Articles Posted in Bicycle Injury Accidents

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.

Finding 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.”

Finding 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.

As 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.

The 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.

To 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.

While 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.

The 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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Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a written opinion in a premises liability lawsuit brought by an injured bicyclist against the federal government. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff’s case was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which generally grants immunity to government actors acting in a discretionary manner. Ultimately, the court determined that the government employees were acting in a discretionary manner and that the government was entitled to immunity.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was with a friend, mountain biking in the De Soto National Forest. The two began their ride on the Couch Loop Trail. However, the plaintiff did not stop at the trail-head’s bulletin board, which displayed a sign indicating that the loop was closed.

The plaintiff rode on the trail for a while, before taking an “alternate route.” This alternate route contained some obstacles that were illegally built by members of a local bike club. The plaintiff rode over one of the obstacles and fell, seriously injuring herself. She then filed a premises liability lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that it was negligent in maintaining the trail, as well as negligent for failing to warn her about the dangerous conditions present on the trail.

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One of the major causes of motorcycle and bicycle accidents that involve another vehicle is the other driver’s failure to see the motorcycle or bicycle. Most often, the failure of a driver to see a motorcyclist or bicyclist is caused by one of several things. Perhaps most common is the driver’s inattention at the time of the accident. With the prevalence of text messaging and cell-phone navigation, drivers are spending more and more time on their phones while behind the wheel, even though it is against the law in most cases.

Another common cause of a driver’s failure to take notice of a motorcyclist or bicyclist is the slim frame that these smaller vehicles have. Most motorists are accustomed to sharing the road with other cars and trucks, and are able to adjust their behavior when they must share the road. However, the average motorist sees a motorcyclist far less often than they see other cars. This can lead a motorist to overlook a nearby motorcycle, and it can also make it difficult for a motorist to gauge the speed at which an oncoming motorcycle is approaching.

Regardless of why motorists routinely fail to notice motorcyclists and bicyclists, at the end of the day, it is the motorist’s responsibility to be familiar with their surroundings. If a motorist causes an accident because they didn’t see a motorcyclist or bicyclist, that will not necessarily be a valid reason to avoid liability.

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Whenever a bicyclist is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the potential for serious injuries is extremely high, even if the bicyclist is wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. In many bicycle accident cases, accident victims will require lengthy stays in the hospital, followed by months of physical therapy, before their life starts to return to normal. Necessarily, this means weeks or months out of work and potentially astronomical medical expenses, not to mention the emotional toll that the accident takes. In some cases, an accident victim is left with irreparable injuries that will stay with them throughout their life.

After a bicycle accident, an injured bicyclist is entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver they believe to be at fault for the accident. In some cases, the driver may not be located or may not have adequate insurance; however, there still may be an avenue of recovery through the bicyclist’s own insurance policy. Through this process, an accident victim may be able to seek financial compensation for the various costs associated with the accident, including their past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident. Anyone injured in a serious Maryland bicycle accident should seek out a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss their case.

Bicycle Accident Leaves Teen Paralyzed

Recently, a Texas teenager was struck while he was riding his bike on a public road. After the initial collision, the teen ended up crashing into the car’s windshield before bouncing off and landing on the road. According to a recent local news report, after the accident, the driver responsible for the crash fled the scene. Thankfully, another passing motorist did stop and render aid. However, the teen was unable to feel his legs and was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

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