Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

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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Earlier last month in North Baltimore, an accident between a bike and a Subaru left one man dead. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred around the 5700 block of Roland Avenue, around 2:45 in the afternoon.

bicycle-symbol-1383407-mEvidently, when police responded to report of a bicycle accident, they found the 41-year-old victim but no other driver. It wasn’t until a little bit later that the driver of the car that had hit the bicyclist returned to the scene of the accident. The victim was transported to Sinai Hospital in critical condition, but he was not able to overcome his injuries. He died a short time later.

As it turns out, the driver of the Subaru was given probation in a 2010 case involving drunk driving. According to court documents, her blood-alcohol level back then was over three times the legal limit.

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A few years back in Candiac, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, a motorcyclist and his young daughter were killed after they rear-ended another driver who had stopped her vehicle in the middle of the road to escort crossing ducks. According to a recent local news report, the woman was charged with several criminal offenses that carried with them a potential life-prison sentence. However, she was only sentenced to 90 days and a 10-year license suspension.

young-life-1442854-5-mEvidently, back in 2010, the woman was driving in the left-most lane of the highway when she saw seven ducklings crossing the road. She stopped her Honda Civic in the middle of the lane to ensure that the ducklings could safely pass. However, as she was stopped a motorcyclist ran into the back of her, ejecting the driver and his passenger. Both were pronounced dead shortly after the accident.

Just this year a Canadian jury returned a verdict of guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. The maximum penalty for these charges was life in prison. However, the sentencing judge determined that 90 days was a sufficient jail sentence and sentenced her accordingly.

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Earlier this week in Shelby Township, Michigan, a man was killed as he was riding his bike to work. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred at around four in the morning.

shadow-of-the-past-1432188-mEvidently, the bicyclist was on his way to work at a nearby factory when he was hit by a semi-truck. Although there was a sidewalk where the accident occurred, the bicyclist was riding on the road. Police say that the truck driver stopped at the scene of the accident and remained cooperative through the investigation. They do not believe that drugs or alcohol had a role to play in the accident.

Police also told reporters that bicyclists should be using the sidewalks, but often bicyclists ride in the street. This is contradictory to laws in most jurisdictions that require bicyclists to ride on the street and follow posted traffic laws.

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