bicyclistRecently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a bicycle accident case discussing a plaintiff’s claim against a city that maintained the park where he was injured. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss the precision with which a personal injury plaintiff must plead their case in an initial complaint. The case raises an important issue for Maryland bicycle accident victims, especially those who were injured while riding on public property.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding his bike through a park owned by the defendant city. While riding through the grass, the front tire of the plaintiff’s bike got caught in a storm drain that was covered up by some grass. The plaintiff fell off his bike and fractured several bones.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the city, making a single claim of “negligence.” Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the city was negligent in allowing the hazard to exist in the first place, and also for failing to warn park visitors of its existence.

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motorcycle accidentEarlier this month, one man was killed in a Maryland motorcycle accident in Berkeley County. According to a local news report, the accident occurred in the early morning hours on the 4000 block of Winchester Avenue.

Evidently, a pick-up truck was traveling northbound when it collided head-on with a southbound motorcycle. After the initial collision, both vehicles immediately caught fire. Emergency responders were quick to arrive on the scene, were unable to save the motorcyclist’s life.

Police began a preliminary investigation into the fatal Maryland motorcycle accident, and at this point believe that the pick-up truck had started to drift out of its land an into oncoming traffic prior to the collision. It remains to be seen if the driver of the pick-up truck will face criminal charges for his role in the fatal accident.

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bicycle riderGiven the state of today’s technology, one hardly has to go a single minute without having access to their music. Indeed, on any given day it is common to see people with their headphones in while engaged in a wide variety of activities including running, walking their dog, riding on public transportation, shopping and riding their bike. And while this unrestrained access to media provides comfort for many, it can also be dangerous.

According to a recent news report, bicyclists are being warned not to ride with large noise-cancelling headphones. The article discusses the death of a 30-year-old investment banker who was run over by a bus while he was riding his bike while wearing over-the-ear headphones.

Experts explained that it is important for bicyclists to be able to hear – and not just see – their surroundings, and that having headphones in while riding prevents bicyclists from taking in much of the surrounding noise. These experts argue that this may result in a situation where a bicyclist is involved in an accident that they may have otherwise been able to avoid. If you were injured while riding a bicycle, contact a Maryland bicycle accident attorney to discuss your options.

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motorcycle helmetUnder Maryland’s contributory negligence law, only those accident victims who are completely free of fault are able to recover for their injuries. This strict law, which is not applied by the majority of states, precludes many Maryland motorcycle accident victims from recovering for the injuries they’ve sustained. Thus, in a motorcycle accident case against an allegedly negligent driver, the focus is not just on the defendant’s conduct, but also on the plaintiff’s.

Of course, some motorcycle accidents cannot be avoided by even the most attentive and skilled riders. Thus, an accident victim cannot be faulted for failing to avoid an imminent collision caused by another’s negligence; otherwise, no Maryland motorcycle accident would ever be able to recover for their injuries. Courts will usually look to the plaintiff’s conduct leading up to the accident to determine whether the plaintiff bears any responsibility in bringing about the accident.

Courts may also consider a plaintiff’s failure to mitigate damages. For example, if a plaintiff is injured in an accident and is told that she needs a certain surgery but does not get the surgery, the defendant may not be liable for the injuries caused by the plaintiff’s failure to get the required surgery. In other words, a plaintiff’s post-accident conduct can also be relevant to the availability of damages.

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scooterNot long ago, this blog discussed the growing popularity of scooter-share companies across major U.S. cities. A scooter-share is a city-wide system where customers can rent motorized scooters on a short-term basis, and drop the scooters off at any of the scooter stations across the city.

The scooter-share companies experienced some significant pushback when expanding into new cities based on the fear that the presence of a scooter-share would result in roadways and sidewalks being more crowded with inexperienced riders. Notwithstanding these concerns, Dallas, Texas recently approved a scooter-share program proposed by the company, Lime.

Unfortunately, Dallas just recently suffered its first fatal accident involving the scooter-share program. According to a recent news report, the scooter’s rider was killed in what at this point seems to have been an accident of unknown cause. An incident of this nature is relevant to Maryland scooter accident victims as scooter-shares become increasingly popular throughout the nation.

