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.
Pedestrian Accidents Increasing in Frequency across the Nation
Not only are pedestrian accidents dangerous, but also they appear to be increasing in frequency, according to one national news report citing a Governor’s Highway Safety Administration report. The 2015 data suggests that the year-to-year increase of pedestrian deaths was a 10.5% increase of the 2014 data. This is the largest year-to-year increase since the Administration began tracking the data.
The study notes that the largest number of pedestrian fatalities occur in crowded urban areas. The Administration partially credits the increase to the economy over the past few years, meaning that the number of people living in urban environments and walking to work has increased. However, the study also concludes that the increased prevalence of cell-phone use among drivers also significantly contributed to the dramatic increase in pedestrian fatalities.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland or D.C. Pedestrian Accident?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation though a Maryland or Washington, D.C. wrongful death action. In both Maryland and Washington, D.C., the laws that allow for recovery require that the deceased party be free of fault before a loved one is entitled to compensation. This often results in significant litigation over the actions of the deceased person, and it is important that a dedicated attorney be consulted prior to filing to prepare for the inevitable defenses. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney.
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