Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accident

Deciding who is at fault in a pedestrian accident is always difficult. Pedestrian cases are often the most difficult cases to win if they go to trial.However injuries from pedestrian accident claims are usually very serious. Lawyers must work very hard to make sure these types of cases are presented properly.https://www.ataslaw.com/determines-respo…omobile-accident/ ‎

A pedestrian is defined by Maryland law as a person on foot. Pedestrians include police officers, maintenance workers and others whose work requires their presence on the road. A motorcycle rider who dismounts and pushes his motorcycle is considered a pedestrian. A bicycle rider who has dismounted and is pushing his bike is a pedestrian. A person pushing a disabled vehicle is a pedestrian. A child on a sled on the street is not a pedestrian.

In a pedestrian accident the rules of the road provide that if a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent highway. § 21-506. Pedestrians on roadways
(a) Where sidewalks provided. — Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.
(b) Where sidewalks not provided. — Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian who walks along and on a highway may walk only on the left shoulder, if practicable, or on the left side of the roadway, as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway, facing any traffic that might approach from the opposite direction.

In a pedestrian accident where, however, a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a high-way may walk on the left shoulder only, if practicable, or on the left side of the roadway as close to the edge as practicable, and facing any traffic that may approach from the opposite direction.  Failure to so is not automatically considered contributory negligence.

In pedestrian accident cases involving pedestrians crossing the highway, the key question is whether the pedestrian was crossing in a crosswalk. Under Maryland law, motor vehicles have the right of way when the pedestrian is crossing the street and is not inside the cross walk. Pedestrians have the right of way over motor vehicles when the pedestrian is in the cross walk.

What is a cross walk?

Cross walks can be marked or unmarked. Everyone is familiar with what a marked crosswalk looks like. An unmarked cross walk is that part of a roadway that is within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of the sidewalks at any place where two or more roadways meet measured from the curb. It is not necessary that the sidewalk be paved. If there are no sidewalks then there can be no imaginary crosswalk.

While Maryland pedestrian accident law does not automatically find the pedestrians who crosses the street outside a crosswalk is negligent, that is likely what will be found in most circumstances because the pedestrian has the greatest duty of care for their own safety.Pedestrians are likely to be found at fault when crossing the street outside a cross walk when the fail to look before crossing or look but fail to see the oncoming car. Pedestrians outside the crosswalk have prevailed when they are struck by a vehicle going 50 miles per hour over the speed limit or were hit when the car was in the improper lane.

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-503  Crossing at other than crosswalks
(a) In general If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
(b) Where special pedestrian crossing provided. If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections. — Between adjacent intersections at which a traffic control signal is in operation, a pedestrian may cross a roadway only in a marked crosswalk.
(d) Crossing intersection diagonally. — A pedestrian may not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by a traffic control device for crossing movements. If authorized to cross diagonally, a pedestrian may cross only in accordance with the traffic control device.

Pedestrian usually have the right of way crossing in a crosswalk in a pedestrian accident case. However the pedestrian  does not have unlimited rights and still has a duty to use reasonable care to avoid an injury. Pedestrian cannot enter a crosswalk without looking and can only enter when safe to do so. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk on the side of the road or so close to their side as to be a danger to the automobile driving near the crosswalk, the motor vehicle has a duty to stop. Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-502  (2017)

  • 21-502. Pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks
    (a) In general. —
    (1) This subsection does not apply where:
    (i) A pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, as described in § 21-503 (b) of this subtitle; or
    (ii) A traffic control signal is in operation.
    (2) The driver of a vehicle shall come to a stop when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:
    (i) On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling; or
    (ii) Approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half of the roadway.
    (b) Duty of pedestrian. — A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

The preference of right of way for pedestrians in a crosswalk in a pedestrian accident case, does not apply where the crosswalk is at a controlled intersection where a traffic signal is in operation. Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-501 Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations
At an intersection, a pedestrian is subject to all traffic control signals, as provided in §§ 21-202 and 21-203 of this title. However, at any other place, a pedestrian has the rights and is subject to the restrictions stated in this title.

The Maryland law outlines who has the right of way at controlled intersections:

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-202  Traffic lights with steady indication

(a) In general. —
(1) Except for special pedestrian signals that carry a legend, where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals that show different colored lights or colored lighted arrows, whether successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red, and yellow may be used.

