Earlier this week in North Carolina, a motorcyclist was killed when a Chevy Trailblazer attempted to turn in front of the motorcyclist. According to a report by the local NBC affiliate, the motorcyclist was heading northeast when the SUV, heading the opposite direction, attempted to turn left in front of the biker. Attempting to avoid the collision, the motorcyclist first braked and then laid the bike down, separating himself from the machine. However, his efforts were fruitless in the end as he himself collided with the passenger side of the SUV.
Despite wearing a helmet, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, a 73-year-old man, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to yield the right of way. He was uninjured.
Drivers Must Pay Attention To Motorcyclists or Face the Consequences
Even though motorcyclists enjoy the same rights to use the roads as all other drivers, they still are fighting to be seen and respected by other drivers out there on the roads. Drivers of cars and trucks need to make extra efforts when they are driving near motorcyclists, because the consequences of even the smallest accident can end up in a fatality, as it did here.
When a driver is negligent and causes an accident, they are generally responsible for the harms they cause. The level of negligence is not important in the calculation, and neither is the extent of the harm caused; the only relevant factor is whether the driver was, in fact, negligent. This means that even when small acts of negligence end up in catastrophic incidents, the negligent driver is responsible. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the accident results in property damage or the loss of someone’s life; if a driver is negligent in causing the accident, he or she is responsible for the consequences.
Negligence in Maryland Motorcycle Accidents
The fact that someone chooses to travel by motorcycle is not negligent. A car or truck driver who is involved in an accident with a motorcyclist cannot escape liability by claiming that, had the other motorist been in a car, there would not have been an injury. This would act to punish motorcyclists for their choice in transportation, something the law does not do.
Motorcyclists Still Need to Be Careful
However, keep in mind that the above may not apply with the same force if the motorcyclist is being negligent or fails to wear an approved helmet. In these cases, the other driver may have a case by explaining to the jury that, but for the motorcyclists negligence, the accident would not have resulted in the great harm that it did.
Have You Been Involved in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you should speak with a skilled Maryland personal injury attorney at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experienced standing up for the rights of injured Marylanders and know what it takes to bring an effective case for their clients. To speak to an attorney today about the facts of your case, call 410-654-3600, or contact the firm online.
More Blog Posts:
Los Angeles County Must Pay Out $770,000 For Negligent Road Repairs, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published March 4, 2014.
Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Driving After Killing Motorcyclist, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 25, 2014.