Left turns are one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers for drivers, especially novice drivers, older adults, and motorcyclists. Even the most careful drivers can find themselves in a precarious situation when they are making a left turn. Maryland left-turn accidents, especially those occurring during a yellow light can have disastrous consequences to drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Those who suffered injuries involving a negligent driver may be able to recover compensation against the at-fault parties. Presenting an iron-clad case for recovery is especially important in Maryland because of the state’s strict contributory negligence statute

According to Maryland’s Traffic Code, yellow lights are a warning to notify drivers that they should slow down because the light is about to change to red. However, many people read this signal as a notice to quickly make the light before it turns red. While accidents involving yellow lights may stem from various situations, most of them involve one driver proceeding straight and another driver trying to make a left, before the light turns red.

The law imposes a duty on turning drivers to ensure that the roadway is safe to make the maneuver. As such, in most cases, the driving turning left will be liable for the accident. However, each case presents unique facts and circumstances, and an attorney can assist injury victims in presenting a compelling case for recovery.

In the tragic event of the loss of a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident, family members may be able to recover financial compensation by filing a wrongful death claim against those at fault for the crash. A wrongful death claim allows certain qualifying family members to file a claim to recover compensation based on the losses stemming from the victim’s death. However, the victim’s role in contributing to the accident may limit family members’ ability to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim.

In a Maryland wrongful death case, if the victim is found to be at least partially at fault for causing their own death, the victim’s family cannot recover in a wrongful death claim. Maryland courts follow the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that a plaintiff cannot recover if the plaintiff (or the decedent in a wrongful death claim) is found to be even partially at fault. For example, in a recent crash described below a motorcyclist died in a fatal motorcycle crash. In a case such as that one, a defendant might argue that the motorcyclist’s actions contributed to their death.

While most other states will still allow plaintiffs to recover at least some compensation if the plaintiff (or decedent) is found to be partially at fault, Maryland has not yet changed its law on contributing negligence despite calls for reform. However, a defendant will have the burden to prove that the victim was at fault because of the victim’s specific actions or failure to act. The defendant must provide some evidence of the plaintiff’s (or decedent’s) negligence. The standard for proving causation, like other elements of a negligence claim, is whether it is more likely than not to be the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

As roads are often being repaired, traffic is frequently reconfigured as a result. Maryland’s current “Traffic Relief Plan” includes improvements to I-495, I-270, I-695, and I-95, potentially affecting traffic patterns on major roadways in the state. And while repairs can improve the safety and condition of roads, changes in traffic configurations can also lead to Maryland motorcycle crashes as people adjust to the new configurations. Particularly on routes they are familiar with, drivers may not expect the detours, shifting or narrowing of lanes, new roads, or other new configurations. If they are not paying close attention, they may veer off the road or lose control. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, construction projects have continued in Maryland. And although there was less traffic in Maryland in 2020 due to the pandemic, fatal crashes in the state increased by 12 percent from the previous year, and overall crashes increased by nine percent.

Maryland drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care while driving, which includes being vigilant and looking out for new traffic configurations. Even if a driver encounters a dangerous situation because of a new traffic configuration, the driver must still exercise reasonable care considering the circumstances. The driver is expected to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable, prudent person would, considering the circumstances and in light of the time that the driver has to evaluate the choices.

If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and injures another person, the driver may be liable for those injuries. In a Maryland negligence claim, a plaintiff must show that a defendant had a legal duty to the plaintiff, the defendant failed to meet that duty by acting or failing to act in some way, the defendant’s wrongful act caused the plaintiff damages, and the plaintiff suffered damages. A plaintiff has to prove all elements of a negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Maryland motorcycle crash victims may be able to recover financial compensation through a civil claim for medical bills, wage losses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

When a person has been killed in a car or motorcycle accident, the family may get confused about whether they can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Often in these cases, criminal charges will be brought against the person who caused the accident. And because of this, most families assume they also cannot bring a lawsuit as well. However, this is not true. Families can still bring a wrongful death suit—even if the individual has criminal charges pending against them—in order to obtain compensation for their loved one’s death.

