Bicyclist Deaths Continue to Increase in Bicyclist-Motor Vehicle Crashes

The death of a loved one is tragic. In Maryland motor vehicle crashes, the party at fault for the crash should be held responsible for their actions. The wrongful death statute in Maryland allows certain family members to recover compensation after the family members’ death. The purpose of the statute is “to compensate the families of the decedents, as opposed to the estates of the decedents.” Therefore, a wrongful death claim is a separate claim that can be brought by the decedent’s family.

Old-School BicycleThe law allows for certain beneficiaries to file a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit. Primary beneficiaries are defined as the spouses, parents, or children of the deceased person. If no primary beneficiaries exist, Maryland law permits secondary beneficiaries to pursue a claim. A secondary plaintiff is any other person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was wholly dependent on the decedent.

In order to prove liability, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s wrongful act resulted in their loved one’s death. Under the statute, a wrongful act is an “act, neglect, or default including a felonious act which would have entitled the injured party to maintain an action and recover damages” if the person had not died. Plaintiffs may recover damages for not only pecuniary losses but also pain and suffering, loss of companionship, parental care, guidance, and more.

Motor vehicle crashes occur each day, and a new report reveals an increase in bicyclist deaths in crashes with motor vehicles.

Safety Group Issues Report on Fatal Bicyclist Crashes and Safety Measures

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently issued a report on bicyclist crashes and safety entitled:  “A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety.” The association analyzed data from bicyclist fatal crashes with a motor vehicle from 1975 to 2015 to figure out where crashes were more likely to occur and why.

Until 2010, bicyclist fatalities had been declining. However, since 2010, bicyclist fatalities have been steadily increasing. In addition, the report found that bicyclist deaths increased 12.2% in 2015, compared to the previous year. It was the greatest increase in two decades. Adults account for 88 percent of bicyclist fatalities, and male bicyclists are almost six times more likely to be killed than female bicyclists. Seventy percent of fatal bicyclist crashes occur in urban settings.

Based on these findings, the GHSA outlined 30 actions states can take to reduce deaths and injuries among bicyclists. For example, the report found the need for better law enforcement training and roadway improvements. The report found that bicycle-motor vehicle crashes are often results of a motorist failing to notice the bicyclist.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Bicycle Accident?

If you lost a loved one in a Maryland bicycle crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim to recover compensation. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we understand that car accidents, medical malpractice, pharmacy errors, and other careless acts can have a permanent and devastating impact on families. We have decades of experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We have helped thousands of accident victims and families recover the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Motorists Running Red Lights, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published August 4, 2017.

Establishing Government Liability in Maryland Motorcycle Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published July 13, 2017.

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