Articles Posted in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Maryland motorcycle accidents can happen very quickly—in the blink of an eye. One moment, drivers and motorcyclists are on their way, and the next, there might be a tragedy. Because of this, sometimes, in the aftermath, it is unclear what exactly happened, or what caused the collision. While in some cases it may be clear—a driver ran a red light, for example—in many other cases, the individuals involved will have no clue what occurred, just that they were driving and suddenly everything changed. In these cases, there may need to be a significant amount of investigation after a motorcycle accident to determine what happened. This is what accident reconstruction experts specialize in.

For an example of an accident requiring this type of investigation and reconstruction, take a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred just this month. According to the news article covering the incident, the accident involved a motorcycle and a 2007 Jeep Cherokee SUV and occurred around 4 PM one Saturday afternoon. The motorcycle was traveling east on one road, and the SUV was attempting to cross that road when they collided. Sadly, the driver of the motorcycle, a 27-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene. The two children in the SUV were seriously injured. The 2-year-old child’s injuries were life-threatening, and they were transported by helicopter to a children’s hospital. The 7-year-old’s injuries were critical, but not life-threatening, and they were taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance before also being brought to the children’s hospital by helicopter. The crash is still under investigation, and it’s not known at this time what happened or what the cause was.

Motorcycle crashes with unclear causes can be very frustrating for those impacted. Without knowing what happened, Maryland residents are unsure if they caused it or if someone else did. The lack of answers can be difficult for many, especially while mourning a loss or recovering from injuries. But injury victims should know that even with an unknown cause and an ongoing investigation, they can still reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss the case, their options, and their legal rights. Doing so can help prepare them and their family for when the cause of the accident is identified, and help the family feel in control during a precarious and difficult time. This early preparation can also be helpful to avoid missing the window of time within which one must file suit—the statute of limitations. As such, motorcycle accident victims are encouraged to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible after a crash.

Hit and run accidents can be some of the most tragic and frustrating kinds of Maryland motorcycle accidents. While there is, of course, never a good accident, Maryland hit and runs can be particularly frustrating because not knowing the identity of the responsible driver can prolong—or even prevent—an injured motorcyclist from recovering in the aftermath of an accident.

Hit and run accidents are what they sound like—accidents where one vehicle hits another vehicle (or individual) and then runs from the scene of the crash by driving away. Typically, in the aftermath of an accident, an injured victim is so shocked that they do not think to take down the car’s make and model that hit them, let alone the license plate. And, often, in hit and run accidents, they are not even given the chance to get this information, as the driver usually leaves the scene of the crash immediately. Generally, drivers leave the scene because they are trying to avoid both civil and criminal liability—they may worry about being sued or, depending on the severity of the crash, even arrested.

Hit and run accidents are especially concerning for Maryland motorcyclists because motorcycle crashes are more likely to result in severe injuries and death. This is because motorcyclists do not have the protection around their bodies that drivers in cars do. Instead, they are more likely to absorb the impact of the crash themselves, or to be thrown from their motorcycle. For example, take a recent hit and run motorcycle accident that occurred just earlier this month. According to a local news report that covered the incident, the accident occurred around 6:30 AM one Monday morning when the driver of a passenger van made an illegal U-turn directly in the path of a motorcyclist, driven by a 29-year-old man. Surveillance video captured the incident and saw the driver of the van stopping briefly before fleeing the scene. The motorcyclist was transported quickly to a hospital by firefighter-paramedics, but unfortunately, he was soon after pronounced dead. The search for the driver of the van continues, and the investigation is ongoing.

Sometimes when Maryland motorcycle accidents occur, the cause is easy to identify. Perhaps a motorcyclist ran a red light, crashing into the side of a car or truck. Or perhaps a driver was distracted, texting while driving, and accidentally swerved into the other lane, hitting a motorcyclist. In these cases, it’s probably pretty easy to figure out what caused the accident and, importantly, who was responsible. However, the cause of some accidents might be harder to figure out. Sometimes accidents happen so quickly and unexpectedly that even those involved may not be sure what happened. Or, in some tragic cases, both individuals involved may end up being killed in the accident, meaning any knowledge they have about its cause dies with them.

