Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

Earlier last year in June, a Maryland man was killed when he was struck by a van being driven by a Pennsylvania man. According to one local news source, the accident occurred very close to the Pennsylvania/Maryland border on Baltimore Pike near Garret Road.

victime-of-the-fire-2-1235846-mEvidently, the van was traveling south when it crossed over the median and struck the motorcyclist that was heading in the opposite direction. After the collision, the van burst into flames and caused a very serious accident scene that took emergency workers hours to clear.

The motorcyclist, a 64-year-old man from Westminster, Maryland, died from the injuries he sustained in the accident. The driver of the van sustained minor injuries. He also faces criminal charges for his involvement in the accident.

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It has been a long winter, and most of us are ready to shed our winter jackets and parkas in favor of shorts and T-shirts. Along with the new clothes, many of us will also opt for new modes of transportation, opting for bikes and motorcycles instead of cars, trucks, and busses. However, as Marylanders from across the state begin to hop on their bikes, the issue of bicycle safety should be in the front of everyone’s minds.

gears-1428393-mThe State of Maryland Department of Transportation has a website dedicated to bicycle safety. It goes over some of the things that all cyclists and motorists should keep in mind when riding or driving on Maryland roads.

For motorists:

  • Expect bicycles to be on the road and when you see one, maintain a safe distance;
  • When passing a bicyclist, leave a three-foot distance between the car and the cyclist;
  • Be extra careful when backing out of driveways;
  • When merging with a bicycle, yield as you would to another motorist; and
  • Always be sure to stay alert, keep your attention on the road, and use your signals.

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Earlier last month, a Maryland jury convicted a man for DUI manslaughter stemming from the death of a 21-year-old motorcyclist. According to one local news report, the accident occurred back in 2012 near the intersection of MD 77 and Pleasant Valley Road.

e-247384-mEvidently, the accident occurred when the driver made a left turn in front of the motorcyclist without using his signal. As a result, the motorcyclist slammed into the side of the driver’s vehicle. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by responding emergency workers.

Upon investigating the blood-alcohol content of the driver, police discovered that the driver’s BAC was .15, almost twice the legal limit. At last month’s trial, the man was found guilty of operating a vehicle while “per se” intoxicated. This conviction carries with it a possible five years in prison as a punishment. Sentencing will be held after the court prepares a pre-sentence report.

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Earlier this year, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland asked a bishop who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident to resign from her post. According to one local news report, the Committee told the bishop that they have “agreed unanimously that you are no longer able to function effectively in the position of Bishop Suffragan given recent events.” As a result, the Committee asked her to voluntarily resign from her position.

episcopal-church-2-81219-mBack in December of last year, the bishop was involved in what some are calling a hit-and-run, alcohol-induced accident involving a software engineer at John’s Hopkins Hospital. Evidently, the bishop’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident was .22, or 22% — almost three times the legal limit in Maryland. On top of that, evidence suggests that she was also sending a text message at the time of the fatal accident.

After hitting the bicyclist, the bishop left the scene of the accident before returning a short time later. Some in the news media have called for the bishop to be charged for a hit-and-run accident, while others see her eventual return to the scene as acknowledging her role in the accident.

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In a recent study cited in a Bloomberg Business report, a group of researchers claims that the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the driver’s loss of control over the bike. The article, which was released just a few weeks ago, claims that motorcyclists are 3.5 times as likely to get into a single-vehicle accident as they are to get into an accident involving one or more other cars or trucks.

oldster-162902-mNot surprisingly, the most common cause of single-vehicle accidents, the article claims, is speed. Another common occurrence of single-vehicle accidents is alcohol. The article advises that all motorcycle riders take motorcycle safety classes that are available through the State’s Motor Vehicle Association. However, no matter how cautious and educated a rider is, there is always the possibility for a freak accident to occur with another driver who may not see the motorcyclist.

Motorcycle Accident Victims Have an Uphill Battle

This article is good evidence of what the general public mistakenly believes to be the case in most motorcycle accidents:  that the riders themselves are at fault and should be prevented from any financial recovery. Indeed, it cannot be denied that there are cases where a negligent motorcyclist is driving while intoxicated and gets into a single-vehicle accident, severely injuring him or herself. However, this is not always—or even often—the case.

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Earlier this year near Houston, Texas, two deputies were involved in a serious motorcycle accident that claimed one of their lives and left the other one seriously injured. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred around three in the morning on a highway in the Houston metro area. Both deputies were off duty at the time of the accident.

enduro-bike-exhaust-pipes-2-1187569-mEvidently, police are still trying to piece together what happened in the fatal accident. However, so far they have determined that speed likely was a factor. A preliminary investigation revealed that the motorcycle went airborne shortly before the fatal crash. As the bike came back down to the ground, the driver lost control and crashed. It also seems that the driver of the motorcycle tried to come to a stop well before crashing.

The driver of the motorcycle suffered a broken arm and leg in the accident. However, his passenger, a 21-year-old female deputy, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Thus far in the investigation, it is not clear who was at fault for the accident, and no citations have been issued.

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Earlier this month near Las Vegas, Nevada, one man was left in critical condition after he was involved in a motorcycle accident with an SUV. According to one local news report, the motorcyclist was heading west when an eastbound SUV made a left turn in front of the motorcyclist.

watching-the-cruisers-171726-mAs the SUV attempted to complete its turn, it cut off the motorcyclist, who did not have time to slow down or come to a stop. As a result, the motorcyclist crashed into the rear passenger side of the SUV, sending the rider off his bike. The car spun around before coming to a complete stop.

Another motorcyclist who witnessed the accident pulled over and offered to help. Emergency responders arrived and took the injured motorcyclist to the hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. The driver of the SUV was not seriously injured in the accident. An investigation is still underway. However, at this point it seems that the cause of the accident was the SUV driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist.

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Earlier this week in Reno, Nevada, one man was killed and another seriously injured after the two were involved in a head-on collision. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred around 4:20 in the afternoon and resulted in several lanes of traffic being closed for hours.

rider-1029567-mEvidently, the motorcyclists were heading in opposite directions when one of them crossed the center median, entering the path of the other. The two motorcycles collided, sending both riders flying off their bikes. Both riders were rushed to the hospital.

One of the riders was admitted with non-life-threatening injuries. The other died of the injuries he sustained in the accident. Police are still investigating the accident and will release a report shortly with their conclusions.

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Earlier this month on the Inner Loop in Washington, DC, an accident between a semi-truck and a motorcycle injured one man. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred near Kenilworth on the Inner Loop of Interstate 495.

truck-1439593-mThe motorcyclist was thrown from his bike and sustained life-threatening injuries as a result. He was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. He is expected to survive his injuries. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured in the accident.

There is no indication as to whether the driver of the semi-truck was cited for the accident or whether he will face any criminal charges as a result. An investigation is ongoing.

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Earlier this month in Bayonne, New Jersey, a 43-year-old man was found dead by police near his motorcycle, which had sustained heavy damage. According to one local news report, the motorcyclist was found by police around 11:35 on a Friday night, about 45 feet away from his motorcycle.

motorcycle-at-dusk-335471-mEvidently, the driver of the min-van that had hit the motorcyclist fled the scene of the accident. However, the next day he showed up at the police station and told police that his minivan had been stolen in hopes that they would not consider him a suspect.

However, police conducted an investigation that eventually led back to the minivan’s owner and called him back in for another interview, at which point he admitted to making up the story about his van being stolen. As a result, he was arrested and charged with several crimes, including knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, hindering an apprehension, and tampering with physical evidence. He is also charged with filing a false police report.

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