Articles Posted in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Oftentimes, the Maryland motorcycle crashes that we write about in this blog are crashes that involve both a motorcycle and a car, usually with the car making a careless error and hitting the motorcycle, causing the crash. But it is important to recognize that sometimes, Maryland motorcycle accidents can occur solely because of a rider’s careless error—sometimes not even involving another vehicle at all. In these situations, anyone injured as a passenger on the motorcycle may have a claim against the motorcyclist.

For an example of this second type of accident, take a recent incident from last month. According to a news report covering the incident, the motorcyclist, a 42-year-old man, was riding east on the highway with one passenger on his motorcycle, a 41-year-old woman. According to state police officers, the cyclist failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the roadway and lost control of his vehicle. Both he and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle off the shoulder of the roadway, sustaining serious injuries. Tragically, the passenger’s injuries were fatal, and she passed away. The cyclist was flown to a nearby hospital and treated for life-threatening injuries, ultimately surviving the accident. The crash remains under investigation.

This tragic accident serves as a reminder that Maryland motorcycle accidents are not always caused by a car crashing into a motorcycle, or even by another vehicle at all. Sometimes, they can just be caused by the motorcyclist themselves. In these cases, it is important to remember that there could still be liability—if a motorcyclist is negligent and gets into an accident while they have a passenger on their motorcycle, and their passenger is subsequently injured, they can then be held liable for their passenger’s injury in a personal injury lawsuit.

In this blog, we discuss all types of Maryland motorcycle accidents. Typically, accidents of this kind are caused by either negligent drivers or cyclists, who make a bad decision or careless error and crash. Sometimes, however, Maryland motorcycle accidents can be caused by something slightly more unexpected: animals in the road. A cat or dog crossing the road could be hit by a car or a motorcycle, causing a chain reaction crash behind them. Other times, animals might appear in the road and cause drivers to swerve to avoid them, the swerve then causing an accident. While most Americans like animals and enjoy nature, these examples illustrate that animals on the road can cause major crashes, and even death.

For example, according to a recent news source, a motorcycle accident occurred when a bear tried to cross U.S. Route 50. An 82-year-old man on his motorcycle tried to swerve to avoid crashing into the bear, but in doing so, he wrecked his motorcycle. The man died as a result of the accident. Another motorcycle came upon the scene and swerved to avoid the first motorcycle accident, but instead crashed himself. Officials responding to the scene took him to the hospital, and his condition is still unknown.

This example is just one of many—rogue animals on roads and highways cause accidents all the time. While these accidents might seem to be totally random, with no one at fault to hold accountable through a personal injury lawsuit, seasoned personal injury attorneys know that there may be more than meets the eye. While there are sometimes accidents with no one to hold responsible, Maryland motorcycle accidents caused by animals on the road may still be partially caused by a negligent party. For example, an owner of cattle or other livestock might know that, if not kept secure, the animals are likely to wander out into the road and cause accidents. If they do not keep their animals secure, they may be held liable for the resulting accidents. Or, a driver who has plenty of time and advanced notice to slow down and come to a stop before the animal in the street, but decides to push on full-steam-ahead and recklessly swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid the animal, may be found responsible for the resultant crash. As such, Maryland residents injured in motorcycle crashes caused by animals on the road should consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss their case and possible claims for financial compensation. Even in cases involving a wild animal in the roadway, motorists may have a claim with their own insurance company.

Maryland motorcycle accidents often happen in the blink of an eye. One second, it’s business as usual and the next, tragedy strikes. Because of how quickly and unexpectedly motorcycle accidents occur, it is often difficult to figure out exactly what happened—or who was at fault. For example, a recent fatal motorcycle accident leaves many questions unanswered about what exactly happened, and who is to blame.

According to a local news report covering the incident, the incident occurred just before 10 a.m. one morning, when a BMW sedan had stalled in the slow lane of a highway, specifically on the high-rise section of a bridge. The driver of the BMW left the vehicle and was walking along the bridge. A group of motorcycles came upon the BMW, and most of them changed lanes to go around it. Two of them, however, struck the car from behind. As a result, the driver of one of the motorcycles—a 34-year-old man—was tragically thrown off of the bridge and into the water below, where his body was later recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The driver and passenger of the second motorcycle survived but were taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. It is currently unknown whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

While we know that those injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence have the ability to bring a personal injury lawsuit, it is sometimes difficult to figure out who was negligent and what caused the crash. In the case above, there are many more facts one would need to know to determine fault. Why did the driver of the BMW leave his car? Why did the BMW stall out in the first place? Was there a safer place to pull off the road? If the driver was careless in some way, that might point to him being held liable for the motorcyclist’s death. It would also be important to know the visibility on the highway leading up to the BMW, and whether or not the motorcyclists were paying close attention to the road. Why did two fail to switch lanes? Were any of them under the influence of drugs or alcohol? The answers to these questions may determine who was at fault for this tragic accident.