Last week, a man died in a two-vehicle collision on Route 50 near Berlin. According to a local news article, a driver of a Jeep was crossing Route 50 to continue northbound when a motorcycle struck the Jeep from behind. The motorcycle driver was then ejected and thrown into the median. The motorcycle driver was pronounced as deceased, and according to police, charges are pending against the Jeep driver.

Individuals who have lost a loved one in an accident often assume that if there are criminal charges, they cannot bring a civil lawsuit too. However, family members can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit to financially recover from the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action filed by the loved one of the deceased with the help of a personal injury attorney. There can be no criminal penalties in a wrongful death case; instead, the only available recovery is money. This is because criminal charges are brought by criminal prosecutors and can lead to incarceration—not monetary fines to be given to the family.

In the tragic event of the loss of a loved one after a motorcycle, family members suffering from the loss may be able to file a claim against responsible parties. A Maryland wrongful death claim allows certain family members to file a claim against responsible parties to recover financial compensation for the loss and hold those parties responsible after a Maryland motorcycle accident or another accident. It allows qualifying family members to recover compensation for the wrongful acts that would have allowed the deceased family member to file a claim if they had not passed.

Generally, a Maryland wrongful claim can be filed by a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased family member. If they did not have a spouse, parent, or child, another person who is related by blood or by marriage and who was substantially dependent upon the deceased family member may file the claim. A wrongful death claim may only be filed once based upon one person’s death. Family members in successful wrongful death claims may be able to obtain financial compensation for their loss, including for mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, and more. Family members may have to contend with allegations that the victim has partially at fault for the accident. If the victim is found to be partially at fault in a Maryland wrongful death claim, the family members may be barred from recovering through a wrongful death claim. A Maryland wrongful death claim generally is required to be filed within three years of the victim’s death.

E-scooters have become more common throughout the U.S. over the past several years, with e-scooter sharing programs now in cities across Maryland. But the use of e-scooters comes with its own share of issues and dangers. Users should take all the necessary precautions to avoid an accident; however, some accidents are unavoidable.

After a Maryland accident, more than one party or cause may be responsible for the accident. While determining responsibility and apportioning fault is essential in any state, it is a determinative factor in Maryland. It is especially critical in Maryland because if a plaintiff is found to be responsible at all for the accident, they will not be able to recover at all for their losses. In addition to aiding oncoming drivers, an attorney can assist left-hand turner drivers in establishing that the other driver was at fault. As such, accident victims and their loved ones should make sure that they contact an attorney to develop and present a strong case.

Left-hand turn accidents usually occur when one driver making a left comes into contact with a driver proceeding straight. Even though left-hand turn accidents usually stem from the negligence of the left-hand driver, in some cases, the other driver may be liable. This often occurs if the oncoming driver ran a red light or broke another traffic law. However, the first step in any liability inquiry is whether the left-hand turner followed Maryland’s traffic rules. The rule is straightforward: motorists making a left-hand turn only have the right of way when they have a green arrow at an intersection. Absent an arrow; the left-hand turner must always yield to traffic.

Left-hand turns are dangerous maneuvers because they require the turning driver to pay attention to several areas at once. The driver must be aware of oncoming traffic and pedestrians coming from multiple directions. Most of these accidents occur because of sudden stops, a driver’s inability to gauge speed, blind turns, and busy intersections. Further, heavy traffic, pedestrians, nighttime driving, and geographic considerations may impact the likelihood of an accident. The impact can have catastrophic consequences on anyone in the vicinity of the accident.

Although most people do their best to follow traffic rules, every driver has had to yield their right-of-way to prevent an accident from taking place. Sometimes, however, drivers fail to yield their right-of-way entirely, which could cause devastating consequences for all parties involved. In Maryland and across the United States generally, failure-to-yield car collisions remain common—and can often become tricky cases to pursue because both parties will argue that they had the right-of-way.

