The Boulevard Rule

This rule is an ancient, static principle which goes back to the time when horse drawn carriages romped through the cobblestone thoroughfares of London.  If a rider, whether on horseback or commanding a stately carriage, attempted to enter the more traveled and wider road, he entered at his peril.  The modern rule as defined by English Professor Black states: “the driver of a vehicle approaching a highway from a smaller road must stop and yield the right of way to all highway (boulevard) traffic.”  So if Miss Brown is leaving the parking lot of Middlesex Shopping Center, she must adhere to Black’s principle. If the front end bumper of the boulevard travelling vehicle crashes into Brown’s driver door, there is clear cut liability.  Brown is at fault and she and her carrier will have to make whole the occupants of the striking vehicle, despite the fact that Brown was stricken.  Making whole obviously means repair of the striker’s car and payment of all medical expenses, including usually an award for the pain, suffering and inconvenience.

Modern law, particularly in Maryland, have made modifications to the boulevard rule.  The Appellate Courts in Annapolis have created some minor exceptions to the rule.  For instance, if it is determined that the main contributing factor to the accident was the speed of the driver on the boulevard, then liability rests with the striker.  Another exception is a phrase developed by the courts called “last clear chance.”  In other words if the striker could have avoided the crash, then they could be the liable party.  In any event, it is always wise to engage a good attorney who understands all the nuances of the boulevard rule.  The attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak and Russell will keep you on the right side of the road or boulevard.  They will assure you are made whole after the accident.

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