Earlier this month in West Virginia, one man was killed after he was involved in a motorcycle accident with one other vehicle. According to one local West Virginia news source, the accident took place on a Monday afternoon on U.S. Route 460, near Oakvale.
Evidently, the motorcyclist was heading westbound on Route 460 when he lost control of the motorcycle. As the motorcyclist was attempting to regain control of the bike, the driver of a dark-colored passenger car struck him, sending the man off the bike and onto the pavement. The driver of that vehicle fled the scene and is yet to be located by authorities.
Police are conducting an investigation into the fatal motorcycle accident and are not sure if the unknown vehicle was at all responsible for the initial accident or whether that was a complete loss of control on the motorcyclist’s part. Either way, the driver who fled the scene could face criminal charges for leaving the scene of the accident. Police also noted that uneven pavement could have contributed to the cause of the accident.
Multi-Cause Accidents in Maryland
In Maryland, the victim of a motorcycle accident is entitled to bring a lawsuit against the party who caused the accident, seeking monetary compensation. However, many motorcycle accidents are not cut-and-dry when it comes to determining fault, and they may have several parties involved, each with some level of responsibility. How fault is assigned can be critical to a motorcycle accident victim’s case.
Generally speaking, under Maryland law, if there are multiple people at fault in an accident, they are jointly and severally liable. This means that each party is responsible for the entirety of the damages suffered by the plaintiff. Of course, if one defendant ends up paying all the damages, that party can seek contribution from the other non-paying defendants. This theory of recovery is beneficial to plaintiffs because it increases a plaintiff’s chances of obtaining a full recovery, even if one party is insolvent.
With that said, Maryland does employ a less plaintiff-friendly law when it comes to determining which plaintiffs are eligible to recover. In Maryland, only those plaintiffs who were not at all at fault in the accident will be permitted to recover. This means that if the motorcyclist discussed above was found to have contributed to the accident that ultimately resulted in his death, his family would not likely be successful in a wrongful death action against the unknown driver that struck him. This harsh rule prevents hundreds if not thousands of plaintiffs from recovering in Maryland courts each year.
Have You Been Involved in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on one of the other parties’ negligent conduct. To learn more about these accidents, and how the laws apply to help innocent accident victims recover for their injuries, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney at the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of combined experience representing clients in all kinds of personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents. Call today to set up your free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Former Episcopal Bishop in Baltimore Pleads Guilty to Automotive Manslaughter and Other Related Charges, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.
Former Navy Seal Killed in Bethesda Bicycle Accident, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 18, 2015.