Laurel Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Our Laurel pedestrian accident lawyers have been serving the greater Maryland area since 1954. While we have served Maryland since our founding, we opened a second office in 2020 to focus on serving Maryland residents. Looking forward, we continue to meet the needs of pedestrians hit by motor vehicles in Laurel. And unfortunately, those needs are as pressing as ever.
As technology has progressed over the past few decades, drivers are faced with more and more distractions. While the presence of distractions is not a valid excuse for drivers, it is a reality of driving. And pedestrians in Laurel face the brunt of it. In Laurel in 2022, there were more motor vehicle accidents than there had been the past 10 years, barring 2016. There were 614 motor vehicle accidents and 2,282 moving violations resulting in tickets. While the City of Laurel does not report pedestrian accident statistics, the increasing number of motor vehicle accidents is cause for concern.
Making a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Laurel
Making a negligence claim in Laurel can be a difficult process. First, you must prove negligence. Laurel follows the common law definition of negligence, requiring proof of four elements. As the plaintiff, you must be able to prove that the defendant driver owes you a duty of reasonable care. Additionally, you must prove that the driver breached that duty, and that breach is causally related to your injuries.
Moreover, you should not be negligent yourself as the pedestrian. Laurel and all of Maryland is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. This means that if you, as the plaintiff, are even 1% negligent, you are unable to make a claim. However, there are limited exceptions to this rule which may still allow you to recover for your injuries. Furthermore, as a pedestrian and layperson, it may be unclear what qualifies as negligent. If you have any questions related to your accident, please reach out to a qualified and experienced Laurel pedestrian accident lawyer.
What is the Collateral Source Rule?
Once you successfully prove liability, there is still the matter of proving how much money you should get out of the recovery. As an example, if you can prove you are owed $25,000 from the defendant and her insurance company agrees to pay you that amount as settlement, you may run into the issue of collateral source. Insurance companies like to bring this issue up, but the law is clear. It states that damages should not be reduced by reason of benefits received by the plaintiff from other sources.
So, let’s say your own health insurance paid your $10,000 of medical expenses, the defendant’s insurance company may claim they only owe you the remaining $15,000 you have not yet received. However, the collateral source rule holds that you are entitled to the full $25,000 if that is what the damages are worth, irrespective of whether you received benefits from a collateral source. This becomes invaluable when, in most instances, your insurance provider places a lien on your recovery, which they are legally able to do. In fact, the law requires you to pay back that lien out of the recovery. So, you will still receive your $25,000, but it is unlikely you will receive more than that unless your insurance policy allows.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
As discussed, distracted driving is a legitimate concern for pedestrians. Even if you have a walk light for your crosswalk, you still should be alert for drivers not paying attention. Be it a car, truck, or motorcycle, if the driver does not see you and hits you, your injuries could be fatal. Below is a list of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Laurel:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Negligent pedestrian
- Running a red light
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Poor weather conditions
- Running in the roadway
- Reckless driving
Contact a Laurel Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The tort and insurance law in a pedestrian accident case can be confusing. Additionally, a pedestrian accident lawyer can help you deal with the insurance company so that you do not have to. If you have any questions, call today for a free case consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.