Articles Posted in Bicycle Injury Accidents

Just as learning how to ride a bike is one of the most memorable milestones in any child’s life, it is also seen as a parental rite of passage. And while one of the most important aspects of teaching a child to ride a bike is imparting the importance of bicycle safety, some accidents cannot be avoided.bicycle

In fact, Maryland bicycle accidents injure, on average, about 67,000 riders per year and result in over 700 fatalities annually. Studies have shown that child riders account for a significant number of both the fatal and the non-fatal bicycle accidents. Most of these accidents occur close to the child’s home, often on their own street.

Motorists have a duty to avoid causing a bicycle accident. This includes following all traffic laws, paying attention to the road in front of them, and yielding to bicyclists when appropriate. When a motorist causes a bicycle accident, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result of their negligence.

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Each year, there are hundreds of Maryland bicycle accidents that occur for a number of reasons. While some accidents are the result of bicyclist error, the vast majority involve the negligence of a motorist. And although it may seem beyond the pale to most Maryland motorists, each year there are dozens of Maryland hit-and-run accidents where a motorist flees the scene after being involved in a collision.

Bike at SundownHit-and-run accidents are especially troublesome for a number of reasons. First, car accidents almost always involve some type of injury. And when a motorist leaves the scene, they run the risk of leaving stranded a person who is seriously injured and in need of medical assistance. Additionally, by leaving the scene, a hit-and-run driver abandons the accident victim without anyone to look to for compensation for their injuries.

The issues involved in a hit-and-run accident are worsened when one of the vehicles involved is a bicycle. Bicyclists are less protected than motorists, and more likely to suffer serious injuries following an accident. Thus, a Maryland bicycle accident victim is likely in need of serious medical attention following an accident.

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Teaching a child to ride a bike can be a rewarding experience for both the child and the adult. However, bicycle safety is a critical component of learning to ride a bike and should never be overlooked. Not only is it important to teach children always wear a helmet, but also to follow the rules of the road and to always be aware of drivers that may not be paying attention.

Child Bike SafetyAccording to a recent news report based on a study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Maryland bicycle accidents involving children may be more common than most people believe. Evidently, nationwide there are there are about 608 bicycle-related injuries per day, which comes out to about 25 accidents per hour.

Of course, most of these accidents are minor. In fact, the top reported injury types were bruises, scrapes, and cuts. However, a very significant 11% of all child bicycle accidents resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Unsurprisingly, when a motor vehicle is involved in the accident, the chance of the child suffering a traumatic brain injury greatly increases.

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Earlier this year, a state supreme court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case raising an important issue for Maryland bicycle accident victims who were injured while riding on public property. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether a government landowner was entitled to immunity under the state’s recreational use statute when the path where the injury occurred was used for both recreational and non-recreational purposes.

Dirt RoadFinding that there was no language in the state’s recreational use statute requiring that land be used exclusively for recreational purposes in order for immunity to attach, the court determined that the government landowner was entitled to immunity. Thus, the accident victim’s case was dismissed.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding a bicycle with her niece along an asphalt path that was owned and maintained by the defendant municipality. The path was designated as a non-motorized path, and it was commonly used for recreational purposes. However, the path was labeled as “mixed use” and was also used by some commuters as a way to get to work.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that presents a very important issue for the victims of Maryland bicycle accidents. The case required the court to interpret and apply the state’s recreational use statute, determining if the conduct of the government defendant in charge of maintaining the land where the plaintiff sustained his injuries rose to the level of “willful or wanton.”

Bike TrailFinding that the government’s conduct was not willful or wanton, the court determined that the government agency was entitled to immunity and dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding his bicycle on a mixed-use trail on a summer morning. As the plaintiff approached a pedestrian on the trail, he rang his bell and began to pass the pedestrian by moving into the middle of the trail. However, as the plaintiff steered the bike to the middle of the trail, the bike’s tire got caught in a crack that was about three inches wide and two inches deep, and ran approximately four feet in the direction of travel. As the bike’s wheel got caught, the plaintiff lost his balance and fell, injuring his shoulder.

