Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Earlier this month, a California appellate court issued a written opinion in a liability case allowing a pedestrian injured while crossing the street to attend a church event to sue the church under a premises liability theory. The court explained that, while the general rule is that a landowner is not liable for injuries that occur off his or her premises, there are some situations where liability is appropriate.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was attending an evening event at his local church. The church had a small parking lot located immediately adjacent to the building, but it often filled up. To ensure that attendees had ample room to park, the church arranged with a nearby business to allow church attendees to park in the business’ lot. The lot was across a busy street. There were crosswalks on either side of the block, but the parking lot was mid-block and so was the church, so the most straightforward way from the lot to the church to directly cross the five-lane road mid-block.

On the day in question, the plaintiff drove through the church’s main lot and was directed by volunteer parking attendants to go to the auxiliary lot across the street. As the plaintiff parked and left the lot toward the church, he was hit by a passing vehicle. The plaintiff sued the church, arguing that the placement of the auxiliary lot was dangerous and that the church failed to protect against the type of injury he sustained.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Nebraska issued a written opinion in a premises liability case brought by a man who was hit by a car while standing in the parking lot of the bar he had visited. In the case, Pittman v. Rivera, the plaintiff filed a premises liability case against the bar that had kicked out the patron who eventually got into his car and struck the plaintiff. However, since the court held that the bar could not have reasonably foreseen that such an injury could have resulted from its conduct in kicking out the other patron, the case was dismissed.

The Facts of the Case

Pittman was inside the defendant bar with some friends. Earlier in the night, Rivera was kicked out of the same bar for getting into an argument with his girlfriend, an employee of the bar. Initially, Rivera left with a designated driver. However, a few hours later, he returned in his own vehicle. Rivera attempted to get back into the bar, but the bouncer refused him access. Angry and likely still intoxicated, Rivera left the bar and made several U-turns in an aggressive manner, revving his engine loudly outside the bar. At some point, Rivera lost control of his vehicle and struck Pittman, who was now outside the bar talking with some friends.

Pittman filed a lawsuit against several parties, including, most notably for this opinion, the bar owner. The bar owner argued that he had no duty of care to protect Pittman because he was standing outside the bar, and even if there was a duty to protect him, that duty was not violated by disallowing Rivera to enter the bar.

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For obvious reasons, auto accidents involving a pedestrian are some of the most likely to result in serious bodily injury or death. In fact, while all motor vehicle accidents combined result in about 32,000 fatalities a year, pedestrian accidents account for almost 4,500 of them. That figure represents about 15% of all traffic accident fatalities. Considering that pedestrian accidents account for only roughly 10% of all traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents present a much higher chance of resulting in a fatality.

When a pedestrian accident does result in a fatality, the family of the accident victim is left with many questions, much grief, and few answers. While nothing will be able to bring back their lost loved one, families of those who are killed in pedestrian accidents are permitted to seek justice for their loss through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by qualifying family members on behalf of their lost loved one. In order to be successful, a wrongful death plaintiff must show the court that the driver’s negligent or reckless actions were the cause of their loved one’s death. In addition, they must also establish that their loved one was not at fault in any way in causing the accident. In pedestrian accident cases, this can be difficult to prove – although not impossible – when there is some evidence suggesting the pedestrian was crossing the street while not in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Mississippi released a written opinion in a case involving a pedestrian accident that took place in a gas station parking lot. The appeal was filed by the plaintiff after the lower court refused to give the plaintiff additional time to complete an investigation into whether the defendant gas station owner was negligent in failing to erect barriers to prevent out-of-control cars from entering its lot. The court ultimately determined that under the state’s rules of civil procedure, the parties should have been given more time to investigate the issue, thus presenting the court with more information.

The Facts of the Case

The case of Stanley v. Scott Petroleum Corporation arose after the two plaintiffs were struck by a vehicle as they were at a walk-up window paying for gas at the defendant gas station. The evidence presented suggested that the car that struck the plaintiffs suffered from some kind of mechanical malfunction with the braking system, and it was unable to slow down at the intersection adjacent to the station. It was estimated that the car was traveling at approximately 45 miles per hour at the time of the collision.

