What Happened

A 55-year-old man was struck and killed by school bus when he crossed Clopper Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland (MD). According to police the man was not in a crosswalk when the accident occurred near the intersection of Clopper Road and Firstfield Road on March 21, 2013. A local reporter stated he saw several people crossing the street to get to and from a bus stop on Clopper Road directly after the accident. The likelihood of these pedestrian crossings outside of a crosswalk might be due to the nearest crosswalk being approximately a quarter mile away. Police have launched an investigation to determine who is at fault for the accident. There were no children on the bus at the time of the crash.

This map shows the approximate location of the accident on Clopper Road.

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The Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers’ Perspective

In Virginia (VA), like other states such as Maryland (MD), when a pedestrian is crossing a highway in a clearly marked crosswalk and the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour, the driver of any automobile approaching that crosswalk is required to change course, slow down or come to a complete stop, if that maneuver is necessary to allow the pedestrian to cross safely. Even though the man was not in a cross walk family members may still be able to file a wrongful death claim and should contact a wrongful death lawyer for a private consultation. It’s sometimes assumed that if a victim is not on a crosswalk when he or she is hit then the driver of the vehicle is not to blame. However, this is not always the case. Under common law in Virginia (VA) and in many other states, a pedestrian has a right-of-way at a street corner and when crossing the road under circumstances where a car/auto driver has a clear view of the pedestrian. This was true for a client of ours who was walking near a local college and was struck by a distracted driver.  The insurance company tried to raise the issue of contributory negligence because our client was walking in an area without a crosswalk. Our firm is familiar with all the tricks the insurance companies try in order to minimize a client’s case. After numerous discussions with the insurance company, the adjuster offered to settle the claim for a sizable sum.  To read more about this case result, and other results our firm has achieved, visit this page.

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