Many areas with heavy foot traffic see an unfortunate number of pedestrian accidents. In particular, large events can bring hundreds of people to a single location at once. Washington D.C. is a city where a major event is always happening. However, without adequate precautions in place, pedestrians may not be safe from oncoming traffic. Pedestrian accidents may be the result of distracted driving, excessive speeding, or a failure of the premises to implement safety measures such as crosswalks or crossing guards. Too often, these incidents can lead to serious injury or even death.
Recently, a couple was killed following a pedestrian accident in Gaithersburg, Maryland. According to a local news article, the accident occurred on the morning of Election Day outside a polling center. The two victims were walking into the polling place when they were struck by an oncoming vehicle. Both victims were transported to the hospital, where they later died from their injuries. As one local resident explained, multiple accidents involving excessive speeding had occurred on the road near the polling center, which is also a local elementary school.
How Can Drivers and Local Premises Avoid Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
While not all pedestrian accidents are completely preventable, there are steps that both drivers and premises with high pedestrian traffic can take to reduce their risk. First, local government officials can take steps to prevent fatal pedestrian accidents. These may include lowering speed limits, installing stop lights, or adding a crosswalk, particularly around a busy pedestrian area such as a school. In particular, schools and other areas with high foot traffic can benefit from crossing guards who direct cars and pedestrians alike. Drivers can also avoid excessive speeding or distracted driving to make sure they can see pedestrians crossing the road.
Can Injured Pedestrians Recover Damages Under D.C. Law?
D.C. law permits injured pedestrians to file a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, if the victim is deceased, the victim’s surviving spouse can bring a wrongful death lawsuit through the victim’s estate. D.C. law also allows a deceased victim’s family to sue for wrongful death if the victim was not married. However, when bringing a personal injury suit for a pedestrian accident, it is important to know how D.C. law differs from other areas of the country. Unlike many other states, D.C. does not permit injured plaintiffs to recover damages if they are in any way responsible for the accident that caused their injuries. Even if the jury only finds them 1% at fault, plaintiffs cannot receive any compensation. An experienced person injury attorney can develop a legal strategy and prepare the best argument that injured victims are not at fault for their injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a D.C. Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a fatal D.C. pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our attorneys possess years of experience in complex cases involving pedestrian accidents, car accidents, premises liability, product liability, and medical malpractice, among other practice areas. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call our office at 1-800-654-1949.