Pedestrians and Baltimore Car Crashes

In Baltimore, MD, pedestrians, and drivers share a crucial responsibility – to coexist safely on the roads. Unfortunately, pedestrian car accidents do occur, resulting in severe injuries for those on foot. Children are especially vulnerable to pedestrian crashes, teach your children how to keep themselves safe. Even when a pedestrian is struck by a slow-moving vehicle, serious injuries and fatalities can occur. This includes people who are hit while standing, walking, running, or simply getting out of their vehicle. The risk of serious pedestrian injury and fatality increases the faster the vehicle involved is going.

In Maryland, roughly 3,500 traffic car wrecks a year involve pedestrians. Over the last five years, on average, 135 people die annually in Maryland pedestrian auto accidents involving at least one motor vehicle.

Zero Deaths Maryland – a public safety initiative of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Motor Vehicle Administration – compiles data related to all traffic crashes in the state. The top causes and contributing factors in Maryland fatal pedestrian accidents are as follows:

  • From 2017 to 2022, one out of every four people killed in a traffic crash was a pedestrian.
  • Metropolitan areas have the highest concentration of pedestrian-involved crashes, with Metropolitan Baltimore accounting for 58.9 percent of the state’s pedestrian accidents.
  • Friday is the peak day for pedestrian accidents, with the most fatal pedestrian accidents occurring on a Saturday.
  • More men are injured in pedestrian-involved car crashes, accounting for 56 percent of injured pedestrians and 72 percent of fatalities.
  • School ones, construction zones, neighborhood streets, and parking lots are all examples where increased pedestrian traffic is expected, so motorists are advised to reduce their speed and remain alert.
  • Speed, impaired driving, motorists’ inability to see pedestrians at night, distracted driving and now, distracted walking – especially when using mobile device – are all contributing factors that may lead to serious pedestrian car crashes.

Maryland has pedestrian safety laws in place to protect both pedestrians and motorists. Many of these laws involve using common sense for both motorists and pedestrians; e.g., obeying speed limits, using crosswalks and sidewalks when on foot, slowing down for street crossings and in areas with heavy foot traffic (including schools, shopping plazas, and construction zones), and in general, being aware of your surroundings.

The state of Maryland is serious about preventing pedestrian accidents. The Maryland Vulnerable Road User law took effect in 2021, mandating stricter penalties for causing harm to vulnerable individuals (including pedestrians, cyclists, road workers or emergency personnel among others) while operating a motor vehicle. A conviction can carry fines of up to $2,000 and up to 150 hours of community service.

Everyone is in a rush and on their cell phones. Please, slow down and be mindful of those around you. Maryland motorists are sharing the road not only with each other, but with those on foot. Be careful out there and watch out for pedestrians. And remember, when you are out walking, be mindful of the cars around you; walk carefully and do your best to be seen.

The Seriousness of Pedestrian Injuries in Car Accidents

Pedestrians are at a serious disadvantage when they are involved in motor vehicle collisions due to the stark difference in size and protection. The injuries pedestrians often suffer in such accidents can be devastating and life-altering and can include:

  • Fractures. The impact of a vehicle can lead to broken bones, requiring extensive medical treatment, sometimes including surgery and ongoing rehabilitation.
  • Head Injuries. Pedestrians are at a high risk of brain injuries, ranging from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), with long-term implications for cognitive function.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries. Severe accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord, which can result in partial or full paralysis.
  • Internal Injuries. Internal injuries can include damage to internal organs, which may not produce symptoms at first but which can prove fatal.
  • PTSD. Pedestrian car wrecks often cause emotional trauma, causing flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty focusing, and other debilitating symptoms.


What to Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian Car Crash in Maryland

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, these are the steps you should take:

  1. Call 911. A police report is essential and should contain the driver’s information, the facts of the accident, a description of the scene, and other information that will be important to your claim.
  2. Get medical attention. If you or someone else in your vehicle needs medical attention, be sure to give the 911 operator that information so they can dispatch emergency medical services in addition to law enforcement. If medical care is ongoing after the accident, be sure to follow-up with your doctors, therapists, or another other medical professional’s until you are officially released from their care concerning the crash. Seek medical help even if you think your injuries are so minor that you do not require treatment. Symptoms of some injuries might not appear for days or weeks after the accident, so documenting your condition immediately after the pedestrian accident is crucial for an insurance settlement or legal claim.
  3. Write down any information about the other vehicle and driver you can remember. If you got the license plate, write it down. Write down the make, model, and color of the vehicle. If you saw the driver and can remember any details about him or her, write those descriptors down. Everything you can remember will aid law enforcement in locating the at fault driver if they happen to leave the scene.
  4. If there were witnesses to the pedestrian car crash, be sure to get their contact information. Witnesses can be the most valuable took in a personal injury claim. Write down each witness’s name, phone number, and email address. If they can stay until law enforcement arrives, they may be able to give details about the collision that you do not know or did not see.
  5. Document the accident scene. Take photos of the pedestrian accident scene, including anything that might have contributed to the accident (for example, non-working traffic lights, obscured traffic signs, hazardous road conditions).
  6. Contact the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt, immediately. Contact our office to schedule a free pedestrian car accident consultation. We can discuss your options for receiving compensation for your injuries. Our legal team has access to reconstruction experts, financial professionals, medical experts, and other experts who can bolster your claim for relief.

10 Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  1. Always cross at a corner or intersection and use a marked crosswalk where available.
  2. Yield the right-of-way to a vehicle if crossing where there is not a marked crosswalk.
  3. Before crossing, look left, then right, then left again to check for cars and oncoming traffic.
  4. Walk facing traffic.
  5. Obey traffic signals and walk signs.
  6. Be alert – do not text or be occupied on your phone while walking.
  7. If you are wearing a listening device, either keep one ear “free” or the volume low enough that you can still hear outside noise like traffic or sirens.
  8. Wear reflective clothing when walking at night and carry a flashlight.
  9. Avoid walking while intoxicated; impairment can increase your risk of being hit by a car or truck.
  10. Walk on the sidewalk or designated walking area where one is available. If there is not a sidewalk, stay as far to the left as possible.

Maryland Pedestrian Accident Statutes of Limitations

You have 3 years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit for a Maryland personal injury.

If you are suing a government employee acting in their official capacity, or any state government agency (which is usually the entity that maintains roads and highways), you must first deliver a claim letter to the Maryland State Treasurer that states why you believe the state is responsible for your injuries. This letter must be sent and postmarked within 1 year of your injury.

If your lawsuit is against a local government, your claim letter would need to go to the local government, itself. If your claim involves a government agency, a lawyer can best advise you on where and how to make a claim.

Get Legal Help After a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore

The issues you face after a pedestrian car crash are not as simple as some people would have you believe. From how medical bills get paid to how much you should be compensated it is always better to receive a free consultation from a car accident personal injury lawyer than to rely on an insurance company that increases its profits by paying you less. If you are a pedestrian in Maryland, it is essential to walk safe and walk aware. In the unfortunate event you are injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt as soon as possible so we can start protecting your right to financial recovery.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt have years of experience handling cases like yours, and would be honored to help you and your family with the legal recovery process while you focus on healing. If you are too injured to travel, we may be able to set up a virtual consultation or come see you. Our family-based law firm works closely with survivors of car collisions to help them seek fair compensation. Your initial consultation costs nothing and it is an important way for you to understand your potential case. Contact the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt at 443-844-1528 to schedule your no-cost consultation today.