In most cases, after a motorcycle accident, the injured motorcyclist can pursue monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. However, when the at-fault party is a government employee, the injured motorcyclist may discover that government immunity is a barrier to their recovery.
Government Immunity in Maryland
As a general rule, state, local, and federal governments are immune from tort liability. However, in Maryland, the state legislature has passed the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), waiving immunity in many situations. For example, under the MTCA, when a government employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment and causes an accident, government immunity will not attach, and the government entity can be held liable up to $200,000 per person, per incident.
While Maryland law allows for recovery in many cases involving government defendants, there may be significant litigation over whether the government employee’s actions are within the scope of employment. If a government employee is determined not to have been acting within the scope of their employment, an injured motorcyclist may be able to bring a lawsuit against the motorist in their individual capacity, but they will be prevented from naming the government entity as a defendant.
Recent Accident Involving Sheriff’s Deputy Claims Motorcyclist’s Life
Earlier this month, a motorcycle accident involving a sheriff’s deputy resulted in the death of a Kansas man. According to a local news report, the accident occurred in the morning hours near a highway on-ramp. Evidently, the deputy was stopped at the top of a ramp leading onto the highway. As the deputy turned onto the highway, he was struck by a motorcyclist who was heading in the opposite direction. The motorcyclist was thrown from the bike as a result of the collision.
Both the sheriff’s deputy and the motorcyclist sustained serious injuries in the accident and were taken to the hospital. Sadly, shortly after he arrived at the hospital, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead. The sheriff’s deputy is expected to make a full recovery. The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. The accident is still under investigation, and it has not been determined if the sheriff’s deputy will be cited or charged for his role in the accident.
Have You Been Involved in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. This may even be the case if the other party involved in the accident was a police officer or another government employee. The skilled injury attorneys at the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases, including those arising out of serious motorcycle accidents. Call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.
More Blog Posts:
Scooter Accidents on Maryland Roads, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published May 11, 2017.
Police Liability in High-Speed Chases, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 27, 2017.