WALDORF, MD - MAN STRUCK BY CHARLES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE VEHICLE
Waldorf, Maryland (June 21, 2023) - Tragedy struck Waldorf, Maryland this morning when an as yet unidentified man was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a member of the Charles County Sheriff's Office.
The pedestrian-accident happened this morning at approximately 4 a.m., in the area of the 3600-block of Crain Highway. This is a commercial area, near the St. Charles Towne Center Mall and numerous food establishments.
According to a spokesman from the Sheriff's Office, the vehicle was being operated by a Charles County Deputy Sheriff. After the crash, the unnamed Deputy remained on scene and attempted to render what assistance he could to the pedestrian. The Deputy immediately requested fire and rescue assistance. Tragically, the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Crain Highway was, at the time of writing, currently closed for investigation.
It is not known whether the pedestrian was walking on the shoulder of the road, crossing the road, or in the roadway itself. Nor is it known whether the Deputy was driving routinely, or operating his vehicle under "code" conditions, with lights and sirens active.
No confirmation has been made that the pedestrian's family has been notified.
Our prayers are with the family of the deceased pedestrian at this very trying time.
EDIT - it has now been confirmed that the Deputy was on duty, but was not responding to a call for service.
Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland
Pedestrian strikes are horrific incidents, and statistically result in far more serious injuries than normal car accidents, because pedestrians are completely unprotected from the impact, and their bodies bear the brunt. Injuries in pedestrian accidents range from scrapes and sore backs traumatic internal injuries, brain damage, and even death.
Someone who has been involved in a pedestrian accident has the right to file a claim for the damages they have sustained, provided the pedestrian was not at fault for the accident. This claims process can be long and drawn out, due to the nature of injuries, coupled with determining how much insurance coverage is available.
When a government vehicle is involved, the process becomes that much more complicated.
Claims Against Counties
When a Maryland car accident involves a government, such as a county-owned car or truck, the process of filing that claim is governed by the Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act. The sets out very specific guidelines that have to be met, in order to file and ultimately prevail on such a claim.
Claims that are filed against cities and counties are subject to a statutory cap on damages, of $400,000.00. While this seems low, especially in a wrongful death claim, it is actually double-what the limit was until 2015; before, it was only $200,000.
In addition to legal wrangling relating to actually filing the claim with the appropriate county, there is also a notice deadline. In Maryland, notice of a claim against a county has to be made within 1 year of the injury. If the county is not properly notified in that time, then the claimant and claimant's family are barred from recovery. This notice is known in the legal world as a "condition precedent," or something that has to be done before something else.
Maryland is a jurisdiction that practices contributory negligence, meaning that the person who is injured cannot be even 1% responsible for an accident. It is an absolute bar to recovery, and a defense all insurance companies (and local governments!) try to use to defeat a claim.
It is absolutely essential to hire an experienced Maryland pedestrian accident lawyer who can investigate the claim immediately, and fight for you and your family's rights.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, call Blaszkow Legal: 703-879-5910
Note: When creating these blog posts, our team of writers utilizes external sources, including local and state news sources, social media platforms, police accident incident reports, state police accident reports, and at times, eyewitness accounts. Please contact us immediately if you discover any incorrect information so that we can update the post with the most current, accurate information available.
Disclaimer: This post is not a business solicitation, and none of the information provided in this blog post should be interpreted as medical or legal advice. If you have been injured in an accident, seek immediate medical attention. This post's featured image was not captured at the actual accident scene.