Articles Posted in Multi-vehicle Accidents

Earlier this week in Ellicott City, one Elkridge man was critically injured when he was struck by an SUV while riding his motorcycle on Tridelphia Road. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred around 2:30 in the afternoon when a Ford SUV made a left turn from Tridelphia Road onto West Ann Drive.

Evidently, the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed and was attempting to pass a slower motorist when the accident occurred. Preliminary reports indicate that the motorcyclist may have crossed over a double-yellow line in order to pass the slower motorist. As the motorcyclist passed the slower vehicle, the two vehicles collided.

The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital in critical condition. His current status is not known. The driver of the SUV was not injured and remained on the scene until emergency responders arrived. There is no indication as to whether the driver of the SUV will face any charges or citations for her involvement in the crash.

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Earlier this month in New Jersey, a motorcyclist was killed when a Ford Ranger attempted to make a left turn in front of the rider, causing the rider to collide with the side of the truck. According to a report by NJ.com, the accident occurred around six in the evening around East Veterans Highway and South Hope Chapel Road.

Evidently, the truck’s driver attempted to make a left-hand turn in front of the motorcyclist, cutting him off and leaving him no option but to slam into the side of the truck. The motorcyclist was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of the injuries he sustained in the accident.

As police were investigating the accident scene, a woman drove over several of the cones and into the area where police were investigating. Upon stopping her, police determined that she was driving under the influence of drugs. The woman was cited for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Earlier this week, a woman who was responsible for the death of a motorcyclist pled guilty to negligent driving and was required to pay $500 for her role in the accident. Evidently, back in 2013, the woman was texting as she left the parking lot of her employer, telling her mother that she didn’t feel well. Two minutes later, she pulled out onto a busy highway and cut off a motorcyclist, causing him to run into the side of her car and fly off the bike.

The motorcyclist was killed in the accident, but according to a report by WBALTV, the driver of the car is facing only a $500 penalty. She was initially charged with six offenses: negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle, criminal negligent manslaughter, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to yield the right of way, and text messaging while driving. The woman struck a deal with prosecutors where she plead guilty to a low-level offense in exchange for their dropping all the other charges.

The family of the victim was sorely disappointed by the especially lenient sentence handed down by the judge. However, the judge had little discretion to do anything else, since it was the prosecution who offered the woman the plea bargain. The family told reporters that they just wanted a jury to hear what happened and to let the jury decide. They didn’t care whether she was found guilty or not but just wanted the case to go to trial.

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Earlier last month in Nevada, near Lake Tahoe, two motorcyclists died when the motorcycle was involved in a collision with a Chevy Silverado truck. According to a report by local news agency KOLO8, the accident occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m. a few weeks ago on March 22nd.

Apparently, the motorcycle was heading southbound as it entered an intersection. At the same time, the Silverado was traveling westbound. The motorcycle then collided with the pick up truck in the middle of the intersection, sending the motorcyclist and his passenger flying off the bike.

Both passengers were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Since the accident both have tragically died. The passenger was taken off life support on March 26th, and the driver of the motorcycle was taken off life support on March 30. The driver of the pick up truck was uninjured in the accident.

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As the first nice days of spring crop here and there it is an almost inevitable conclusion that we will start to see more and more motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and fair-weather runners and joggers take to the streets and sidewalks in towns and cities all around the state. From Columbia and Bowie to Annapolis and Washington, D.C., the longer days and milder temperatures makes everyone feel like making a fresh start. Unfortunately, with the added volume of two-wheeled vehicles, there are bound to be some mishaps as well.

Here in the Baltimore area, we’re used to seeing motorcycles plying the streets from time to time whenever the weather takes a turn for the better. It’s always tempting for bikers to get their machines out on the roadways as earlier as possible, if only to make the most of the riding season to come. But accidents between cars, trucks and cycles are also prone to increase at this time of the year. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we know the value of taking extra precautions when heading out fo the first time on a motorbike.

Not only must a biker flex his riding muscles after a long winter’s nap, so to speak, but following the prolonged absence of any significant volume of two-wheeled vehicle, drivers of passenger cars and commercial trucks need time to collectively adjust to the change in the roadway landscape. Reminding oneself that a bike could be hidden behind a large approaching vehicle when waiting to make a left-hand turn, for instance, can not only save the cost of a traffic accident, but it could also save a life.

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We fully understand how a segment of the motoring public is draw inexorably to the pastime of motorcycle riding. For one thing, it is an exciting sport with many rewards such as a feeling of freedom, a connection with nature and the outdoors far beyond that which we as automobile drivers can ever truly experience, and it is an economical way to travel. If it wasn’t for the fact that cold or inclement weather limits most people’s enjoyment of bikes in general, there might be even more individuals taking up the pastime.

Of course, along with its many big pluses, motorcycling does present a number of risks, most importantly to the rider himself. By being exposed almost completely to all of the dangers on our roadways, bikers assume a great deal of risk, not the least of which are those ever-present roadway hazards or possible traffic collisions.

