3 Horrific Pedestrian Accidents Within One Hour On Saturday March 6, 2010

Friends–Be Careful Out there

Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and they present unique challenges legally. This is because Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia are 3 of only 5 states in the entire country that still have pure contributory negligence. This means that if a pedestrian is found to be even 1% at fault then the person struck is barred from recovery. This is very unfair.

As a result of the unfair doctrine of contributory negligence, it is crucial that in a pedestrian accident where there is a serious injury or a death that the injured person hire an investigator or accident reconstructionist to (i) establish that the driver of the vehicle was negligent, and (ii) to establish that the pedestrian was NOT contributory negligent. One way to be sure that this is taken care of is to hire an attorney immediately after an accident, as most experienced personal injury lawyers know how and when to hire an accident reconstructionist. It is usually not enough to rely on the police investigation. Their investigations are often wrong, and certainly are not thorough. Most importantly, the police investigation is not focused on the specific legal issues that will arise in a civil lawsuit.

Here are some pedestrian safety tips for joggers who run in the street:

  • Run against traffic so you can see and react to any mistake an advancing motorist may make.
  • Don’t assume a driver sees you. Rather, assume that the driver does not see you.
  • At a stop sign or caution signal, wait for the driver to waive you through the intersection; then acknowledge with your own wave.
  • Allow at least three feet between you and a passing vehicle; be prepared to move quickly onto the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
  • During runs with groups, go single file when cars need to pass.
  • Turning is dangerous. Be sure to utilize hand signals to show which way you plan to go.
  • Respect drivers’ right to the road; check with Police for local traffic rules.
  • Run with identification and carry a mobile phone with emergency contacts

There were three tragic pedestrian accidents on Saturday March 6, 2010. First, A semi-truck (tractor trailer)/flatbed trailer entered the intersection of 14th Street and Constitution Ave. in Washington D.C. and struck and killed a lady who was jogging. The driver of the tractor trailer left the scene of the accident, however the incident was captured on video surveillance cameras and the police are currently trying to locate the hit and run driver. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099.

Another fatal pedestrian accident occurred in Greenbelt, Maryland in the 7500 block of Greenbelt Road. Mr. Donald Graff was killed in the incident.

The third accident occurred in Fairfax County, Virginia. A 22 year old Falls Church man was seriously injured in the incident as he crossed Arlington Boulevard between Patrick Henry Drive and East Manchester Street. The man was in the crosswalk when he was hit; and he was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for medical treatment. The driver kept going and Virginia police are looking for the vehicle which has front-end damage and a broken headlight or a cracked windshield.

Anyone with information on this incident should contact the Fairfax Police Department.

If you or someone you love is struck by a motor vehicle, the lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan will give you a free phone consultation. We will fight hard to win the case and make sure that full compensation is received. Call us at (888) 213-8140.