As a result, the car careened through the gas station and into a set of vending shelves. Those shelves then collided with the plaintiffs, causing them to be injured as a result.

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Earlier last month, a state supreme court handed down a decision reversing a lower court’s ruling in favor of a defendant who struck a pedestrian as she was crossing the street. The court based its reversal on the improper jury instructions that were given by the trial judge.

Samson v. Nahulu:  The Facts of the Case

In the case, Samson v. Nahulu, the plaintiff was the family of a young girl who was seriously injured when she was struck by an SUV driven by the defendant. The facts of the case were hotly contested at trial, with testimony from several eyewitnesses differing as to many of the important variables, such as whether the girl was in the crosswalk at the time of the accident, how far into the road she was when she was hit, and where exactly the nearby buses were parked in relation to the point of collision.

During trial, the judge made several important rulings regarding the evidence that the jury was allowed to consider. Specifically, the judge determined that the plaintiff would not be permitted to have a lay witness testify that the defendant was going “too fast,” and the court would not allow a photo of the intersection annotated by a witness that showed the young girl was in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.

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Earlier this week in Germantown, a pedestrian was killed as he crossed Route 355 at around six o’clock in the afternoon. According to a local news source, a northbound driver struck the pedestrian, who was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

With more and more people out on the road than ever before, auto manufacturers and lawmakers are constantly looking for technology that can reduce the increasing amount of fatal accidents across the country. According to one recent news article, new technology being developed by a German company may help drivers avoid pedestrian accidents.

Evidently, the Germany-based company, Bosch, is currently working on technology that can act to take over the control of a vehicle that would likely end up hitting a pedestrian. According to researchers, the technology can sense when a pedestrian is nearby and can track their likely trajectory. If the on-board computer believes that the driver is unaware of the pedestrian and that a collision is imminent, brakes can be applied, and the car can even steer itself away from the pedestrian.

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Earlier this month, a one-year-old boy was killed when he was struck by an car that had been hit by a driver who was fleeing police. According to one local news source, the accident occurred on the 5300 block of Monrovia Road.

Evidently, the driver first struck an unoccupied police cruiser that was near the scene of another fatal accident. Instead of stopping, the driver fled the scene with police in tow. Police were chasing the vehicle, which was heading into downtown Baltimore, when it crashed into a Volvo. The Volvo was pushed up onto the curb, where it collided with the one-year-old boy, who was in a stroller being pushed by his mother.

The driver was seriously injured and was taken to the hospital that evening. He was discharged the next day before charges had been filed against him. He left the hospital, and it wasn’t until two days later that charges were filed. At the time of the article’s publication, police were still looking for the man.

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Earlier this month in Woodlawn, a pedestrian accident claimed the life of one Maryland woman and seriously injured a second person. According to one local news report, the accident took place in the early morning hours at the intersection of Security Boulevard and Gwynn Oak Avenue.

Evidently, the pedestrians were crossing at an intersection that was not well lit and was not marked with a crosswalk when a Toyota Prius struck them both. The driver of the Prius remained on the scene and has cooperated with the police investigation, which is still ongoing. The 56-year-old woman was taken to Sinai Hospital, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Her male companion was also taken to the hospital, although his condition is not currently known.

The crash remains under investigation, and the driver of the Prius has not yet been cited by authorities for her role in the fatal accident.

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Earlier last month in Lanham, Maryland, one man was killed when he was struck by a car that was being operated by a woman whom he was romantically involved with, possibly his wife. According to one local news report, the accident took place on the 9400 block of Washington Boulevard and Seabrook Road. Witnesses on the scene at the time told reporters that it appeared as though the driver of the car targeted the pedestrian.

Evidently, the vehicle was traveling on Seabrook Drive when it suddenly changed its direction of travel and collided with the pedestrian. After the pedestrian was hit, he became airborne and landed next to a tree that was a few feet off the roadway. Witnesses told reporters that the driver of the car then drove up over the curb and into the tree, crushing the man.

Witness accounts differ, but some people say that the woman started screaming that it was her husband and that he had been beating her. Other accounts suggest that she found out that he was being unfaithful. In either event, it seems as though it could have been an intentional act. Police, however, did not immediately determine that the incident was a homicide and instead opened an investigation.

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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.

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