Articles Posted in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Most drivers and motorcyclists make left turns every single time they drive, usually without giving them a second thought. Left turns are a common part of driving, but they can actually be incredibly dangerous for motorcyclists. Many Maryland motorcycle accidents occur when a car or another vehicle attempts to make a left turn but crashes into a motorcyclist that had the right-of-way. Because motorcycles do not offer the same structural protection that cars and other vehicles do, motorcyclists involved in these accidents are particularly susceptible to serious injuries or even death.

Just last week a tragic left turn motorcycle accident was reported by a local news station. The accident is said to have occurred around 12:50 PM one weekday afternoon. A 75-year-old woman driving a Nissan Versa sedan was traveling northbound on the road when she approached an intersection. At the intersection, she attempted to make a left turn. Unfortunately, a 17-year-old motorcyclist was traveling eastbound when the car turned in front of him, and although he tried to slow down, he was unable to avoid the collision. Officials responded to the scene of the crash and emergency responders later pronounced the motorcyclist dead, a tragic accident.

This tragedy is just one example of how dangerous left turn accidents can be for Maryland residents riding motorcycles. But what causes left turn accidents? Well, there can be many different causes and factors, which is one of the things that makes filing a personal injury lawsuit in the aftermath so difficult. It’s possible that alcohol may have played a role, with one or both drivers involved driving under the influence and making poor decisions on the road. Or, drivers could be distracted by their phone, or by a passenger in their car, causing them to not notice that the light was red, or that a motorcycle was entering the intersection. There’s also the possibility that a traffic light was malfunctioning, or that slippery weather conditions caused the crash.

A victim of a Maryland motorcycle accident may be dealing with a tremendous amount of stress in the aftermath of an accident. But accident victims have to keep in mind the time in which a claim must be filed to preserve their rights and their right to recover compensation. In Maryland, the time in which a claim must for filed (known as the statute of limitations) in a personal injury case is three years. A Maryland wrongful death claim also must be filed within three years.

The three-year period in an accident case generally begins to run when the crash occurs, but may begin later if the injury is not evident right away. A statute of limitations can be tolled, or extended, in some circumstances. For example, a victim may be so seriously injured that they lack the capacity to file a claim for some time. However, in general, statutes of limitations must be strictly followed. Failing to file a negligence claim within the prescribed statute of limitations will generally result in the claim being dismissed.

An experienced Maryland motorcycle accident attorney can help victims file a legal claim against all the defendants responsible for their injuries. In a Maryland negligence claim, a victim must show that a defendant was negligent by acting or failing to act in some way. That is, a plaintiff must establish that: the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty to exercise due care, the defendant failed to meet that duty, the plaintiff suffered damages, and the defendant’s act or failure to act caused the plaintiff’s damages. Plaintiffs in Maryland accident cases may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, wage losses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages that may be applicable in their cases.

Maryland motorcycle accidents can be incredibly dangerous. Motorcyclists do not have the same level of protection when they get into a crash than those in other vehicles, such as cars and trucks. Their body is exposed, and as a result, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries or even death when they’re involved in a crash. For example, just last weekend a 42-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a tragic crash.

According to a news article reporting on the accident, the crash happened Saturday evening around 10:40 PM on a highway. The motorcyclist was heading south on the highway when a 59-year-old man driving a 2013 Mini Cooper heading south turned left, failing to see the motorcyclist approaching the intersection. The front of the motorcycle ended up slamming into the passenger side of the Mini Cooper. The force of the impact caused the motorcycle to break apart into several pieces. Tragically, the motorcyclist was seriously injured and transported to the hospital, where she died shortly after. The investigation of the crash is still underway.

This tragic accident is a sad reminder of how dangerous Maryland motorcycle accidents can be for riders. Because of this, a large number of Maryland residents may know what it feels like to lose someone they love in a motorcycle accident and may be wondering if and how they can recover. While, unfortunately, nothing can bring their loved one back, the state’s laws do allow victims to recover financially for their losses through what is called a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits are brought against the individual or party who caused the accident and the death, so in this case, it might be brought against the driver of the Mini Cooper. If successful, these lawsuits can result in monetary damages granted to families to cover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even funeral and burial costs.

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.

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