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ATVOff-road vehicles, including dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, can be a great activity for most of the year, making them a common hobby in Maryland. However, off-road vehicles also pose a serious danger to riders, passengers, and pedestrians alike.

As is the case with those who operate vehicles on the road, the operators of off-road vehicles must take certain precautions to avoid causing a Maryland ATV accident. This includes operating the vehicle in a responsible manner, following common etiquette when off-road, and remaining free from the effects of drugs and alcohol while operating the vehicle.

When an ATV accident does occur, there may be multiple parties who are liable to those injured in the accident. This may include the owner of the land where the injury occurred, another driver who caused the accident, or the manufacturer of a faulty or defective part.

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bicycle accidentEach accident is different, and when it comes to determining which party was responsible for causing a Maryland bicycle accident, courts consider a number of factors. Of course, accidents involving drunk driving, or other violations of the traffic law, make determining fault easier; however, even in these situations the accident victim may encounter a difficult time recovering financial compensation for their injuries.

The reason Maryland bicycle accident victims may have a difficult time is due to the state’s contributory negligence rule. Under Maryland law, anyone who is even the slightest bit at fault for causing the accident that resulted in their injuries is precluded by law from recovering from any other party involved in the accident.

Most other states employ a much more victim-friendly approach, under which a partially at-fault accident victim can be awarded damages for their injuries, but the amount of damages awarded will be reduced by their own percentage of fault. Under Maryland law, however, even a bicycle accident victim who is determined to be just five percent at fault will be precluded from obtaining compensation for their injuries.

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bicyclistMost Maryland motorcycle accidents involve only one person on the motorcycle because, while motorcycles are designed to carry a single passenger, they are more commonly operated by the driver alone. However, each year, there are hundreds of motorcycle accidents in which there is a passenger on the bike who is injured in the accident. In single-vehicle accidents or accidents in which the motorcyclist was at fault, the accident victim may look to the driver of the motorcycle for compensation for their injuries.

A motorcycle passenger can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver based on the driver’s violation of the duty he owed to the passenger. All drivers owe a duty of care to those whom they share the road with, and this includes passengers. When a driver’s negligence causes an accident, they can be held liable for any injuries that were caused as a result.

In most of these cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for the accident victim’s injuries. Of course, dealing with an insurance company following a serious motorcycle accident can be difficult, especially when the insurance company denies the claim or refuses to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations. In these situations, a Maryland personal injury attorney can assist accident victims in obtaining fair compensation for their injuries.

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Legal News GavelWhen it comes to determining who was at fault in a Maryland motorcycle accident, the task is not always a simple one. While some motorcycle accidents involve only two vehicles and what happened in the moments leading up to the collision can be readily determined by surveying the scene, other accidents present a more complex scenario.

Law enforcement gets the first crack at investigating an accident. For the most part, law enforcement officials are concerned with determining who was at fault and whether that party’s conduct that gave rise to the accident constituted criminal behavior. And while a law enforcement investigation is important in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit filed by the injured party, it may not be sufficient in some cases.

Law enforcement investigators can also make mistakes, or may change their opinion of what caused the accident as new information comes in. For example, investigators changed their theory of how an accident occurred while investigating a recent motorcycle accident. According to a local news report, a motorcyclist was killed when he struck a turning semi-truck. A semi-truck cut in front of the motorcyclist, and the motorcyclist was unable to avoid the collision. The motorcyclist struck the side of the semi-truck, causing the driver to be ejected from the bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

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Just as learning how to ride a bike is one of the most memorable milestones in any child’s life, it is also seen as a parental rite of passage. And while one of the most important aspects of teaching a child to ride a bike is imparting the importance of bicycle safety, some accidents cannot be avoided.Legal News Gavel

In fact, Maryland bicycle accidents injure, on average, about 67,000 riders per year and result in over 700 fatalities annually. Studies have shown that child riders account for a significant number of both the fatal and the non-fatal bicycle accidents. Most of these accidents occur close to the child’s home, often on their own street.

Motorists have a duty to avoid causing a bicycle accident. This includes following all traffic laws, paying attention to the road in front of them, and yielding to bicyclists when appropriate. When a motorist causes a bicycle accident, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result of their negligence.

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