Something that we as Maryland personal injury attorneys have learned over the years is that life is nothing if not unpredictable. This should, of course, come as no surprise to most people; for one thing the auto, life and health insurance companies have made a relatively good business out of insuring people against the unknown events in their lives. Whether the future holds an unforeseen medical condition, a house fire or basement flood, or an untimely death, an insurance policy should help to cover a persona and her family against certain losses associate with that event.
In the case of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, auto insurance is designed to help the victim with the cost of medical care, vehicle repair or replacement and other property damage claims. It is when an insurance company is reluctant to provide the full amount of recovery expenses that an individual or a family may find themselves in a real bind. With doctor and hospital bills coming in the mail and reduced or non-existent income due to one’s inability to work after a severe crash, it’s not uncommon to feel that the system has failed a person.
This is when the randomness of life really starts to hit home. But it all starts on the road with the unpredictability of a traffic collision. In some cases, the victim can be a driver coming home from work, or a family taking a much needed vacation on the road. Sometimes, just crossing the street can be a risky endeavor. In fact, we would suggest that even getting out of one’s vehicle near a heavily trafficked roadway is an invitation to danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were just over 4,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2009. These victims, from all across the U.S. and from nearly walk of life, died after being hit by a motor vehicle. From car accidents involving persons on foot to pedestrian-delivery truck crashes, another 70,000-plus people were hurt that year. And it hasn’t gotten any better of late.
Pedestrian collisions can happen as the result of many causes. Distracted drivers are responsible for most of these kinds of roadway accidents. Whether you live or work in the Baltimore, Gaithersburg, Bowie or Washington, D.C., area, you must always be aware of your immediate environment, because someone somewhere is probably not watching out for you.
A couple of accidents late last year pointed up the random nature of auto wrecks and the victims who suffer as a result of them. In the first instance, a man had gotten out of his vehicle for some reason along a stretch of the Pulaski Highway in Baltimore County. He was reportedly hit by a passing vehicle and died a short time later. If he had car trouble, should he have stayed inside the vehicle until help arrived? It’s hard to know, but the result of the collision is all too clear.
Based on information from police, the collision happened in the White Marsh area after an Edgewood resident stopped his vehicle in the center median of the highway near Reames Rd. and then got out of the car. Around 6pm the man was hit by a passing vehicle as he was apparently standing next to his car. The vehicle that struck the victim then hit two other cars on the roadway.
In a second crash the next day, this one in the Baltimore area, a 74-year-old driver from Chester, MD, was driving his Nissan minivan southbound along Rte 8 at about 8pm when he started to make a turn onto the ramp leading to Rte 50 heading east. As he was making the turn, a northbound GMC sport utility vehicle ran the red light and slammed into the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle.
The elderly driver suffered some injuries,, although police stated that they were non-life-threatening. Emergency responders reportedly took the man to Shock Trauma for emergency treatment and he was released the following day.