One of the fundamental things all Maryland residents learn when learning to drive is how to safely change lanes. Changing lanes is a common part of driving, and when done safely, it does not cause any harm. However, failure to follow safety protocols whilst changing lanes, or even just not paying attention, can cause serious harm to others—especially motorcyclists on the road. In fact, negligence while changing lanes can cause serious or even deadly Maryland motorcycle accidents, since motorcyclists have far less protection around their bodies than drivers of other vehicles and are more easily knocked onto the road.
Take, for example, a recent fatal motorcycle accident that killed a Maryland motorcyclist. The crash occurred on I-95, according to a local news report, around 4:30 one afternoon. A 29-year-old woman from New Jersey was driving along the interstate when she decided to merge left. However, she merged into the path of a motorcyclist, a 30-year-old woman from Odenton, Maryland. The cyclist was thrown from her motorcycle, causing severe injuries. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The crash is still under investigation, but it provides a tragic illustration of how dangerous negligent lane changing can be. While the car could have changed lanes into the path of other vehicles—cars and trucks—the odds are that the resulting crash would have been less deadly, since drivers in cars and trucks are better protected by their vehicles. In addition, it is easier for drivers to spot cars and trucks in the other lanes, but harder to spot smaller motorcycles.
Can a Driver Who Causes a Lane-Change Accident Be Held Responsible for a Victim's Injuries?
Yes, those who are injured in these accidents have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. These lawsuits can result in significant monetary damages awarded to the injured plaintiff, to cover things such as lost wages and medical expenses. To successfully recover, a plaintiff typically needs to prove four things. First, that the defendant driver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. This is usually easy to prove, since all drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road to drive reasonably carefully. Second, that the defendant breached their duty of care. To prove this usually requires proving that the defendant was distracted or made a careless error—maybe they didn’t check their blind spot before merging, or maybe they were texting at the time. Third, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of their duty actually caused the accident, and then lastly, they must prove that real damages were suffered as a result. While these lawsuits cannot undo the damage that has been done, they can start the plaintiff on a path of recovery without worrying about financial strains.
Do You Need a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you’re looking for a Maryland motorcycle accident attorney to represent you in a potential personal injury case, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, today. Our lawyers have years of experience representing injured plaintiffs, and will work hard on your case to maximize the chance of success. Call us today to learn more—and to schedule a free consultation. 800-654-1949.