Articles Posted in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

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.

Motorcyclists injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident are entitled by state law to file a civil negligence suit against whoever they believe caused the accident. These lawsuits, if successful, can result in an accident victim obtaining compensation for their pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and more. Unlike criminal lawsuits, the purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to make the plaintiff whole, not to punish the defendant, and so damages typically only cover the amount of harm the plaintiff actually suffered.

In rare cases, a court may allow punitive damages, which are additional damages awarded to the plaintiffs in order to “punish” the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are rare, and only appropriate in cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially wanton and malicious, rather than just negligent.

For an example of a case that might result in punitive damages, take a recent tragic motorcycle accident that sent a couple to the hospital with severe injuries. According to a local news report covering the incident, a couple on a motorcycle was hit from behind by a black Jeep, throwing them from the motorcycle and onto the road. The couple suffered severe injuries and were taken to the hospital. The driver of the motorcycle had his head split open in two places and will have to learn to walk again after breaking his leg and ankle. His girlfriend and passenger suffered internal bleeding, a broken leg, a broken arm, and now has to wear a neck brace.

A statute of limitations is a law that prescribes a period of time in which a certain type of legal claim must be filed. Statues of limitations may be longer or short depending in the type of claim. For instance, for medical malpractice claims, the claim must be filed within the earlier of five years of the date of injury or within three years of the date the injury was discovered. The purpose of statutes of limitations is to limit the ability to bring a suit indefinitely in order to provide fairness and predictability for potential defendants. In a Maryland motorcycle crash case, generally there is a three-year statute of limitations. This three-year statute of limitations applies in both personal injury cases and in wrongful death cases in Maryland.

In general, an accident victim cannot file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed. However, there are exceptions to late filings in some cases. First, the clock generally starts when the injury or death occurred—but not always. For example, if an injury could not reasonably have been discovered, the statute of limitations may not start until the injury reasonably should have been discovered. An exception may also apply if the injured person was incapacitated and unable to file a claim. After a crash, it is important to have a potential Maryland personal injury claim evaluated by a Maryland personal injury attorney to assess whether another person or entity may be responsible for your injuries, as well as to verify the applicable statute of limitations and whether an exception may apply.

Maryland Army National Guard Solider Dies in Motorcycle Crash

A Maryland Army National Guard solider was killed in a recent off-duty crash in Owings Mills, Maryland, as reported by one news source. According to police, the solider was riding on his motorcycle southbound on a boulevard when he lost control of his bike. He was thrown from his motorcycle and hit by a vehicle traveling northbound on the same road. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. At this point, it is unclear why the motorcyclist lost control of the bike, and why the motorist was unable to avoid hitting the biker. The accident is still under investigation.

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According to a local news report, a woman was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident as she approached an intersection where a vehicle was stopped in a turn lane. The vehicle then moved into the path of the motorcycle, which resulted in the cyclist hitting the car. When officers arrived, they found the woman on the ground in the intersection. The victim was in life-threatening condition and later passed away at the hospital. Although this incident occurred in another state, similar accidents involving motorcycles claim lives every day in Maryland. In the wake of these tragedies, Maryland law allows families to file wrongful death lawsuits against responsible parties in the accident.

These cases allow for loved ones to seek relief for their harm, and Maryland law grants independent authority for spouses, parents, and children of the deceased to bring action against those accountable for the accident. Additionally, state law dictates that if the deceased did not have a surviving spouse, child, or parent, individuals related to the deceased through blood or marriage and those who were substantially dependent on the victim may also have grounds to sue.

Wrongful death lawsuits can provide the means for families to recover significant monetary damages. In Maryland, a variety of types of damages are recoverable. Following the loss of a loved one, finances can really add up – medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and property damage can be overwhelming and burdensome for families who are still recovering emotionally. However, wrongful death claims could assist in alleviating the burden for you and loved ones, and potential damages for pain and suffering could pave way for continued healing and recovery of those mourning the deceased.

When someone is injured or killed in a Maryland motorcycle accident, either the injury victim or their loved ones can bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. To establish liability, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant violated a duty of care that they owed to the accident victim, and that the defendant’s breach of that duty was the cause of the accident victim’s injury or death. This is the legal definition of negligence.

Even in situations where a defendant is negligent, the plaintiff may still run into problems pursing a claim for compensation. For example, under the Maryland doctrine of contributory negligence, an accident victim who shares responsibility in causing an accident cannot recover for their injuries. This is the case even if the accident victim is found to be just five or ten percent at fault. Maryland insurance companies routinely rely on principles of contributory negligence when looking for reasons to deny an insured’s claim. For this reason, it is crucial that accident victims or their family members work with an experienced Maryland motorcycle accident attorney who is familiar with the doctrine of contributory negligence and how to minimize any possible role an accident victim played in bringing about the accident resulting in their injuries or death.

Man Killed in Maryland Motorcycle Accident on Crain Highway

Earlier this month, one man was killed in a Maryland motorcycle accident when a minivan changed lanes, colliding with the motorcyclist. According to a local news report, both the motorcyclist and the minivan were heading southbound on Crain Highway just north of Capitol Raceway Road. As the minivan began to move over into the left-turn lane, it did not see that the motorcyclist was already occupying the lane.

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Motorcycle accidents are among the most likely to result in serious injury or death due to the lack of protection riders have while on a bike. While wearing a helmet can help to reduce the risk of injury, some accidents are so severe that even wearing a helmet won’t change the outcome. In fact, each year, approximately 69 people die as a result of Maryland motorcycle accidents.

