While motorcyclists should take every precaution while on the road, it is not a motorcyclist’s duty to prevent accidents that may be caused by other negligent drivers. While there are a number of common causes of motorcycle accidents, drunk driving in particular presents an especially serious risk to motorcyclists, who have less protection than other motorists and often have less time to react to hazards.

Beer TapsMotorcyclists are already at an increased risk of being involved in a serious or fatal accident. Indeed, a recent study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute suggests that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than those who drive cars or trucks. It is estimated that approximately 21% of all at-fault motorists involved in traffic accidents have a blood alcohol content at or above the legal limit.

Drunk drivers who cause a serious or fatal motorcycle accident may be held liable through a Maryland personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If successful, an injured motorcycle accident victim can recover compensation to reimburse them for their medical bills and lost wages. In addition, compensation packages may include amounts to cover future medical treatment, if necessary, as well as any pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Continue Reading

There can be little doubt that police officers have a difficult job. The nature of the job requires that they weigh the risks and benefits of a course of action and make a decision quickly. In some cases, police officers make the wrong decision, and someone is hurt as a result.

Police CarAs a general rule, police officers are entitled to immunity from personal injury lawsuits, as long as they are acting within certain boundaries. Normally, a mere showing of negligence will not be enough to overcome police officer immunity. However, when a police officer causes a serious injury due to their reckless conduct, liability may be appropriate.

One common instance in which innocent bystanders may be injured by the actions of police is in a high-speed chase. High-speed chases, by their very nature, involve high speeds and likely also involve numerous violations of the motor vehicle code. This type of driving puts not only the police at risk but also the general public. In fact, in 2014, there were over 375 people killed in police high-speed chases.

Continue Reading

In some cases, the parties responsible for a serious accident are clear. This can make determining against whom to file a personal injury case clear. In other cases, however, figuring out the proper defendant takes a substantial amount of investigation and research.

MotorcyclistDetermining Liability in Motorcycle Accidents and Whom to Name in Subsequent Claims

In general, most individuals are liable for their negligent acts. However, some individuals may not be liable because they lack the requisite capacity to form intent, and other individuals or entities may be protected through immunity or other laws. For example, children may be too young to be held liable — although their parents may be separately liable in some circumstances. In Maryland, generally, children under the age of seven are thought to be unable to form the requisite intent.

The state and local governments may also be held liable in some circumstances. For example, the State of Maryland can be sued in situations provided by statute. Generally, in claims against state and local governments, plaintiffs must also give notice to certain individuals within a specified time period.

Continue Reading

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a written opinion in a premises liability lawsuit brought by an injured bicyclist against the federal government. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff’s case was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which generally grants immunity to government actors acting in a discretionary manner. Ultimately, the court determined that the government employees were acting in a discretionary manner and that the government was entitled to immunity.

Forest TrailThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was with a friend, mountain biking in the De Soto National Forest. The two began their ride on the Couch Loop Trail. However, the plaintiff did not stop at the trail-head’s bulletin board, which displayed a sign indicating that the loop was closed.

The plaintiff rode on the trail for a while, before taking an “alternate route.” This alternate route contained some obstacles that were illegally built by members of a local bike club. The plaintiff rode over one of the obstacles and fell, seriously injuring herself. She then filed a premises liability lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that it was negligent in maintaining the trail, as well as negligent for failing to warn her about the dangerous conditions present on the trail.

Continue Reading

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Mississippi issued a written opinion that should serve as a warning to anyone injured in a motorcycle accident and planning on filing a claim with either the other driver’s insurance company or even their own insurance company. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss how an insurance policy’s per-person limit can limit or prevent derivative claims from being filed by the loved ones of the injured party.

MotorcyclistThe Facts of the Case

The case was filed by two plaintiffs, who were married. The husband was involved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another party. His wife was not with him at the time of the accident. After the accident, three insurance provisions were triggered:

  • The at-fault driver’s policy;
  • The plaintiffs’ insurance policy that covered the motorcycle; and
  • The plaintiffs’ insurance company that covered two other vehicles.

Both of the plaintiffs’ policies had an underinsured motorist provision, whereby the policy would compensate the policyholder in the event that an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage was insufficient to cover the policyholder’s injuries.

Continue Reading

One of the major causes of motorcycle and bicycle accidents that involve another vehicle is the other driver’s failure to see the motorcycle or bicycle. Most often, the failure of a driver to see a motorcyclist or bicyclist is caused by one of several things. Perhaps most common is the driver’s inattention at the time of the accident. With the prevalence of text messaging and cell-phone navigation, drivers are spending more and more time on their phones while behind the wheel, even though it is against the law in most cases.

