Losing a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle or bicycle accident is undeniably tragic. While many cyclists go out every day and return home safe and sound, the sad reality is that one careless mistake on the road—either by the cyclist or someone else—can lead to an immense tragedy. For example, a father and his daughter were recently killed while riding their bicycle home, according to a recent news report. The 61-year-old man had picked up his 13-year-old daughter from a friend’s house, and they were riding back home with the girl on the handlebars of the bike. As they were crossing a road, they were struck by a Dodge Dart and thrown from the bicycle. Both died from their injuries.
This case illustrates how quickly multiple lives can change when an accident occurs. While riding a bicycle or motorcycle is a popular form of transportation, it can also be dangerous—those riding may be more prone to death or serious injuries when accidents occur, because they lack the protection of a car’s exterior and are more likely to be thrown onto the road.
When tragic accidents such as the one described above occur and result in a fatality, Maryland law allows the family of the deceased to file a specific type of civil lawsuit called a wrongful death suit. A wrongful death suit seeks damages from the defendant who caused or contributed to the wrongful death of the deceased. In this case, the wrongful death suit would likely be filed against the driver of the Dodge Dart. These suits generally must prove that the defendant was negligent and breached the standard duty of care that a reasonably careful person would adhere to, thus causing the accident. In proving a case, plaintiffs may rely on evidence that the defendant failed to stop at a stop sign, ran a red light, drove while somehow distracted by their phone, or did something else careless that caused the crash.