For those who regularly drive, knowledge of traffic laws becomes ingrained. Most motorists do not have to think about whether they need to yield to the person on their right or stop at a red traffic signal; they just intuitively know. While this makes driving – an activity that involves numerous complex tasks – much easier, it also means that motorists who encounter unfamiliar signage may be caught off guard, increasing the chance of a Maryland motorcycle accident.

For example, decades ago the concept of a traffic-circle was virtually unknown in the United States. However, in the recent past city planners have made use of traffic-circles to control traffic and prevent motorists from speeding through intersections. As more traffic-circles started popping up, there was an increased number of accidents due to drivers not knowing how to navigate a new traffic feature safely.

Another potentially dangerous situation is an intersection with flashing lights. While most motorists know that a flashing red light means they must stop and then proceed only when clear, some drivers are confused when confronted by a flashing yellow light. Of course, a motorist’s confusion or unfamiliarity with certain traffic features is not an excuse for causing an accident.

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Last month, a motorcyclist was killed in a fatal accident near Waldorf involving one other vehicle. According to a local news report covering the tragic Maryland motorcycle accident, the man was heading southbound on Poplar Hill Road when an SUV crossed into his lane of traffic and collided with the motorcyclist head-on.

Evidently, the driver of the SUV was traveling north when the traffic in front of him began to slow down. The driver applied his brakes in an attempt to avoid rear-ending the traffic in front of him, but lost control of the vehicle. The SUV then began to skid toward the center median and eventually into oncoming traffic, where it collided with the motorcycle. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have begun an investigation into the fatal motorcycle accident, but have not yet determined whether the driver of the SUV will face criminal charges.

Recovering After Losing a Loved One in a Fatal Maryland Motorcycle Accident

The pain of losing a loved one in any type of traffic accident is immeasurable. And while nothing can be done to bring a loved one back, family members may be able to pursue a claim for financial compensation for the losses they have suffered.

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As a general rule, anyone who has been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident can bring a claim for compensation against the party that they believe to be responsible for causing the crash. If the motorcycle accident victim is successful, they may be able to recover compensation for their past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident.

However, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have some of the strictest laws when it comes to determining which motorcycle accident victims can obtain compensation for their injuries. Each of these jurisdictions applies a slightly different version of a doctrine called “contributory negligence.” Under a contributory negligence framework, an accident victim is not permitted to recover for their injuries if they share responsibility for the accident that resulted in their injuries.

This may sound like a harsh law, and it is. In fact, even if an accident victim is found to be just 5% at fault for causing a collision, they will be barred from recovering anything for their injuries. The doctrine of contributory negligence used to be common across the country, but over time most states have passed legislation abolishing the doctrine in favor of a more accident-victim-friendly alternative. In fact, aside from Maryland Virginia, and Washington, D.C, only two other states apply the contributory negligence rule.

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Losing a loved one is always a very difficult and trying experience. However, when a loved one is killed in a preventable accident, such as a Maryland motorcycle accident, the feelings of frustration, anger, and loss are difficult to push aside.

In cases involving a negligent driver, the criminal justice system is often disinterested in pursuing a claim against the responsible driver. This is because criminal courts are typically concerned with intentional actions that result in injury, rather than a motorist’s negligence or poor decision-making. And even when a criminal charge is filed, the family of the deceased is typically just along for the ride, having no real role in the proceedings. In addition, even a successful criminal case against a negligent driver will do little to provide for the loss of financial support provided by the deceased. Overall, a criminal charge does little to comfort the family of the deceased other punishing the at-fault driver.

Under the Maryland wrongful death statute, the family members of a Maryland motorcycle accident victim can pursue a civil claim for damages against a negligent driver. Unlike a criminal case, the objective of a Maryland wrongful death case is less focused on the at-fault driver’s violation of the law and more concerned with the loss of life that resulted from the driver’s negligent actions. If successful, the surviving loved one may recover amounts for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of financial support, as well as for emotional damages.

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When law enforcement officers respond to a serious Maryland motorcycle accident, the scene is often chaotic. The injured individual must be attended to, witnesses must be located and spoken to, and the scene must be secured and eventually cleaned up promptly as to not create an increased risk of causing a subsequent accident. As a result, determining fault in a Maryland motorcycle accident has always been an art as much as it has been a science, and extraneous factors such as inclement weather and the amount of traffic on the road at the time may influence how thoroughness of a post-accident investigation.

Often, investigators base their conclusions on assumptions. Of course, assumptions must be made, especially when there are conflicting accounts of what happened. Investigators will often “play out” the various witness accounts of what occurred to see which account makes the most sense. This is a time-consuming process, but also a necessary one because it is only after concluding an in-depth investigation that a cause of an accident can be confidently determined. And even then, investigators cannot be sure that they got it right.