(2) These lights apply to drivers and pedestrians as provided in this section.
(b) Green indication. — Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or, unless a sign at the place prohibits the turn, turn right or left.
(c) Yielding right-of-way to vehicles or pedestrians within intersections or crosswalks. — Vehicular traffic described under subsection (b) of this section, including any vehicle turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to any other vehicle and any pedestrian lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk when the signal is shown.
(d) Entering intersection on green arrow. — Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, whether shown alone or with another indication, cautiously may enter the intersection, but only to make the movement indicated by the arrow or to make another movement permitted by other indications shown at the same time.
(e) Yielding right-of-way to certain pedestrians and other traffic. — Vehicular traffic described under subsection (d) of this section shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian or bicycle lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
(f) When pedestrians may cross roadways. — Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in § 21-203 of this subtitle, a pedestrian facing any green signal, unless the green signal is only a turn arrow, may cross the roadway, within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, in the direction of the green signal.
(g) Steady yellow indication. —
(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is warned that the related green movement is ending or that a red signal, which will prohibit vehicular traffic from entering the intersection, will be shown immediately after the yellow signal.

(2) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in § 21-203 of this subtitle, a pedestrian facing a steady yellow signal is warned that there is not enough time to cross the roadway before a red signal is shown, and a pedestrian may not then start to cross the roadway.
(h) Steady red indication — In general. —
(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone:
(i) Shall stop at the near side of the intersection:
1. At a clearly marked stop line;
2. If there is no clearly marked stop line, before entering any crosswalk; or

  1. If there is no crosswalk, before entering the intersection; and
    (ii) Except as provided in subsections (i), (j), and (k) of this section, shall remain stopped until a signal to proceed is shown

(2) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal:
(i) May not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow;
(ii) Unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at the near side of the intersection:
1. At a clearly marked stop line;
2. If there is no clearly marked stop line, before entering any crosswalk; or

  1. If there is no crosswalk, before entering the intersection; and
    (iii) Except as provided in subsections (i), (j), and (k) of this section, shall remain stopped until a signal permitting the movement is shown.
    (i) Steady red indication — Entering intersection for right turn or for left turn from one-way street onto one-way street. — Unless a sign prohibiting a turn is in place, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal, after stopping as required by subsection (h) of this section, cautiously may enter the intersection and make

(1) A right turn; or
(2) A left turn from a one-way street onto a one-way street.
(j) Steady red indication — Entering intersection to make turn indicated by sign. — If a sign permitting any other turn is in place, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal, after stopping as required by subsection (h) of this section, cautiously may enter the intersection and make the turn indicated by the sign.
(k) Steady red indication — Yielding right-of-way to certain pedestrians. — In each instance, vehicular traffic described in subsections (i) and (j) of this section shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian or bicycle lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(l) Steady red indication — Pedestrians prohibited from entering roadway. — Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in § 21-203 of this subtitle, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone may not enter the roadway.
(m) Applicability of section. — Except for those provisions of this section that by their very nature cannot apply, this section applies to a traffic control signal placed at a location other than an intersection. Each stop required by the signal shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made or, if there is no sign or marking, at the signal.

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-203 Pedestrian control signals
(a) In general. — Where special pedestrian control signals showing the words “walk”, “don’t walk”, or “wait” or the symbols of “walking person” or “upraised hand” are in place, the signals have the indications provided in this section.
(b) Walk. — A pedestrian facing a “walk” or “walking person” signal may cross the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right-of-way by the driver of any vehicle. At an intersection where an exclusive all-pedestrian interval is provided, a pedestrian may cross the roadway in any direction within the intersection.
(c) Don’t walk. — A pedestrian may not start to cross the roadway in the direction of a “don’t walk” or “upraised hand” signal.
(d) Wait signal — Beginning crossing prohibited. — A pedestrian may not start to cross the roadway in the direction of a “wait signal”.
(e) Wait signal — Partially completed crossing. — If a pedestrian has partly completed crossing on a “walk” or “walking person” signal, the pedestrian shall proceed without delay to a sidewalk or safety island while the “don’t walk”, “wait”, or “upraised hand” signal is showing.

If a vehicle is stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway in a crosswalk, a driver approaching from the rear, may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle in a pedestrian accident case. This does not protect the pedestrian not crossing at a crosswalk. Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-502 (2017) (c) Passing of vehicle stopped for pedestrian prohibited. — If, at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a vehicle is stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

 

 

            Children darting out in front of cars. There are some general rules that apply in this type of pedestrian accident case.
  1. Children four years old and under cannot be contributorily negligent.
  2. If a driver is traveling at a reasonable rate of speed and obeying the rules of the road so that with the exercise of due care he is unable to avoid a darting child, the driver is generally not liable.
  3. Excessive speed could result in the driver being held liable even when a child darts out in front of the car.

 

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-504. Drivers to exercise due care
(a) In general. — Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
(b) Duty to warn pedestrians. — Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall, if necessary, warn any pedestrian by sounding the horn of the vehicle.
(c) Duty to exercise precaution on observing child or certain other individuals. — Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise proper precaution on observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated individual.

 



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