BicycleAnother common cause of a driver’s failure to take notice of a motorcyclist or bicyclist is the slim frame that these smaller vehicles have. Most motorists are accustomed to sharing the road with other cars and trucks, and are able to adjust their behavior when they must share the road. However, the average motorist sees a motorcyclist far less often than they see other cars. This can lead a motorist to overlook a nearby motorcycle, and it can also make it difficult for a motorist to gauge the speed at which an oncoming motorcycle is approaching.

Regardless of why motorists routinely fail to notice motorcyclists and bicyclists, at the end of the day, it is the motorist’s responsibility to be familiar with their surroundings. If a motorist causes an accident because they didn’t see a motorcyclist or bicyclist, that will not necessarily be a valid reason to avoid liability.

Continue Reading

All motorcycle accidents are terrible, but hit-and-run accidents are some of the worst, not just because the hit-and-run driver has shown a total disregard for the safety and wellbeing of a fellow motorist, but because the injured party might have to wait for minutes – or even hours – for help to arrive if they are unable to make the call themselves.

MotorcycleWhile anyone injured in a hit-and-run accident may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party to help them cover the costs of their injuries, finding the at-fault individual is necessarily the first step in the process. In many cases, responding police personnel will look for eyewitnesses, nearby video footage, or even physical evidence left at the scene, such as damaged car parts. This evidence can be crucial in helping police locate the alleged hit-and-run driver.

Once a hit-and-run driver is located, establishing liability may be easier than in a traditional car accident, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and injuries. For example, if an accident victim’s injuries were worsened due to the lack of timely medical care, this can likely be attributable to the hit-and-run driver. It is also important to keep in mind that it is illegal to leave the scene of any accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Continue Reading

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an interesting opinion in a motorcycle accident case that was filed against a taxi-cab driver as well as the taxi-cab company. The case required the court decide whether the taxi-cab company could be held vicariously liable for the allegedly negligent actions of the taxi-cab driver. Finding that the jury was presented sufficient evidence to create an agency relationship between the driver and the company, the court determined that the company could be held vicariously liable.

TaxisVicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a theory of liability where one party is held legally responsible for the negligent actions of another party. This type of liability is most commonly seen in cases involving a case against an employer for the negligent actions of an employee. However, the relationship between the parties need not be that of employer/employee for vicarious liability to apply; a party may also be held liable for the negligent actions of their agent.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured when he was involved in a motorcycle accident with a taxi-cab driver who was operating a cab marked with the defendant’s logos. According to the facts as discussed in the appellate opinion, the taxi-cab driver made a left turn directly in front of the plaintiff, causing the vehicles to collide.

Continue Reading

Whenever a bicyclist is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the potential for serious injuries is extremely high, even if the bicyclist is wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. In many bicycle accident cases, accident victims will require lengthy stays in the hospital, followed by months of physical therapy, before their life starts to return to normal. Necessarily, this means weeks or months out of work and potentially astronomical medical expenses, not to mention the emotional toll that the accident takes. In some cases, an accident victim is left with irreparable injuries that will stay with them throughout their life.

BicycleAfter a bicycle accident, an injured bicyclist is entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver they believe to be at fault for the accident. In some cases, the driver may not be located or may not have adequate insurance; however, there still may be an avenue of recovery through the bicyclist’s own insurance policy. Through this process, an accident victim may be able to seek financial compensation for the various costs associated with the accident, including their past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident. Anyone injured in a serious Maryland bicycle accident should seek out a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss their case.

Bicycle Accident Leaves Teen Paralyzed

Recently, a Texas teenager was struck while he was riding his bike on a public road. After the initial collision, the teen ended up crashing into the car’s windshield before bouncing off and landing on the road. According to a recent local news report, after the accident, the driver responsible for the crash fled the scene. Thankfully, another passing motorist did stop and render aid. However, the teen was unable to feel his legs and was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

Continue Reading

While most motorcyclists use the necessary caution and attention when riding, the fact remains that some 40% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by the motorcyclist. The percentage of motorcyclist fault in single-vehicle accidents is even higher, reaching well over 50%. In many of these accidents, the motorcyclist is not the only one on the bike at the time of the accident.

MotorcycleMotorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries, time away from work, and significant pain and suffering. It is important for passengers involved in motorcycle accidents to realize that they may be entitled to monetary compensation to help them cover the costs of their injuries. This is even the case in single-vehicle accidents when there are no other vehicles involved.

In fact, under Maryland law, all motorcyclists must carry a certain amount of insurance to cover themselves as well as their passengers. Even if a motorcyclist does not have insurance or has an insufficient amount of insurance, the chances are that a motorcycle passenger’s own insurance policy will cover their injuries.

Continue Reading

Contact Information