Although drivers make left turns all the time—whether in a car, a truck, or a motorcycle—many people are not aware of how dangerous left turns can be. In fact, many Maryland motorcycle accidents are the result of someone attempting a left turn and then hitting a motorcycle that had the right-of-way. Just recently, a crash exactly like this was reported, giving a perfect example of what might happen.

According to a local news report covering the crash, a 50-year-old woman was driving an SUV and attempted to turn left. However, she violated the right-of-way of two oncoming motorcycles, resulting in a collision of all three vehicles. The drivers of the motorcycles—a 54-year-old man and a 25-year-old man—both tragically died at the scene.

There are many reasons why a driver in this situation might cause this type of accident while turning left. Perhaps the driver is intoxicated, and thus their judgment is clouded. Or, if it’s dark at night, drivers might find it hard to see motorcycles and assume that if they do not see a car coming then the path is clear. Drivers also could make risky moves like this if they are distracted while driving—by their phone, or by someone in the backseat—or if they have been driving many hours and are feeling fatigued. Whatever the reason, drivers who are at fault in causing accidents such as these can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit.

Maryland motorcyclists generally understand the importance of being safe and careful on the road to avoid getting into an accident. Because motorcyclists have less protection than those driving other vehicles, getting in an Maryland motorcycle accident can be incredibly dangerous, leading to serious injuries or even death.

Accidents can be caused by many different things, but one common cause is drivers in cars or trucks driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and then crashing into a motorcyclist. While intoxicated, drivers may not see the motorcyclist, or may mid-judge how far away they are and how fast they are going, causing sometimes fatal accidents.

For example, take an accident from earlier this month. According to a local news report, the accident occurred around 8:30 one night, with a motorcyclist going west and a Chevy Camero going east on the same road. The Chevy Camero, driven by a 51-year-old woman apparently intoxicated from drinking alcohol before driving, made a left turn into the motorcyclist’s path, causing a crash. Tragically, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by the responding officials. The driver was brought to the hospital to receive medical care for her injuries. The next day, she was arrested on numerous charges, including vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and careless driving resulting in death.

Maryland motorcycle accidents are incredibly dangerous. Unlike cars, which provide a significant barrier between other vehicles and the bodies of the drivers and passengers and have safety features such as automatic braking and airbags, motorcycles provide very little protection to riders. Motorcycle accidents also tend to occur at higher speeds, and almost always result in the motorcyclist being thrown off the bike. These are a few of the reasons that motorcycle accidents so often result in serious injuries and fatalities.

Recently, a tragic motorcycle accident resulted in the death of a 31-year-old woman. Not much is known about why the accident occurred, but according to a local news report the motorcycle was being driven by a 35-year-old man when it crashed around 2 a.m. The passenger on the motorcycle was killed as a result, and the driver also suffered injuries. The driver walked away from the scene of the accident, however, leaving his deceased passenger and wrecked motorcycle behind. State troopers and county sheriff’s deputies searched all night for the driver, finally locating him around 8:30 a.m. in a convenience store. The crash is currently under investigation, and it is not clear whether or not charges will be filed against the driver.

This accident is a tragic illustration of how fatal motorcycle accidents can be. Every year, many Maryland residents lose loved ones in accidents like this, causing pain and heartbreak. While nothing can undo the damage that is done in these crashes, or bring the deceased back to life, Maryland state law has developed a doctrine to allow grieving family members to hold whoever caused their loved one’s death responsible in court. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the family can recover financially to cover things such as funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.

Another fatal motorcycle accident claimed a 41-year-old man’s life last week, yet another sobering reminder of the irreparable harm that Maryland motorcycle accidents can cause. According to a local news report, the motorcycle accident occurred a little after 5 PM on a Wednesday evening. Evidently, the motorcyclist was traveling south when a 2007 Jeep Patriot, traveling north on the same road, crossed the center line, striking the guardrail and causing a collision with the motorcycle. The incident caused both the driver and the passenger of the motorcycle to be sent to the hospital with severe injuries. The motorcycle driver, unfortunately, passed away in the hospital. Authorities say that the incident remains under investigation, and it is not clear why the Jeep crossed the center line and caused the collision. However, the driver of the Jeep was arrested at the scene for violation of a probation warrant and is currently in jail.

This case may result in criminal charges for the driver of the Jeep, who not only violated his probation warrant but also caused a deadly accident by crossing over the center line. However, this case may also lead to a civil suit. Depending on how or why the Jeep crossed over, the injured passenger and the family of the deceased driver may be entitled to financial compensation for the resulting harm. This doctrine was developed in Maryland and other states to protect accident victims who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. By proving that the driver violated the duty of care he owed to be a responsible driver, and, that this action caused the accident and resulting injuries, the victims may be able to recover financially from him for the costs associated with their hospitalizations and subsequent recovery.

