Earlier this month, an accident in Harmans, Maryland resulted in one Hanover man losing his life when the motorcycle on which he was riding was struck by a passenger vehicle. According to one local news report, the accident took place at around four in the afternoon near the intersection of Dorsey Road and Sandalwood Court.
Evidently, the motorcyclist was driving his 2011 Harley Davidson westbound on Dorsey Road when a minivan pulling out of a driveway slammed into the motorcycle. The driver was thrown from the bike and was found on the road by emergency responders, who immediately took him to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Despite their best efforts, the man was pronounced dead a few days later. The driver of the minivan was not injured in the accident.
The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and police have ruled out alcohol and speed as potential causes for the fatal accident. Police do believe, however, that the accident was caused by a failure of the minivan driver to yield to the motorcyclist as the minivan pulled out of the driveway into traffic. Police are still in the middle of their investigation and are working with the prosecutor’s office to determine if criminal charges are appropriate in the wake of the fatal accident.
Criminal Versus Civil Charges
As noted in the preceding paragraph, prosecutors are considering bringing criminal charges against the driver of the minivan for his role in the fatal motorcycle accident. If these charges are filed, which is ultimately a decision left up to the prosecutor’s office, they may result in criminal sanctions against the driver, including fines, probation, and even potential jail time.
However, the family of the accident victim who lost his life in the accident are also entitled to bring allegations against the driver of the minivan. These allegations, which would be filed in a civil court rather than a criminal one, would not result in criminal sanctions against the driver, but instead they may result in monetary compensation being paid by the negligent driver (or his insurance company) to the family of the deceased. These “wrongful death” actions must be substantiated at trial by showing two things:
- First, that the person bringing the lawsuit is the proper plaintiff; and
- Second, that the defendant’s negligent or reckless conduct was the cause of the victim’s death.
If a surviving loved one can meet these elements, they may be entitled to significant financial recovery based on the loss of their loved one.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you have recently lost a loved one in any kind of Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a wrongful death action. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that the other driver, as well as their insurance company, will not likely admit fault and provide fair compensation without significant convincing. In fact, the case may need to proceed all the way to trial. In either event, the assistance of an experienced attorney will prove useful in evaluating your claim, filing the case, and preparing any necessary investigation and subsequent arguments at trial. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
22-Year-Old Dies in Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident in Timonium, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published August 12, 2015.
Maryland Motorcyclist Killed in Gaithersburg U-Turn Accident, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published July 24, 2015.