Pedestrian Accidents

After one of his pedestrian accident clients was struck in a Baltimore City crosswalk, leaving her with an inoperable shoulder fracture and permanent shoulder damage, Allstate Insurance Company – her own insurance company -- refused to pay her more than $60,000. Eric Stravitz tried her case to a Baltimore City jury, which returned a verdict of $230,000. Unfortunately, under Maryland law at that time, Allstate was only obligated to pay her $80,000 under her insurance policy, which, as the jury obviously concluded, was far less than her case was worth. Despite not being able to recover the full amount of the verdict, Eric’s client was glad that he took her case the distance as Allstate was unfairly treating her.

In another case, Eric represented a transportation planner who was struck in the District while walking across Florida Avenue in a marked cross-walk. He suffered, among other things, a broken leg. When the insurance company for the driver who hit him refused to pay for all of his harms and losses, Eric filed a lawsuit in DC Superior Court. After completing discovery, the Court assigned the case to mediation. [1] Typically, the Court would supply a random mediator. Sometimes these mediators have had experience handling personal injury cases for either plaintiffs or defendants, but often they do not. These Superior Court ordered mediations nearly always take place at a Superior Court building. In this case, Eric sent a letter to the Court to request that a mediator with significant personal injury experience be specially assigned. The Court granted this request and the participants were allowed to mediate the case at the mediator’s office. After a half-day mediation (far longer than usual), Eric’s client agreed to a fair, six-figure settlement.

Eric had another a pedestrian case that took an entire week to try to a jury in the ceremonial courtroom in the Montgomery County Circuit Court (the only courtroom in the county that was big enough to handle the trial). The case involved 3 plaintiffs attorneys and 9 defense attorneys. Eric’s client was a passenger in a car that came upon a car that had overturned in the far right lane of the eastbound 495 Beltway. It was dark outside. After the driver of the car containing Eric’s client had pulled safely off of the Beltway, the driver and his passengers, including Eric’s client, got out of the car to see if they could assist the people in the overturned car. After they helped the occupants of the overturned car to the right side of the road, another driver passed the overturned car, and turned his car around so that it faced the wrong way on the Beltway (he later claimed that he did this to shed light on the scene). His headlights then blinded another driver who was greatly exceeding the speed limit, lost control of his car, ran up the side of the road, and struck 3 pedestrians, including Eric’s client who suffered a badly broken leg. The week-long trial only concerned issues of fault. The jury found the drivers of the overturned car, the car that faced the wrong way, and the speeding car negligent. After this trial, the insurance companies involved paid out the limits of their policies to the three Plaintiffs, one of whom was Eric’s client, without the need for another trial on the issues of what harms and losses each Plaintiff had endured.

Eric has particular experience with cases involving broken bones (fractures). In these cases, if possible, it is useful to for the Plaintiff’s attorney to get copies of the x-rays that show the broken bone. Often a copy service can “reverse” the x-ray (change the white to black and vice versa) to make the break more visible). Also, if any surgery was done, the attorney should ask the surgeon for replicas of any hardware (for example, screws, rods, or plates used during any surgery). These things can be useful in presenting the Plaintiff’s injuries to a jury, so that the Plaintiff is fairly compensated for what she endured as a result of being hit.

Eric has also handled many less complicated pedestrian cases. [2] As walkers, cyclists, and drivers become more distracted with iPhones and Android phones, the number of these cases involving pedestrians continues to rise.

Scott Bricker, Executive Director of America Walks had this to say about Eric Stravitz:

"I’ve known Eric for decades and followed his career. He is incredibly well read and keenly interested in the impacts of city design on people's everyday quality of life. As an attorney, Eric is a leader in protecting the rights of people to safely walk and bicycle in their community. I heartily recommend him for handling anyone’s personal injury case."

If you or someone you care about has one of these potential cases, contact Eric at 240-467-5741 or contact us online for a free consultation. He’ll treat you with professionalism and respect while he helps you assess your situation and clarify your next steps.


[1] A mediation is an informal proceeding run by a mediator, a lawyer or retired Judge with no interest in the outcome of the case, other than to get it settled. It brings together all interested people in the case (typically the Plaintiff, the lawyers for all sides, and the insurance adjusters who control the purse strings, in an effort to settle the case).

[2] Of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance, and each case must be evaluated on its particular merits.