Daylight Savings Time may be good for farmers, but it’s definitely not that great for both pedestrians and drivers traveling on busy Maryland roads. As a pedestrian, you can get blinded by the car’s lights and get disoriented. And if you are wearing dark clothing, it’s even harder for the motorists to see you at night. Accidents involving pedestrians are very common. And although the total number of auto accident related fatalities is slowly decreasing, the number of pedestrian fatalities stays relatively the same—around 4,700 a year in Maryland. Thousands more are lucky to survive, but rarely escape uninjured. If you or someone you know have been injured in a vehicle-pedestrian collision, you are probably wondering about your compensation options. Our Maryland auto accident lawyers are here to walk you through the available means of recovering the damages from your accident.
The Driver’s Auto Insurance
All drivers in Maryland are required to carry certain minimal insurance. This insurance can be used to compensate you for your expenses, property damage, mental anguish and other negative consequences of an auto accident. However, because Maryland is a “fault” state, you are allowed to collect compensation only if the driver was at fault for hitting you with their car. If you were looking at your phone and not paying attention to the traffic, you may be unable to collect compensation through the driver’s insurance. If that’s the case, talk to your Maryland auto accidents lawyer to evaluate your options.
Your Auto Insurance
If you own a vehicle and have auto insurance, your policy may protect you even if you are not driving at the time of an accident. For example, under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage is designed to help you pay your medical expenses if the driver who hit you has no or insufficient insurance. Similarly, personal injury protection insurance (PIP) helps compensate you for medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs, among other things, even if you are the party at fault. You heard that right, if you have PIP you could be at fault and still collect the compensation. In some cases, if you are not at fault you may be able to collect twice—from the other driver’s policy and from your PIP.
If you were “on the job” when a vehicle struck you, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. The difficult part in obtaining this sort of compensation is proving that you were actually on the job, since you were obviously not inside your office building or maybe not even near your place of employment. However, if you were running an errand for your boss, crossing a street to deliver a package, attending a client meeting or doing something else on company time, it may count as being on the job. Consult with your Maryland workers’ compensation attorney if you are not sure whether you are eligible for workers’ comp.
Settlement From a Lawsuit
If the driver’s insurance company claims that you are at fault and refuses to pay you, or if what they offer is not enough, you often have an option to file a personal injury lawsuit. This will require hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, talking to witnesses and putting together a solid case to present in court. Depending on your specific situation, you may expect to recover damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The exact amount is hard to predict, but here are a few factors that affect it to help you estimate:
- How severe your injuries are and whether you are able to recover completely.
- How much time off work you had to take and may have to take in the future.
- Whether you could do anything to avoid the collision.
- How much your quality of life and daily routine have suffered.
- What kind of medical treatment you are receiving.
- How much pain you are in.
- What negative long-term consequences you have to cope with.
As you can imagine, severe injuries with long-term effects typically yield higher compensation. And in situations with no witnesses and little evidence, a lot depends on how good your attorney is. If you are looking to consult with an attorney, just give DRA e-Law a call to speak with one of our auto accident lawyers. We’ll be happy to answer your questions!