While the money the family may receive from a civil negligence suit cannot undo the harm caused, or the pain caused by the loss of life, it can, however, provide for the victim and their families in the aftermath. Those affected by the accident are now having to deal with medical bills and will likely have future medical needs and expenses as a result as well. The deceased victim’s family also likely has funeral and burial expenses, and then there’s the economic toll that the motorcyclist’s’ lost wages can have. A wrongful death lawsuit can help to provide for a grieving and recovering family and hold the negligent driver responsible for his actions. But filing these suits can be complicated, or overwhelming, particularly right after an accident. This is why Maryland residents are encouraged to find a local personal injury attorney to help them through the process.

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always dangerous, for both the drunk driver as well as for others on the road. And, unfortunately, it can be especially dangerous for Maryland motorcyclists. Sharing the road with an intoxicated driver is never safe, but for Maryland motorcyclists, crashes can be more serious or even fatal than those in cars. Additionally, they may be more likely to be hit by intoxicated drivers in a Maryland motorcycle accident than cars or trucks, because motorcyclists take up less space and are less visible, particularly to drivers operating their vehicle under the influence at night.

There’s a reason that operating a vehicle under the influence is against the law. When driving drunk or otherwise intoxicated, a driver is less likely to be aware of their surroundings or to know what is going on. Additionally, intoxicated drivers have slower reflexes to respond to other drivers—or motorcyclists—and are also more likely to drive recklessly by not following traffic rules or speed limits. All of these things can result in incredibly serious accidents, including one that happened in Maryland last month.

According to a local news article covering the incident, a 37-year-old man from Temple Hills was driving, presumably under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, when he crossed over the yellow line on Route 54 in Nesquehoning. He hit a motorcycle driven by a 30-year-old Landford man, tragically throwing the cyclist from the motorcycle and killing him. When police arrived on the scene, they reported a strong smell of marijuana and paraphernalia in the intoxicated driver’s car.

It is often not clear who was at fault for a motor vehicle accident, which is why so many accidents lead to insurance disputes and litigation. If a plaintiff is at least partially at fault for an accident, the plaintiff’s ability to recover depends on the jurisdiction where the claim is filed. In the event a motorcycle accident claim is filed in a Maryland court of law, the case would be subject to the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, if a plaintiff is found to be even partially at fault in a Maryland case, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation from the defendant. Many other jurisdictions still allow a plaintiff to recover even if the plaintiff is partially to blame, and in some cases, even if the plaintiff is mostly to blame. In jurisdictions that apply the contributory negligence doctrine, such as Maryland and Virginia, the results can be very harsh for injured accident victims.

A jury in a Maryland motorcycle accident case is allowed to consider the plaintiff’s fault in addition to the defendant’s; however, the doctrine may only be considered where there is evidence of the plaintiff’s purported negligence. In addition, while the plaintiff normally has the burden to prove all elements of their case, the defendant has the burden of proving the plaintiff’s alleged negligence. Proving who was at fault in an accident requires a plaintiff to establish that the defendant owed them a duty, they breached that duty, and that the breach of the duty was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff also must prove that the defendant’s actions were sufficiently related to the injuries such that the defendant should be held liable. The General Assembly of Maryland has continued to affirm the application of contributory negligence for many years, although more recently the state has acknowledged calls for reform.

Motorcyclist Dies After Crash with Pickup Truck

A local news source reported on a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred on a recent Saturday morning. The crash, which took place at around 9:45 a.m., occurred when the motorcyclist crossed paths with a driver in a pickup truck that was hauling a boat in the opposite direction as the motorcyclist. The pickup truck driver tried to make a left-hand turn when the motorcyclist crashed into the front of the pickup truck. The motorcyclist died from his injuries at the scene of the crash. Officials reported that the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The accident is still under investigation.

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July has seen some intense weather on the Eastern United States, as severe storms have traveled all across the coast, including Maryland. With the climate changing, severe weather is thought to become more and more common across the United States, and summer rainstorms are just one example. While severe storms can cause a lot of damage to property, power lines, and infrastructure, it is important to recognize that they are also associated with higher rates of Maryland accidents. This is particularly of concern for Maryland motorcyclists—who may be at increased risk when driving in a storm.

For example, a fatal motorcycle accident occurred earlier this month. The accident was caused in part by the severe storms passing over the area. According to a local news report, the accident occurred on a Sunday afternoon. The motorcyclist had decided to park beneath an overpass to stay dry and wait out the storm. However, another vehicle tragically lost control in the severe weather and hit the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist died, and there is no publicly available information on the status of the driver who hit him.

The tragic accident above shows how quickly a storm can create dangerous driving conditions, and how quickly those conditions can lead to a fatal crash. One of the biggest concerns for motorcyclists driving in Maryland is visibility. Because motorcyclists are smaller than the typical vehicle on the road, there may be times when other cars or trucks are unaware of them while passing or merging, causing a deadly crash. This is especially of concern when weather conditions result in reduced visibility. Rain, hail, sleet, or snow can all interfere with a driver’s visibility. Sometimes, they may not see the motorcyclist at all, or until it’s too late. Additionally, intense weather conditions can make it difficult to swerve to avoid an accident or even stay straight on the road. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries due to their relative lack of protection and barriers between them and the road or other vehicles.

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