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Maryland bicycle accidents are occurring at a startling rate across the state. The majority of these accidents take place in larger urban areas, such as Baltimore or Washington, D.C., and most occur at intersections. Intersections present a particularly dangerous situation to bicyclists because many drivers are unfamiliar with the traffic laws as they pertain to bicyclists, and they assume that the bicyclist is going to yield to them. However, that is not what the law requires.

Garbage TruckAs a general rule, motorists must treat bicyclists as though they are any other vehicle on the road, with some exceptions. For example, motorists must take care in passing bicyclists and should leave ample room when pulling back in front of a bicyclist after passing. Additionally, motorists must leave at least three feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist. A driver’s failure to safely follow the traffic laws may result in their financial liability to anyone injured in an accident.

Settlement Reached in Bicycle Accident Case Involving Garbage Truck

Earlier last month, a settlement agreement was reached in a case involving a man who was struck by a garbage truck while riding his bicycle on the shoulder of the road. According to a local news report covering the accident and subsequent personal injury case, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit for $2.6 million.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a personal injury lawsuit that presented an interesting issue that many Maryland bicycle accident plaintiffs encounter when seeking compensation for their injuries. The case involved the interpretation of a recreational use statute and required the court to determine whether the trail where the plaintiff was injured was covered under the statute’s grant of immunity. Ultimately, the court concluded that the trail where the plaintiff’s injury occurred was not the type the legislature intended to include within the statute’s text. As a result, the plaintiff’s case was permitted to proceed toward trial or settlement negotiations.

Bike TrailThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured while riding with a group of friends on a paved biking trail. Evidently, there was an area of the trail where the pavement had started to break away, due to vegetation that grew up through the pavement. The trail was paved and was painted with a yellow line to designate directional travel. The path was also used by an electric company to access power lines that ran to nearby neighborhoods. The path intersected not just with other mixed-use paths but also with several roads.

As the plaintiff was riding behind a friend, her friend fell off her bike, causing the plaintiff to fall as well. The plaintiff was seriously injured as a result of the fall and filed a premises liability lawsuit against the city that was in charge of maintaining the path.

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Being involved in a Maryland motorcycle accident is a terrifying experience. If a motorcycle accident victim is lucky enough to walk away from the scene, it is likely that their heart is racing, their adrenaline is pumping, and they may not realize the physical trauma their body just endured.

MotorcycleTo be sure, many Maryland motorcycle accidents result in head trauma, road rash, broken bones, and other injuries that are discovered immediately after an accident upon a medical evaluation. However, some injuries may not appear for weeks or even months after an accident. At other times, what seems like a minor injury turns out to be much more serious than the accident victim originally believed. In these situations, Maryland motorcycle accident victims may pursue a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver as long as the claim is filed within the applicable statute of limitations. In Maryland, this is three years from the date of the accident.

While all cases that are filed within the statute of limitations can be heard by the court, jurors may be suspicious of claims that were filed months or years after an accident without a convincing reason. For that reason, anyone who has recently been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident should immediately consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss their case and determine if a lawsuit is appropriate.

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Despite decades of public service announcements and millions of dollars spent on educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving, some motorists continue to refuse to comply with the law. When drivers get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, they put everyone on the road at risk. Indeed, in an average year, there are approximately 170 Maryland drunk driving deaths.

BicyclistsWhile the impact of drunk driving can affect anyone using the road, bicyclists are at a particular disadvantage, given the total lack of protection bicycles offer riders. Aside from wearing a helmet and following traffic laws, bicyclists can do little to avoid drunk drivers. And once an accident occurs, the likelihood of it resulting in a serious injury or death is extremely high.

Maryland lawmakers understand the need for strict drunk driving laws and have implemented a strict set of criminal punishments to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Similarly, civil remedies are available for victims of bicycle accidents through Maryland personal injury lawsuits. Anyone considering filing a personal injury lawsuit against a motorist believed to have been at fault for causing a serious Maryland bicycle accident should consult with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.

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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.

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