An Anne Arundel County woman is facing charges for the death of a motorcycle driver, which authorities believed was a direct result of the woman’s texting while driving. According to sources, this is the first official charging of manslaughter while texting in Anne Arundel County.
Last March, a 30 year old man was riding north on his motorcycle on Route 3 in Gambrills, when the 19 year old driver maneuvered her car into the motorcyclist’s path in an attempt to cross Route 3 to get to the Royal Farms, resulting in the death of the motorcyclist.
The prosecution in the case claims that, in addition to cell phone records (which are presumably time stamped), they have an eyewitness who saw the woman driving with one hand, and looking down while texting with the other. The driver faces several charges in relation to the incident, including negligent manslaughter. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
It is a well documented fact that texting while driving is dangerous. In fact, it has even been implicitly referred to as the same as, or worse than, driving while intoxicated, in terms of the adverse consequences to which it can lead.
While texting and driving has been against the law in Maryland for quite some time, as of October 1, 2013, drivers are additionally prohibited from using handheld cellphones for voice calls as well.
While the charges that this woman faces are criminal, the motorcyclist’s family may also be able to bring a lawsuit in civil court for the man’s wrongful death. Whereas the criminal justice system stems from society’s desire to punish individuals for their wrongdoing, the civil system allows for individuals and their families to seek a financial recovery in an attempt to compensate for the losses or damages, to the extent possible.
Most often, wrongful death lawsuits are brought under a claim of negligence. Negligence claims require a demonstration that the alleged wrongdoer engaged in behavior that was not in accordance with what a reasonably prudent person would have done. In car accident cases, driving in a manner that violates traffic laws, such as texting while driving, meets this requirement. Negligence claims additionally require a showing that it was this negligent behavior which caused the harm to the plaintiff (person bringing the suit/harmed by the behavior). In this case, the woman’s alleged texting was (reportedly) directly responsible for the man’s death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact the experienced Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC immediately. We have extensive experience in representing motorcyclists and their passengers (or family members of these individuals) who have been injured or killed due to another driver’s negligence. Call us today in order to schedule your initial complimentary consultation. You can contact us through our website or by calling 1-800-654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Head on Collision Kills Two Motorcyclists in Calvert County, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 8, 2013
Columbia Man Faces Felony DUI Charges in Double Motorcycle Fatality, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 1, 2013