Hit-and-run accidents are difficult for most people to comprehend. Not only does a hit-and-run driver potentially evade responsibility for their actions when they leave the scene of an accident, but they also leave the other parties involved in the accident in a potentially life-threatening situation. Indeed, many accident victims survive the initial impact of a collision but require immediate medical care to ensure a full recovery. In most cases, the person who is in the best position to get an accident victim help is the driver of the other vehicle.

Child on TrikeWhen a driver flees the scene of an accident, they are putting others in grave danger and can be held accountable under Maryland law. In order for a hit-and-run accident victim to successfully recover compensation for their injuries, they must be able to prove that their injuries were caused by the hit-and-run driver’s negligence. Even if a hit-and-run driver was not at fault for the initial collision, he may still be liable to an accident victim he leaves on the side of the road without the necessary medical assistance. This is especially the case when an accident victim can show that their injuries were worsened because they did not receive timely medical attention.

One of the most difficult parts of recovering after a hit-and-run accident is locating the driver. However, thankfully, police generally take these cases very seriously and scour the scene for evidence that can be traced back to the at-fault driver. Anyone who has been struck by a hit-and-run driver – regardless of whether the driver has been located – should reach out to an experienced attorney to determine if they may have a right to financial compensation.

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It is always important for motorists to pay attention to their surroundings. However, motorists are presented with myriad distractions, ranging from cell phone use to talkative passengers and everything in between. In fact, according to a recent report by the National Highway Transportations Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,300 people are killed each year in accidents involving a distracted driver. Additionally, there are 387,000 people injured in similar accidents.

Wrong Way SignThe NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Distracted driving is unsafe, and when a driver is not paying attention and causes an accident, they may be held liable for their negligence. While it may seem difficult to prove that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident, cell phone records, eyewitness accounts, and circumstantial evidence can all help an accident victim show that the driver responsible for their injuries was not paying as close attention to the road as they should have been.

Motorcyclist Killed in Head-On Collision

Earlier this month in California, a motorcyclist was killed when he was struck by an oncoming Ford Crown Victoria. According to a local news source covering the accident, the collision occurred on a rural road in the afternoon hours.

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Determining who was at fault in a motorcycle accident is not always as straightforward as it seems. Many times, the motorists involved in a motorcycle accident offer a self-serving version of what happened. In some cases, a police investigation can uncover evidence leading authorities to come up with a best guess as to what caused the accident and who was at fault. However, in many cases, this evidence is absent, and it’s one driver’s word against another’s.

HelmetIn recent years, some motorcyclists have begun to install cameras on their helmets to record their journey. While the impetus for installing a helmet cam may not necessarily be to document any potential accidents, the footage from a helmet cam may be admissible in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Motorcyclist’s Helmet Cam Catches Road-Rage Incident on Film

Earlier this month, a motorcyclist was involved in a serious accident on a Washington highway when the driver in front of him slammed on his brakes. According to a news report covering the recent accident, the motorcyclist was entering the highway when another motorist passed very close to the motorcyclist’s left side at a high rate of speed. Upset by the near collision, the motorcyclist made a hand gesture toward the motorist, and the motorist then slammed on his brakes.

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Of all types of motorcycle and bicycle accidents, hit-and-run accidents are perhaps some of the most upsetting. This is not just because of the fact that the injured victim may not receive medical attention in a timely manner, but also because these accidents show just how selfish and uncaring some motorists can be.

Skid MarksIn general, motorists have a duty to stop and render aid after they are involved in any kind of accident. This duty even requires drivers to stop after accidents that are not caused by the motorist’s negligence. The purpose for this broad general rule is two-fold. First, this rule ensures that anyone injured in an auto accident receives timely medical attention, regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident. Second, it prevents the need for motorists to make snap decisions about their own liability before deciding if they should stop and assist the others involved in the accident. In addition to ensuring anyone who needs medical treatment receives it, a motorist must also exchange all pertinent information with the others involved in the accident and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Hit-and-run accidents are criminal offenses, and police take investigations into hit-and-run accidents seriously. Often, through a police investigation, hit-and-run-drivers are caught in the days or weeks following the accident. When a bicyclist or motorcyclist is a victim of a hit-and-run accident, they may be entitled to monetary compensation once the driver is located, regardless of whether any criminal charges are filed or substantiated. A skilled personal injury attorney should be consulted prior to filing any case arising from a traffic accident.

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It’s a well-known fact that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Whether it is the risk of another motorist failing to take notice of a nearby motorcycle or the possibility that another motorist misjudges the speed at which a motorcycle is traveling, the dangers of riding a motorcycle are several. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that given the nature of these dangers, the threats that motorcyclists face greatly increase after dark, when visibility decreases and motorists are more likely to be intoxicated.

MotorcycleIt is true that motorcycle accidents are over-represented when compared to auto accidents as a whole. However, this does not reflect the general skill level or responsibility of motorcyclists as a group. Instead, this fact simply shows that motorcyclists are more likely than other motorists to be involved in an accident.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that many motorcycle accident victims are viewed with skepticism immediately after an accident. In fact, often, motorists hoping to avoid responsibility for their own negligent actions will try to shift the blame for an accident onto the motorcyclist, knowing that there is a societal stigma against motorcycle accident victims. It is therefore incredibly important for anyone who has recently been involved in a Maryland motorcycle accident to discuss their case with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether a claim for damages may be appropriate.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in New York affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a 12-year-old boy who was struck by a car while riding his bicycle on a four-lane road. In the case, Turturro v. City of New York, the court ultimately denied the City’s challenge that it was entitled to governmental immunity. However, had this case arisen in Maryland, the jury would have been unable to award the plaintiff anything, due to a difference in the substantive law between the two states.

