Even when an accident case seems straightforward, determining liability and apportioning fault after a Maryland car accident can be challenging. This is especially true because Maryland follows strict contributory negligence laws that bar recovery if the plaintiff is at all responsible for the accident. As such, parties will go to great lengths to dispute liability and challenge claims. Although police reports and eyewitnesses may provide insight into what occurred, these cases typically require an in-depth investigation.
A critical part of any accident investigation is recreating the scene to determine the facts leading up to the collision. The inherent nature of motorcycles and motorcycle accidents makes this first step exceedingly challenging. Motorcycles tend to end up in dramatically different positions than from where they started. When this occurs, authorities, insurance companies, and fact-finders may need to engage in lengthy investigations to determine fault. Moreover, because of the state’s laws, it is more likely that at-fault parties will refute claims and assert contributory negligence theories- with the understanding that the plaintiff will not be able to recover at all.
Motorcyclists traveling in a group often further complicate things, as the accidents tend to be more severe. For instance, a recent news report described a multi-motorcycle chain reaction accident. According to reports, the bikers were riding eastbound when they approached a traffic light. The motorcyclist leading the group slowed his bike; however, the biker behind him could not stop, and a chain-reaction collision ensued. That biker was not wearing a helmet and was life-flighted to a medical center to receive treatment for his serious injuries. Three of the other bikers involved in the accident also suffered injuries.