and helpless victim. Numerous bodily injuries are possible as a result of pedestrian collisions (which also include car-bicycle crashes as well). The injuries sustained can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious broken bones and compound fractures.
In addition, back and neck injuries can occur; and many times the worst can be a closed-head, or traumatic brain injury. As Baltimore, MD, personal injury attorneys representing individuals in Maryland and Washington, D.C., we understand how extensive these injuries can be, and also how difficult it is for a person to recover from one or more of the more serious ones.
For these reasons alone, I and my colleagues warn people to be vigilant whenever crossing a busy city street or walking through a parking deck or other high-traffic area. We have seen reports of adults and children being injured or killed even while strolling through a church parking lot or standing between parked cars at curbside. Believe us when we say, there is no good time to drop one’s guard when vehicle traffic is nearby — the risks are just too high to gamble with one’s future health or even one’s life.
When a person is hurt of killed by a motor vehicle, there is no guarantee that the police or the courts will find a driver negligent. There are many factors at play, but it is often found that the driver was not at fault, even though the victim was terribly hurt or even died as a result of the accident. We were reminded of this from a news article that we read just last month.
According to reports, an Anne Arundel County man who police say ran over his neighbor in 2011 was found not guilty of vehicular manslaughter by a Glen Burnie district court after he allegedly hit a woman in the street during the late evening hours of January 27, 2011. Based on police reports, 46-year-old Steven Smith told investigators that he discovered his neighbor lying dead in the roadway not far from his home.
A preliminary investigation showed that Bosse, who died at the scene, was hit a little after 10pm and was dragged several feet by the vehicle that hit. There was apparently no evidence that Smith was speeding or violating any other traffic laws at the time of the collision. In addition, post-mortem tests and other forensic evidence indicated that the victim was under the influence of alcohol as well as standing in the street when she was hit.
Following an eight-month police investigation, it was determined that Smith actually struck 43-year-old Dawn Bosse with his car, although he reportedly lied at first about the incident; he was charged with knowingly giving a false accident report to police. As a result of that charge, Smith was facing up to two months in jail as well as a 500-dollar fine.
Yet, the result of Smith’s trial, which took just one day, was a verdict of not guilty. According to news reports, the district court judge presiding over the case, Judge Shaem C.P. Spencer, found Smith not guilty of the charges. The decision was apparently based on the facts of the case, which included the fact that Smith had found his neighbor dead in the street on the night of the accident — which meant that, technically, he did not lie to police.
According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, the prosecution never believed Smith was to blame for Bosse’s death, despite his alleged fabricated story, news reports stated. Furthermore, last October the deputy state’s attorney told reporters that the State had no evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant; this was why police had only charged him with a relatively minor traffic offense and not vehicular manslaughter.
Man not guilty of lying about fatal accident, HometownAnnapolis.com, February 9, 2012