According to a local news report, some law enforcement agencies are hoping to use recent advances in technology to assist them in determining the causes of serious traffic accidents. Earlier this month, a Chattanooga police received a call for a motorcycle accident. When officers arrived on the scene, they could immediately tell that there were two fatalities.

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With the increased prevalence of smartphones, distracted driving has become a major cause of Maryland traffic accidents over the past decades. Indeed, according to one government report, over the past few years there have been about 48,000 Maryland car accidents caused by distracted driving each year. Most of these accidents occur in the urban areas around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The report acknowledges that determining the actual number of Maryland distracted driving accidents is difficult because verifying that a driver was distracted before causing an accident is difficult. However, the most recent report issued by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that distracted driving is involved in about half of all Maryland motor vehicle accidents.

In 2016 alone, Maryland law enforcement officers issued over 34,000 citations for cell phone use while driving and another 1,800 for texting while driving. While these numbers have gone down over the past few years as government efforts to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving have increased, distracted driving is still a significant concern, especially for Maryland bicyclists.

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One of the most important lessons children are taught when learning how to ride a bicycle is the importance of always wearing a helmet. While it is impossible to determine exactly how effective helmets are at preventing serious injuries, bicycle helmets are estimated to save thousands of lives per year. In addition, helmets reduce the chance of a rider sustaining a serious head injury in the event of a Maryland bicycle accident.

While the importance of bicycle helmets cannot be overstated, a recent trend concerning the prevalence of counterfeit bicycle helmets is very alarming. According to a recent news report by National Public Radio, counterfeit helmets are often manufactured outside the United States and sold through online retailers. Counterfeit helmets may look very similar to their name-brand counterparts, however, the protection provided by counterfeit helmets pales in comparison.

The U.S. government, as well as helmet manufactures, have taken up the fight to eliminate counterfeit helmets from the marketplace. Also, some online retailers have developed technology to weed out counterfeits.

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Commercial semi-trucks and construction vehicles are designed to perform a specific function, whether it be carrying a large amount of cargo across the nation’s highways or hauling away waste from a construction site. They are not, however, designed to travel the smaller streets of an urban or suburban area. When large trucks are required to operate on smaller surface streets, those who routinely use these roads are put at great risk of being the victim of a Maryland truck accident.

Operators of large trucks have a difficult time driving on smaller roads for several reasons. Most often, these trucks have enormous blind spots making it difficult to see nearby pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. Additionally, commercial trucks and construction vehicles have a large turning radius, making it difficult for drivers to maintain their lane when executing tight turns. While those who are forced to share the road with a large truck should take precaution to avoid an accident, the duty to safely operate the truck rests with the driver.

Fatal On-Campus Bicycle Accident Claims One Student’s Life

Earlier this month, a Boston University graduate student was killed in a bicycle accident involving a dump truck. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the accident occurred on campus, near the school’s museum.

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Maryland accident victims can face substantial medical expenses, as well as other economic and non-economic challenges. Victims must show that a defendant acted negligently by acting or failing to act in a certain way. A plaintiff has to prove the following elements to establish a negligence claim: the defendant had a legal duty to use due care toward the plaintiff; the defendant failed to meet that duty; the plaintiff suffered damages, and the defendant’s failure to meet the duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

The driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Every driver must use the degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise under similar circumstances. The care expected under the circumstances can vary depending on the type of the vehicle, weather conditions, and the time of day. A driver also must exercise reasonable care when presented with an emergency. Examples of negligent conduct are failing to yield at an intersection, failing to pay attention to the road, speeding, and tailgating.

Scooter Accident Reports Rising as Electric Scooter Rentals Increase

According to one news source, rental scooter accidents are becoming more common throughout the country. In Dallas earlier this year, the city passed regulations allowing bike share companies to rent motorized scooters to customers in a six-month pilot program. The scooters can travel up to 15 mph. The scooter share companies rolled out hundreds of scooters soon after the regulations were passed. Dallas estimates there are about 6,000 e-scooters in the city now.

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Anyone who has been involved in a serious Maryland traffic accident knows that the recovery process – physically, emotionally, and financially – can take quite a bit of time. Accident victims are often left upset, frustrated, confused, and with lingering physical ailments. And all too often Maryland accident victims are also left without adequate compensation to help them cover the medical expenses and other costs incurred as a result of the accident.

Arguably, Maryland hit-and-run accidents present accident victims with the most hurdles and roadblocks to a complete recovery. One reason for this is that the at-fault party may never be located, leaving an accident victim without someone to hold responsible for their injuries.

Thankfully, Maryland law requires all motorists maintain uninsured motorist protection, which will generally cover a Maryland hit-and-run accident. However, a victim’s recovery will be limited to the policy-maximum under their policy. In Maryland, the coverage limits for uninsured motorist protection are just $30,000 per person or a total of $60,000 per accident.

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