Jill Kolodner | October 24, 2023 | Pedestrian Accidents
Jaywalking is not a term you will find in the Maryland Transportation Code. However, most people know that jaywalking means crossing a road in the middle of the block instead of at a designated crosswalk or intersection. Instead of making jaywalking illegal in Maryland, the code has several laws that cover various aspects of the activity.
What Are the Jaywalking Laws in Maryland?
You can receive a jaywalking ticket if you fail to yield the right of way or fail to obey pedestrian laws dictating where you can cross roads and streets. Some of the important Maryland jaywalking laws include:
- You can cross the road at an intersection with an unmarked crosswalk or in the middle of a block if there is no stoplight at the intersection. However, you must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.
- If the nearest intersection has a stoplight, you must walk to the intersection to cross.
- You must cross roads with marked crosswalks and traffic lights in the crosswalk. Otherwise, it is jaywalking.
- If there is a pedestrian tunnel or bridge, you are supposed to use the bridge or tunnel to cross the road. If you cross the without using the tunnel or bridge and cars are around, it is jaywalking.
- Crossing against a signal is jaywalking, regardless of whether cars are around.
Understanding the laws regarding jaywalking in Maryland is crucial because they can impact a personal injury case for a pedestrian accident claim. Maryland’s strict contributory fault law could bar you from receiving any money for your claim if you were jaywalking at the time of your pedestrian accident. More on this below.
How Does Jaywalking Impact a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Maryland?
Maryland is only one of four states, in addition to the District of Columbia, that still uses a pure contributory negligence standard for personal injury cases. Under this rule, if an injured party contributes to the cause of their injuries or damages, they are barred from recovery. In other words, if you are partially to blame for causing the pedestrian accident, you could not receive any compensation for your damages.
For example, suppose that you crossed the road against a traffic light. A car struck you because the driver was texting while driving.
You are partially to blame because you were crossing the road when you did not have the right of way. The driver is partially to blame because they were distracted, and the distractions prevented the driver from avoiding hitting you.
A jury hears your case and decides the driver is primarily at fault. They assign 80% of the fault to the distracted drive.
However, the jury assigns you the remaining 20% of the fault. Because you contributed to the cause of the accident, you cannot receive any money for your injuries and damages.
Contributory negligence is the harshest standard for apportioning damages in a personal injury case. You could be 1% to blame and still receive nothing for your damages.
How Can You Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore, MD?
Insurance companies use contributory fault to avoid paying claims. They blame victims for contributing to the cause of their injuries even when the victims did nothing wrong.
Therefore, it is never a good idea to deal directly with an insurance adjuster or other representative for the insurance company. Anything you say could be twisted and intentionally misconstrued to imply you admitted fault for causing the accident.
Instead, contact a Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer immediately. Let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney understands the tactics insurance companies use to cheat victims out of the money they deserve.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore, MD?
- Medical bills and expenses
- The cost of future and ongoing medical treatment
- Disabilities and impairments
- Physical pain and suffering
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Personal and/or nursing care
- Rehabilitative therapies
- Property damage
Pedestrians can sustain traumatic and life-threatening injuries when they are hit by vehicles. They often incur substantial financial damages. They also experience extreme pain and suffering.
If you were hit by a car in Maryland, don’t let the insurance company convince you that you were partially to blame. Instead, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation for damages.
Contact The Baltimore Pedestrian Accident Law Firm Of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
WGK Personal Injury Lawyers
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States