Articles Posted in Single-vehicle Accidents

We hear a great deal about the high percentage of driving-age teenagers who are injured or killed in traffic accidents. This is not unusual since it is a statistical fact that teens are more prone to becoming involved in roadway collisions. And with a higher percentage of traffic accidents usually comes a commensurate increase in the percentage of injuries and fatal crashes.

Safety experts are quick to warn parents and teachers that highway wrecks are the chief cause of death among teenagers; this is backed up by national statistics that show automobile crashes account for one-third of all teen deaths. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has published figures that indicate upward of eight driving-age teenagers (those between 16 and 19 years old) die every day across the U.S. This is not a pleasant statistic be any means.

When it comes to injuries, this young group of drivers is subject on an annual basis to around 800,000 injuries as a result of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. As we have mentioned in the past, part of this group’s predilection for accidents is most likely due to their collective inexperience when compared to older, more mature motorists. Consider that drivers 16 to 19 years of age are up to four times more likely to get into a car accident than those more seasoned drivers.

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As Baltimore motorcycle and automobile accident attorneys, I and my colleagues are familiar with the dangers that bikers face every time they hit the road here in Maryland, as well as in the District of Columbia. Whether one rides out of necessity, such as to save money, or if motorcycling is just an enjoyable pastime, the potential for bodily injury and even death are much higher for riders of two-wheel vehicles then for the rest of the motor public.

By its very nature, a motorcycle offers much less protection than a car, SUV or minivan. So, when a bike rider tangles with a slightly larger and much more massive passenger vehicle the results can be catastrophic. Moreover, pitting oneself as a motorcyclist against a commercial delivery truck or over-the-road semi tractor-trailer rig is far from a wise choice. With just a fraction of the mass and next to no protection from personal injury, a biker has little chance of avoiding severe or debilitating injuries should he or she collide with, or be hit by a larger motor vehicle on the highway or even in town.

Knowing the dangers is, of course, just the first step toward a long and successful career of defensive riding with few if any bad accidents. As many a motorcyclist will attest, being ready for the unexpected is one of the hallmarks of a good rider. Not that any of us can predict the future, however the safest motorcycle riders know innately the kinds of traffic or riding situations that can spell potential trouble for them.

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If there is one thing that motorcyclists, as well as other drivers, cannot completely avoid it would be random occurrences that affect the safety of that particular rider, driver or vehicle occupant. Traffic accidents by their very nature are random, whether they happen here in the Baltimore area, over in Bowie, Annapolis or Washington, D.C. What is more important to understand is that preparation can only help one to be ready for the unexpected.

As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, I know that nobody can fully prepare themselves for any contingency. This is why insurance companies exist and why people buy life, health and automobile insurance policies; there are just some events that cannot be predicted. Certainly, the timing of catastrophic events is very difficult to pin own, and again, this is why people all over the world purchase insurance to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Taking random events as a given, and as haphazard as they may seem, unexpected car and trucking accidents can turn out to be very deadly. More than one motorist, biker, cyclist, pedestrian or bystander has been killed or maimed by the random and deadly events sometimes precipitated by a negligent individual. And more than one wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in a Maryland court following what the plaintiffs have deemed gross negligence or even extreme indifference on the part of the defendant.

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As evidenced by the huge number of motorcycling fans and riders throughout our state and the nation, motorcycle riding is a fairly popular sport, and way of life, for many individuals. Without the enthusiasm of full-time riders and hobbyists, one could say motorcycles would be just another form of transportation. But as most anyone can tell, especially after speaking with some dyed-in-the-wool motorcycle fanatics, bikes are not simply a way to get from point A to point B, they are the only way to truly enjoy a getting anywhere.

Whether you live or work in Gaithersburg, Rockville Annapolis or the District, even if you’re not a biker, you see motorcycles of all types on the road — Honda’s, Harleys, Ducattis and Kawasaki’s, among others. Most automobile drivers who are not bikers may not understand the draw that these machines have on some people, yet the passion is unmistakable once one has had a chance to talk with a motorcycle owner.

What most non-riders may not understand is the apparently easy acceptance of the high risk and serious dangers that motorcycle riding presents on a daily basis to these enthusiasts. Despite the numerous stories of bike accidents and fatal traffic crashes involving motorcycles, to an outsider it would appear that none of these individuals cares about their safety. Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, at least for most consummate riders.

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We’ve covered instances of children being hurt in motor vehicle accidents before in this forum; and that includes motorcycles and four-wheel off-road vehicles (ORVs). The fact of the matter is that riding a bike — regardless of whether it has two, three or four wheels — is not the same as piloting or being an occupant in a passenger car, city bus, taxi cab or limousine. Quite frankly, motorcycles may be fun and invigorating, but their operation also requires a great deal of concentration and respect for the inherent dangers associated with these vehicles.

As Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys, not to mention personal injury lawyers, we have the skills and training to represent riders of Honda, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and Kawasaki motorbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) who may have been injured as a result of a traffic accident. Furthermore, we are always understanding of the families who may have lost a loved one as a result of a motorcycle wreck, either here in Maryland or over in the District.