While a passenger car accident may surely produce a few injuries at the very least, being killed in a low- or medium-speed automobile crash is not as great a threat as being killed in a traffic accident while riding a cycle. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues have seen too many individuals severely hurt, permanently disabled or killed outright to believe that motorcycling is not an inherently dangerous activity. Certainly it is not a pastime for those who aren’t totally committed to the sport, body and soul.

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We won’t argue that riding a motorcycle anywhere in the U.S. can be a risky proposition; however, we do understand that everyone is free to make that choice for themselves. As a biker, just as any motorist, an individual relies on the rules of the road to help protect him or her from accidents or other roadway mishaps. Unfortunately, nobody lives in a perfect world, and as such traffic accidents, bodily injuries and fatalities can and do occur with alarming rapidity.

Knowing that motorcyclists deserve the protection under the law, as Maryland personal injury attorneys and auto accident lawyers, I and my legal staff are prepared to represent those people who have been hurt in automobile, motorcycle, and commercial trucking wrecks. In cases where the rider died as a result of another person’s negligence, we typically represent the family of the deceased when they file a wrongful death lawsuit or other legal action against the negligent party or parties.

Now, it’s all well and good to say that individuals who ride a Harley-Davidson, Ducatti, Yamaha or Vespa take their lives into their own hands when venturing out onto the streets, but just as a rider accepts the consequences of his or her own actions, any driver who knowingly flouts the law or acts in a reckless manner on a public roadway must, too, be prepared to answer for any injuries or fatalities he may have caused while doing so.

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As mentioned previously, when it comes to motorcycle accidents involving a second motor vehicle, it is quite common that the automobile or truck driver behind the wheel of the other vehicle may actually be the negligent party. This is due to the all-too-common problem of the smaller profile that motorcycles present in traffic. And to make matters worse, a motorcyclist is at least 20 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than an occupant of a passenger car.

While not always a valid excuse, the fact is that when a driver fails to recognize a nearby rider in traffic, the potential resulting accident can turn out to be very serious to the point of being life-threatening. After a bike crash, the needed medical treatment and potential rehab, which may also be required, can add up to extensive hospital bills. A rider who incurs such costs following an accident caused by another negligent driver should consult a qualified personal injury lawyer to better understand his or her options vis-à-vis recouping those medical costs from the responsible party or parties.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we have the skills and training to handle motorcycle-related accident cases, which we have already established can often be due to the negligence of another driver in a car- or truck-related accident. Furthermore, it’s a fair assumption that the majority of motorcycle riders are safety conscious despite the negative stereotypes typically portrayed on television and in the movies.

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Motorcyclists have a touch time of it, we know. While their mode of transport offers a wonderful feeling of freedom and ease of travel, the very nature of a motorcycle — be it a so-called crotch rocket, standard bike, cruiser or chopper — is that these motor vehicles are small and not easy to notice in traffic, at least this is the complaint of most drivers who get into accidents with bikers.

Add to their slim profile, most bikes are fairly fast and even quick to stop, putting less-than-inattentive drivers of four-wheeled passenger cars and 18-wheel commercial trucks in danger of running into them both coming and going. Insurance companies understand the dangers of motorcycles, to the point of making their policies less than attractive, or even placing certain motorcycle models on a list of “uninsurable” vehicles.

For anyone who hasn’t had a close call with a motorcyclist, as Maryland personal injury attorneys who represent bikers injured in traffic collisions, we can say that even the best drivers can be caught unaware by the “sudden” appearance of a bike in the roadway ahead of them. But it is conceivable that even police officers who have been trained in all manner of traffic safety, defensive driving and emergency situations, could from time to time be surprised by a motorcyclist.

Late last year, a news article described an accident between a biker and a marked police cruiser in the North Laurel, MD, area. According to news reports, a 43-year-old rider was sent to the hospital after a collision with a police car on Rte 216 near the Leishear Rd. intersection.

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As far as motorcycling is concerned, there are numerous factors that conspire to challenge even the best of riders. Many times these “challenges” bring with them the prospect of injury or potential death due to the rather unforgiving nature of the pastime. Bikers must contend with dangers such as poor weather and road conditions, lack of visibility due to a motorcycle’s narrow vertical profile, and relative lack of protection bikes afford their riders.

Even the least significant bike crash can cause injuries such as cuts, bruises and dislocated joints. More severe motorcycle accidents — those involving collisions with commercial delivery trucks or passenger cars — can result in the biker sustaining broken bones, neck and spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injury. As personal injury lawyers serving the residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C., I and my colleagues are familiar with the range of bodily injury that can result from a bad traffic accident.

For most drivers of passenger cars, it is hard to imagine that motorcycle riders enjoy putting themselves in what is perceived by most of the motoring public as a constant state of peril. But understanding the drive and enthusiasm of the average motorcyclist, we can appreciate the draw that the open road has for this group of motorists.

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