Bicyclist at SunsetThe Facts of the Case

Turturro was riding his bicycle on Gerritsen Avenue at around 6:30 in the evening. At the specific location where the accident occurred, the road was four lanes wide with two lanes in each direction, and the speed limit was 30 miles per hour. Turturro filed a personal injury lawsuit against both the driver as well as the City of New York.

Evidence presented at trial suggested that the motorist who struck Turturro was traveling at approximately 54 miles per hour. Turturro also presented evidence showing that the specific location where the accident occurred was a known high-risk area for speeding and drag racing. In fact, Turturro showed the jury several letters written by members of the community to the City, asking for something to be done about the problem.

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A 12-year-old North Carolina girl is dead and another woman has been hospitalized after a tragic accident late last month when they were struck by a passing truck while they were legally riding on the side of the road. According to a local news report, the driver of the truck has not been charged with a crime related to the death, and the cause of the accident appears to remain under investigation. The driver of the truck, a 36-year-old North Carolina man, stated that he was not able to see the cyclists in the road before he hit them. The accident occurred at just after 5:00 in the evening.

BicycleThe Girl and Her Mother Were Riding Single File on the Side of the Road

According to another report of the accident, the 12-year-old who was killed was riding bicycles with her mother at the time of the crash. According to the survivor, the two cyclists were riding near the right shoulder of the roadway and were unexpectedly hit by the truck. Neither bicyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, although it is unclear if the outcome would have been different were they wearing helmets.

Maryland Motorcycle Helmet Laws

It’s a proven fact; helmets save lives, and anyone riding a motorcycle or bicycle should wear a helmet at all times. In fact, all motorcyclists and passengers in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are required to wear helmets in order to legally operate their vehicles on public roads. However, bicyclists are not required to wear a helmet, although doing so greatly increases the chance of survival in the event of an accident. Maryland’s helmet law has stood up to several legal challenges and remained intact by justifying the restriction of rider freedom by the increase in safety and decreased severity of accidents. Sources vary on exactly how effective helmet laws are in preventing fatalities, but whether a biker is wearing a helmet at the time of the accident has nothing to do with the determination of whether another driver was negligent in causing the accident in the first place.

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One of the most common causes of serious or fatal motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle is that vehicle’s failure to yield to the motorcyclist. Whether it is because the motorist is unfamiliar with sharing the road with motorcyclists, fails to see the motorcyclist, or misjudges the speed at which a motorcycle is traveling, the root cause is the same:  negligence on the part of the motorist.

Highway at SunsetWhen a motorcyclist is injured in a motorcycle accident, the unfortunate reality is that people will often initially look for ways to blame the motorcyclist. For whatever reason, all motorcyclists get a bad reputation, although very few motorcyclists drive recklessly. In fact, less than half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclist error. Regardless, from the police who investigate the accidents to the news media who report on them, it is all too common to see accidents prematurely labeled as the motorcyclist’s fault.

Motorcyclists who have been injured in a serious accident may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Even if the police investigating the accident seemed biased and failed to issue a citation to the other motorist, a personal injury lawsuit may still be possible.

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Earlier this month in a Chicago suburb, a fatal bicycle accident claimed the life of one woman. According to a news report covering the tragic accident, police decided not to issue any citations to the other driver involved because there was no evidence that the driver violated any provision of the motor vehicle code.

IntersectionEvidently, the intersection where the accident occurred has a history of problems, since there are six entries into the intersection, and several of the roads come into the intersection on a curve. The article notes that the city where the intersection is located has conducted a study to come up with ideas on how to improve the safety of the intersection. For example, the city recently put up yield signs, requiring east- and west-bound drivers to yield to north- and south-bound drivers.

Authorities determined that the driver of the car that struck the bicyclist was not at fault for the accident because it appeared as though the bicyclist failed to yield to the car. At this point, no citations have been issued.

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A 19-year-old Connecticut woman was arrested last month after she collided with a man on a scooter while driving her car on a state highway near New London, Connecticut. The rider was ejected from his scooter, suffered serious injuries, and remains hospitalized in critical condition. According to a local news report, the driver of the car remained at the scene of the accident and appeared intoxicated when police and emergency officials arrived. Evidently, she was charged with DUI and released on a promise to appear. Although her current charges do not incorporate the serious injury that she caused to the motorcyclist, prosecutors may decide to press more serious charges, especially if new evidence is uncovered or the victim’s condition worsens.

ScooterDrunk Drivers Are a Danger to Everyone on the Road, Especially to Motorcyclists and Scooter Riders

Thousands of people are killed every year in alcohol-related road accidents. Although most drunk driving injuries are suffered by people in cars and trucks, motorcyclists are at a greater danger individually than people in other vehicles.

Any motorcycle or scooter enthusiast knows that other drivers sometimes fail to notice them or yield the right of way. Alcohol intoxication is described by the World Health Organization as causing symptoms that include loss of coordination, reduction in motor and visual abilities, delayed reaction time, and poor judgment. All of these effects of alcohol make the dangers motorcyclists face from cars even worse. A drunk driver with impaired judgment and delayed reaction time may decide not to check her mirrors before changing lanes or may drive at excessive speeds and without regard for others on the road. Motorcyclists and other two-wheeled vehicle riders must be vigilant to always look out for other drivers who are driving dangerously and may be drunk.

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