Whenever someone gets onto a motorcycle, they are placing their lives in the hands of other motorists. While some motorcycle accidents can be avoided, many cannot, even when exercising the utmost care. Those who have lost a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident may be eligible for compensation for their loss through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit.

A Maryland wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury case that is intended to compensate the family members of an accident victim. In most cases, a wrongful death claim must be filed by a “primary beneficiary,” which are defined as spouses, children, and parents. If there are no primary beneficiaries available to file the claim, a secondary beneficiary can pursue a wrongful death case. Secondary beneficiaries are defined as “any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased.”

A trial may be the best way for a plaintiff to obtain compensation in a Maryland injury case. It may allow the plaintiff to recover the most compensation, particularly when a reasonable settlement is not attainable. In other cases, a settlement may be preferable. Trials can drag a case out for years, especially if the case is appealed. It can also be draining, as parties often have to relive painful and emotional moments. A settlement may also allow a plaintiff to obtain compensation faster. It also guarantees payment, as opposed to a trial, which may result in the plaintiff receiving no compensation.

Parties may be able to obtain a settlement with one or more other parties, and proceed to trial with claims against others through a class action lawsuit. For example, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate when there is some defect with a motorcycle part or helmet resulting in many riders being injured. Some settlements require that the court approve the settlement, while others depend solely on the agreement of the parties. In the case of class action lawsuits, a court must find that the plaintiffs understand the terms of the settlement and to decide whether to join in or opt-out of the settlement and that the result of the agreement is fair.

There are also limitations on settlements obtained soon after an injury. Under Maryland Code § 5-401.1, a release by an injured individual that is signed within five days of the injury is voidable for 60 days. A party that may be at fault for another person’s injury also cannot negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement within 15 days of the injury. If a settlement or released is obtained while an injured individual is in a hospital or sanitarium and contrary to the law, it cannot be used “for any purpose in any legal action in connection with the injury.”

Victims of Maryland motorcycle or scooter accidents are legally entitled to file a civil negligence claim against the driver responsible. These claims, if successful, can provide injured motorcyclists with financial compensation for the injuries they suffered, including for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and even burial and funeral costs. In order to do so, however, plaintiffs must be able to identify and find the individual responsible. This may be harder in hit-and-run accidents, where the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident before providing identifying information or helping those who were injured.

For example, a man in Texas was recently killed in a hit and run accident while riding a scooter with a passenger. According to a local news report covering the accident, the collision occurred at around 8 p.m., with an SUV hitting the scooter and then driving off. When authorities responded to the accident, they took both the driver of the scooter and his passenger to the hospital, where the driver, unfortunately, passed away.

This incident illustrates the devastation that can occur with hit and run accidents; when an accident occurs and results in bodily injury, Maryland law requires that all drivers involved stop as close to the scene as possible and render reasonable assistance to any injured party. This means they may need to call an ambulance, and they are also required to provide their name and information to the others involved. If the others involved are unconscious or otherwise unable to meaningfully receive the information, the information must be provided to the police. Even if the car is parked and the owner is not around, the individual who hits it must leave a written note with their information. This law protects accident victims by (1) ensuring that, if they are injured, someone is able to call medical assistance for them and (2) ensuring that they have the information needed to file a civil negligence suit if appropriate.

A tragic multi-vehicle accident occurred in Chesapeake, Virginia last week, resulting in the unfortunate death of a motorcyclist. According to a local news report covering the accident, the responsible driver was in a red pickup truck when they ran a red light around 12:30 pm one afternoon, causing them to hit the motorcyclist and five other vehicles. The motorcyclist, a 56-year-old man, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, and three other victims were sent to the hospital to be treated for their injuries.

While such accidents and fatalities are always tragic, they, unfortunately, happen far too often, and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to their effects. Because motorcyclists do not have the protection that a car provides between them and other vehicles or the road, they are more likely to be severely injured by negligent or reckless drivers when they run red lights or engage in other dangerous behaviors.

In such incidents, it is always possible that local law enforcement will investigate and file criminal charges. In the tragic incident described above, law enforcement charged the at-fault driver with involuntary manslaughter and possession of cocaine. These charges, while they may help the public feel safer on the roads, do very little to compensate the victims and their families who may be suffering psychologically and financially.

Maryland motorcyclists might be surprised to learn that one of the most fatal traffic situations is one they are in regularly: left turns. Turning left while driving or riding a motorcycle is typically unavoidable for most people because left turns are commonly necessary to get to places they regularly visit, such as work, the grocery store, or a family member’s house. Unfortunately, however, these turns can be quite dangerous, especially for motorcyclists because the drivers of other vehicles often have a difficult time accurately assessing the speed at which an oncoming motorcycle is traveling.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Association, turning left is considered a “leading critical pre-crash event.” In fact, 22.2 percent of all crashes involve someone turning left, as do approximately 61 percent of crashes that take place while someone is turning or crossing an intersection. Additionally, CNN recently reported that left turns are three times more likely to kill pedestrians than right turns are. Because of these dangers, some commercial drivers, such as those who drive UPS trucks, avoid left turns as much as they can.

Left turns are especially dangerous for motorcyclists who are largely exposed on the road and do not have a large vehicle surrounding them to absorb the shock or force of an impact. For example, take a recent crash that occurred in Gulfport, Mississippi. According to a local news report covering the incident, a 35-year-old man was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle when he tragically struck a pick-up truck that was turning left. Due to the force of impact, and the fact that the motorcyclists’ body was largely unprotected from the crash, the motorcyclist was killed and pronounced dead on the scene.

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