For example, take a recent fatal head-on collision. According to a local news report covering the accident, the collision took place last month, when a car and a dump truck collided head-on, causing the truck to roll into a ravine. Both drivers were tragically killed as a result. Unfortunately, officials are not sure what happened—and eyewitnesses aren’t quite sure either. It seems as though one vehicle crossed the median line ran into the other, but which one is not clear.

Although there is no real need for the public to know exactly what happened in this case, the families of the deceased drivers may want to know for their own personal closure, as well as so they know whether or not they have a route to recovery under Maryland state law. State law allows for those injured—or the families of those killed—in a Maryland car accident to file a civil lawsuit against the person responsible for the crash (or, if that person was also deceased, then against their estate). However, in order to be successful in this suit, they must prove what happened to cause the crash and how it was the defendant’s fault. This can, obviously, be difficult when the cause of the accident is unclear.

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when their death is sudden and unexpected. Unfortunately, far too many Maryland families know firsthand what it’s like to lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident, especially because motorcycle accidents are somewhat more likely to result in death. Because motorcyclists are not protected in the same way drivers are by their cars, accidents involving them can result in motorcyclists being thrown from their motorcycle or otherwise hurt. For example, take a recent tragedy involving a motorcyclist who was killed just this month when a driver pulled out in front of him and caused a crash.

In the aftermath of this and other similar and fatal accidents, families may find themselves struggling, and overwhelmed with grief due to the psychological impact of losing a loved one suddenly. At the same time, they also may find themselves having to figure out how to pay for medical bills, or cover funeral and burial expenses. While nothing can undo the harm that was caused and stop the grief from occurring, Maryland state law allows families to file a wrongful death suit to help with the finances.

Wrongful death suits are civil suits brought in court against the driver who caused the accident and the fatality. Unlike criminal charges, which aim to punish the driver, civil cases focus solely on helping the victim and their family recover financial compensation. In wrongful death cases, a victim’s family generally must prove four things. First, that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. This is usually easy to prove—Maryland drivers owe a duty of care to all others on the road with them and must drive reasonably carefully to avoid harming others. Second, the family must prove that the defendant breached that duty. They may want to offer evidence that the driver purposefully did not stop at a stoplight, or that they were texting while driving—a breach of their duty to be careful. Third, they must prove that this breach was the cause of the injury. If the driver was texting while driving 10 minutes before the accident but then the actual accident was caused by something unrelated, then the texting did not cause the injury. Lastly, they must prove that actual harm was suffered as a result. Usually, the death of a loved one is sufficient to meet this element, but they must prove that the death was actually a result—not a poorly timed independent event.

When many people picture a Maryland motorcycle accident, they probably picture a motorcycle and another vehicle traveling at high speeds down the highway. Perhaps they imagine the motorcycle was weaving around traffic dangerously, or a car ran a red light and crashed into the motorcycle. While these accidents do, unfortunately, occur (and often lead to severe injuries or even death), sometimes Maryland motorcycle accidents can happen in much more mundane—and seemingly safe—settings.

For example, consider pulling out of a driveway or parking lot. This is a basic driving move, one that even student drivers are trusted to do early on in their training. Typically, when pulling out of a driveway or parking lot, the vehicle is going slow, drivers are very aware of the situation around them, and there appears to be minimal risk of crashing. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Take a recent case from just earlier this month, where a situation like this turned deadly. According to a local news report, two motorcyclists were tragically killed in a motorcycle crash. The two victims—a 22-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman—were riding a motorcycle around 11 am one morning and traveling down the road when they collided with a Jeep pulling out of a gas station. The two motorcyclists were severely hurt, and ultimately died from their injuries. Police accident reconstruction is going on now.

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.

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