According to a recent news report, a motorcyclist was hit by a car driven by a motorist who failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign. Local authorities say that the car driver was attempting to make a turn when she failed to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, and the car driver’s passenger was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. State police say that the circumstances surrounding the crash remain under investigation.

In Maryland, the state Motor Vehicle Administration has explicit rules on when drivers should yield the right-of-way and how to share the road with other motorists and pedestrians. According to the Maryland Driver’s Manual provided by the state agency, no driver should automatically assume that they have the right-of-way, and drivers are responsible for controlling their own vehicles to avoid crashes whenever possible in different roadway layouts and contexts.

In the devastating event of the loss of a loved one in a drunk driving crash, the aftermath can be overwhelming. Figuring out funerals, bills, insurance policies, the loss of wages, and more while dealing with grief is a lot for anyone to handle. Filing a Maryland wrongful death claim against a drunk driver or another person responsible for the loss of a loved one may be one way to ease the financial burden and hold those at fault responsible for the crash.

Wrongful death claims may be filed in Maryland generally by a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased, who are considered primary plaintiffs under Maryland’s wrongful death statute. A secondary plaintiff—another family member who was substantially dependent on the victim—generally may file a wrongful death claim if no primary plaintiff exists. Only one wrongful death lawsuit can be filed arising from one victim’s death.

Wrongful death lawsuits allow family members who suffered a loss to recover compensation for their losses. It also acts as a way to hold responsible parties liable for a loved one’s death. In general, a Maryland wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death of the deceased. Plaintiffs may be able to recover compensation for their own pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of care, lost income, and other damages.

Even when an accident case seems straightforward, determining liability and apportioning fault after a Maryland car accident can be challenging. This is especially true because Maryland follows strict contributory negligence laws that bar recovery if the plaintiff is at all responsible for the accident. As such, parties will go to great lengths to dispute liability and challenge claims. Although police reports and eyewitnesses may provide insight into what occurred, these cases typically require an in-depth investigation.

A critical part of any accident investigation is recreating the scene to determine the facts leading up to the collision. The inherent nature of motorcycles and motorcycle accidents makes this first step exceedingly challenging. Motorcycles tend to end up in dramatically different positions than from where they started. When this occurs, authorities, insurance companies, and fact-finders may need to engage in lengthy investigations to determine fault. Moreover, because of the state’s laws, it is more likely that at-fault parties will refute claims and assert contributory negligence theories- with the understanding that the plaintiff will not be able to recover at all.

Motorcyclists traveling in a group often further complicate things, as the accidents tend to be more severe. For instance, a recent news report described a multi-motorcycle chain reaction accident. According to reports, the bikers were riding eastbound when they approached a traffic light. The motorcyclist leading the group slowed his bike; however, the biker behind him could not stop, and a chain-reaction collision ensued. That biker was not wearing a helmet and was life-flighted to a medical center to receive treatment for his serious injuries. Three of the other bikers involved in the accident also suffered injuries.

One person was recently killed in a Maryland motorcycle crash involving a suspected drunk driver, according to one news source. The crash occurred shortly before 5:30 a.m. on southbound I-95 in Elkridge in Howard County, Maryland. According to law enforcement, the motorcycle was reportedly traveling southbound on I-95 when it was rear-ended by a car. The driver of the car continued traveling and crashed into a second vehicle. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was taken into custody and charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

Filing a Claim After a DUI Crash in Maryland

Drunk driving remains an issue in Maryland, despite efforts to reduce drunk driving crashes. According to the most recent statistics, thirty-one percent of all driving fatalities in Maryland involved alcohol. Drunk drivers are subject to criminal penalties and license sanctions. First-time offenders in Maryland face a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year behind bars, license revocation for up to six months, and 12 points on their license. Repeat offenders (those who have received a DUI within a 5-year period) face a fine of up to $3,000, three years behind bars, a license suspension of one year and a mandatory ignition interlock device after the suspension is lifted.

If an individual has been injured in Maryland drunk driving crash, they may be able to file a claim against the driver and others who may bear responsibility for the crash.

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