The Distinction Between Civil and Criminal Lawsuits Following Maryland Motorcycle Accidents

When a motorist causes a Maryland motorcycle accident, they may face two types of liability:  criminal and civil. A criminal case is brought by the local prosecuting authority and is intended to punish an at-fault motorist for the conduct that caused the accident. Thus, when a motorist is found guilty of a criminal offense, they may be fined, placed on probation, or sentenced to a term of incarceration. While criminal cases following motorcycle accidents are appropriate in some cases, the focus of these cases is not to help the accident victim recover from their injuries.

Nighttime IntersectionIf a motorcycle accident victim hopes to seek compensation for their injuries, they should file a civil Maryland personal injury lawsuit. Unlike criminal cases, the sole purpose of a civil lawsuit is to provide the victims of another person’s negligence with compensation for their injuries. This may include amounts for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and a decrease in the enjoyment of life, as well as for any pain and suffering the accident victim has endured as a result of the accident.

In some cases, a driver may face both civil and criminal liability for their role in causing an accident. It is important to keep in mind, however, that a civil case for damages is not contingent upon the filing of a criminal case against the same driver. Similarly, even if a motorist is found not to have been criminally liable for an accident, an accident victim may still be able to succeed in a civil case for damages because civil cases are held to a lower standard of proof than criminal cases.

Motorist Cited After Causing Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Earlier this month, a motorcyclist was killed in a three-vehicle collision that began when a motorist attempted to cross the road in front of the motorcyclist. According to a local news report, the motorist was attempting to cross a multi-lane road when he misjudged the amount of time he had to clear the intersection, cutting off the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist was left without enough time to avoid the collision and crashed into the side of the car. The motorcyclist died from the injuries he sustained in the accident.

The motorist’s vehicle then collided with another car before coming to rest. No other people were injured in the accident. Upon arriving at the scene, the police arrested the driver and charged him with two misdemeanor offenses, including failure to yield and causing death by motor vehicle.

Have You Been a Victim of a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience representing victims and their families in all types of motorcycle accident cases, including cases involving drunk drivers and distracted drivers. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case, call 410-654-3600 today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Product Liability Case Following Serious Personal Watercraft Injury, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 19, 2018.

Court Dismisses Negligent Entrustment Claim in Recent Motorcycle Accident Case, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 5, 2018.

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