Sadly, some accidents involving bikers do qualify as cases of wrongful death due to the negligence of another driver. Unlike the occupants of a car, sport utility vehicle (SUV) or commercial delivery truck, injuries sustained by a motorcyclist can easily be fatal in nature. These would include severe injury to crucial internal organs, spinal cord separation, and closed-head trauma (also known as traumatic brain injury).

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Just last month we reported on a teenager who lost his life after crashing into a tree on a friend’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). This isn’t an isolated episode, as many teens and young adults are injured each year on these machines, and for a variety of reasons. These four- and three-wheeled gasoline-powered machines are certainly fun to ride, but their short wheelbase and narrow track can become an issue for some riders, depending on vehicle speed, road surface and weather conditions.

Naturally, as Maryland auto injury attorneys and personal injury lawyers, we would remind anyone wishing to ride such vehicles to be sure and wear the correct protective clothing and always, without exception, a good quality motorcycle helmet. Closed-head trauma is one of the most commonly seen injuries for those involved in motorcycle and ATV accidents. And you don’t have to encounter another vehicle to end up in the hospital; single-vehicle crashes occur with alarming frequency all across the nation.

While the makers of ATVs claim that their products have been designed and tested to be safe, the very nature of off-road riding adds a variable that can take even the most seasoned rider by surprise. Rocks, dips and drop-offs are not always easy to identify at the speeds that these machines can attain, making the dangers even more pronounced.

For years now, all-terrain vehicles have been making news as young and old riders alike continue to be injured or killed as a result of single- or multiple-vehicle wrecks. Understanding the injuries that can be caused by an out of control ATV, we know how quickly a fun outing can turn into a lifetime of pain and discomfort, if one is lucky enough to survive the initial crash.

In sad cases, such as the one that happened recently, a child can die from his or her injuries and never seen another birthday. The question every parent must ask themselves is whether the exhilaration and thrill offered by these vehicles is worth the potentially deadly consequences.

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It’s no secret that ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, have been in the news for years as youngsters and adults alike have been injured or killed while riding these off-road vehicles. Although the manufacturers claim that their products are safe, the nature of riding off paved roads on a relatively fast, short-wheelbase vehicle can add up to disaster.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers who represent victims of motorcycle, automobile and commercial truck crashes, we are all too aware of the injuries that can be sustained during a traffic collision. Fortunately for those who ride in passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles, being enclosed in a relatively large and heavy motor vehicle can be a saving grace in the event of a bad traffic wreck.

On the other hand, motorcycles, three-wheelers and other ATV-type cycles offer their riders next to no protection. While obviously exhilarating, these vehicles provide a potentially dangerous combination of small size and high power-to-weight ratio, which translates to acceleration with little margin for error.

Just as a street bike, such as a Harley-Davidson or Honda Goldwing, must be ridden defensively and with caution on highways and city streets, so must an all-terrain vehicle be operated with the hazards of off-road riding clearly in mind. Many individuals have been seriously hurt or killed when the ATV they were riding on tipped over and rolled on top of the driver.

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How many times do we read news reports of single-vehicle accidents that either severely injure or kill the operator of that motor vehicle? In many instances, police investigations turn up evidence of driver error or fatigue, which more than likely had a major effect on the outcome of such events. Occasionally, however, investigators determine other possible causes.

One possible cause of a single-vehicle crash can be defective vehicle equipment. While this generally points to a manufacturing problem, such as faulty production methods or incorrect materials, there also exists potential third-party liability through a service facility such as a tire store or local repair garage.

Whatever the cause, the result of a motorcycle crash can be devastating, not only in terms of physical injury but in the monetary and financial cast to an individual or family.

The loss of any life to a senseless traffic accident is tragic to say the least, but the death of a young person is doubly so. Motor vehicle collisions happen quite frequently, but motorcyclists especially know that danger lurks around every corner. What can start out as a pleasant afternoon ride can end in pain and costly medical care, and that’s if one is lucky.

As a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer and personal injury attorney, my sympathies go out to anyone who loses a loved one as a result of a bike accident. Regardless of whether you ride a chopper, cruiser, standard or so-called “crotch rocket,” every rider faces the same set of risks on Maryland’s roadways.

Any kind of accident is hard for the survivors to deal with, but a single-bike crash can leave them wondering what went wrong. Although driver error is always at the top of the lit, other factors can conspire to cause an accident. Defective brakes, wheel bearings, faulty tires and poor motorcycle maintenance are just a few of the potential causes of a serious wreck.

Products liability covers a range of topics one of which is defective vehicle equipment that may be responsible for motorcycle, trucking and passenger car accidents. Faulty, poorly designed, or incorrectly maintained vehicle components, systems and safety equipment has been known to be the main cause a many vehicle crashes and resulting traffic accidents.

As a Maryland personal injury attorney who represents bikers injured as a result of a crash on a highway, rural road or city street, my main objective to help that victim and his or her family recover various medical cost and lost wages suffered as a result of the accident. For families who have lost a loved one as a result of a bike crash, the burden can be especially hard when the deceased was the primary breadwinner for the family.

If defective equipment is to blame, there may be a third party to consider in a suit. It’s not uncommon for defective equipment and components to be a source of both minor and serious motorcycle accidents. Depending on the particular system that failed on the bike, the resulting wreck can cause injuries from cuts and bruises to internal bleeding, permanent spinal cord damage and even fatal brain trauma.

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