Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Baltimore
In most circumstances, pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles on the roads of Baltimore. Even when a pedestrian does not have a legal right-of-way, a careless driver can be held liable if he or she fails to notice and hits a pedestrian.
When a pedestrian is injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, the victim can demand compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. For more than 40 years, the pedestrian accident lawyers of Cohen & Dwin, P.A., have been helping injured accident victims and their families obtain the full and fair compensation they deserve.
With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have earned a reputation for fighting for the rights of accident victims in Baltimore. Contact us today to speak with one of our respected Baltimore pedestrian accident attorneys for knowledgeable guidance in pursuing a claim for compensation.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Baltimore
When you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Baltimore, you may wonder whether you need an attorney to handle your claim. The truth is: If you have been hurt, you need to speak with an attorney about your legal rights. You can count on the insurance companies to have attorneys on their side, and you deserve a fair playing field.
At Cohen & Dwin, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience helping clients who have been injured in pedestrian accidents. We use our firm’s depth of experience and resources to fully investigate your accident to identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries, as well as the sources of compensation that may be available.
While you focus on your recovery from your injuries, your attorney can get to work negotiating with the responsible parties and insurers for a settlement that provides you with the compensation you need and deserve.
Of course, if a settlement cannot be achieved in your case, your pedestrian accident attorney can advocate aggressively on your behalf at trial. At Cohen & Dwin, our respected legal team is made up of seasoned trial attorneys who are always prepared to see cases through to verdict.
Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to various kinds of damages as compensation for the harm you have suffered. Compensation for personal injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident falls into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate an injured pedestrian for financial losses suffered due to his or her injuries. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, physical and occupational therapy, medical equipment, mobility equipment or prosthetics, or home health care
- Lost income, if you miss work during your recovery from your injuries
- Diminished earning capacity, if your injuries cause disabilities that prevent you from returning to the kind or amount of work that you could perform prior to your injuries
Non-economic damages compensate an injured pedestrian for intangible, subjective harm arising from his or her injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, which is the emotional or physical anguish or distress caused by your injuries
- Loss of quality of life, resulting from consequences of your injuries such as physical disfigurement or disability that prevent you from accomplishing daily tasks or participating in activities you enjoyed prior to your accident
An insurance company may approach you after an accident to offer you a fast settlement. Do not sign anything without speaking to one of our pedestrian accident lawyers. An initial settlement offer will be far less than what you need to cover all the damages in your case. Let one of our lawyers review your case for free and explain your legal rights.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim after a Baltimore Pedestrian Accident?
Under Maryland law, a pedestrian who is involved in an accident has a limited period of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This period is known as the statute of limitations.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations on a lawsuit for personal injuries arising from a pedestrian accident is three years from the date of the crash. If you do not file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, a court can permanently dismiss your case.
There are exceptions under which the statute of limitations can be paused, or “tolled.” One of the most common reasons for tolling the statute of limitations is the discovery rule, which says that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until an injured party has “discovered” the facts and circumstances giving rise to his or her claim. For example, the statute of limitations may be tolled for a pedestrian accident claim if the pedestrian was the victim of a hit-and-run and did not know the identity of the driver.
Maryland law also tolls the statute of limitations in other circumstances. For example, if a minor has a claim, the statute of limitations generally does not begin to run until he or she turns 18.
What to Do If You Are a Pedestrian Hit by a Car
First, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible following your accident. Prompt diagnosis will not only improve the timeline and prognosis for recovery, but it will also ensure that your injuries are properly documented.
If possible, you should also collect evidence from the accident scene. If you cannot take photographs of the scene, ask someone you know to take photographs for you. You should try to capture important elements, such as road lines and traffic controls, any skid marks on the road, the position of any vehicles after the accident, and the general weather, lighting, and road conditions. Also, get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
You will also need to call the police to report the crash. You should obtain a copy of the police accident report, which may assign fault for the accident, especially if a motorist is cited for a traffic violation or arrested for a criminal offense.
As time goes on, you might also want to diary or document the effects that your injuries have on your life. This can be useful to support a claim for pain and suffering damages.
Finally, you should retain a Baltimore pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be contacted by insurance adjusters who will try to take statements from you or may offer you a quick settlement. Having a lawyer to represent you in your pedestrian accident claim will prevent you from making statements that might later be used against you by the insurance companies or defense attorneys. A lawyer will also be able to calculate what full and fair compensation for your past and future expenses should be.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Baltimore
Although every case we handle is unique, our Baltimore pedestrian accident lawyers have seen some causes of crashes that are more common than others, such as:
- Lack of sidewalks – In areas where there are no designated sidewalks, pedestrians are forced to walk along the side of the road, putting them in danger of being hit by a vehicle that swerves out of a driving lane.
- Unmarked crosswalks – marked crosswalks let pedestrians know where it is safe to cross streets and warn drivers to be observant for pedestrians who may be crossing at that crosswalk. If crosswalks are not marked, drivers may fail to observe pedestrians crossing the street.
- Left-hand turns – Many pedestrian accidents occur when drivers are more focused on navigating an intersection in a left-turn, rather than on pedestrians who may be lawfully crossing the street.
- Distracted driving – Accidents can easily occur when drivers are distracted by cellphones, GPS, or other occupants of the vehicle.
- Driving under the influence – Accidents involving pedestrians can also occur if a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In these cases, the driver may flee the scene in hopes of avoiding getting caught.
- Inadequate lighting – Drivers can fail to observe pedestrians when there is inadequate street lighting, especially if a pedestrian is wearing dark clothing.
- Reversing – Many pedestrian accidents occur when a vehicle is reversing since the driver’s vision may be obstructed and they can miss pedestrians crossing behind their vehicle, especially small children.
Talk to a Baltimore Pedestrian Accident Attorney Now
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Baltimore, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. Don’t delay pursuing the financial recovery that you need to start putting your life back on track after a catastrophic pedestrian accident.
Contact the Baltimore pedestrian accident attorneys at Cohen & Dwin today to discuss your legal rights and to learn more about how our attorneys can use our more than 100 years of combined experience to fight for the justice you deserve. The initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay us anything unless we win money for you.