Motor scooters are a good alternative for many commuters, especially those who do not need to take the highway to get to work. Motor scooters are more fuel-efficient than most motorcycles, and because they are not capable of traveling at fast speeds, they are also generally seen as a safer alternative. However, Maryland scooter accidents are still a serious risk for those who choose to commute by scooter.

Red ScooterEarlier this month, actor George Clooney was injured in a motor scooter accident on the Italian island of Sardinia. According to a recent news report, Clooney was in Sardinia filming a new adaptation of the 1953 novel by Joseph Heller, Catch-22.

Evidently, Clooney was riding on the scooter alone when the driver of a Mercedes failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with the scooter. The responding police officer told reporters that after the initial collision, Clooney slammed into the windshield of the Mercedes. Pictures taken after the accident show Clooney’s scooter lying on the pavement, as well as the Mercedes’ broken windshield.

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Each year, there are hundreds of Maryland bicycle accidents that occur for a number of reasons. While some accidents are the result of bicyclist error, the vast majority involve the negligence of a motorist. And although it may seem beyond the pale to most Maryland motorists, each year there are dozens of Maryland hit-and-run accidents where a motorist flees the scene after being involved in a collision.

Legal News GavelHit-and-run accidents are especially troublesome for a number of reasons. First, car accidents almost always involve some type of injury. And when a motorist leaves the scene, they run the risk of leaving stranded a person who is seriously injured and in need of medical assistance. Additionally, by leaving the scene, a hit-and-run driver abandons the accident victim without anyone to look to for compensation for their injuries.

The issues involved in a hit-and-run accident are worsened when one of the vehicles involved is a bicycle. Bicyclists are less protected than motorists, and more likely to suffer serious injuries following an accident. Thus, a Maryland bicycle accident victim is likely in need of serious medical attention following an accident.

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Teaching a child to ride a bike can be a rewarding experience for both the child and the adult. However, bicycle safety is a critical component of learning to ride a bike and should never be overlooked. Not only is it important to teach children always wear a helmet, but also to follow the rules of the road and to always be aware of drivers that may not be paying attention.

Legal News GavelAccording to a recent news report based on a study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Maryland bicycle accidents involving children may be more common than most people believe. Evidently, nationwide there are there are about 608 bicycle-related injuries per day, which comes out to about 25 accidents per hour.

Of course, most of these accidents are minor. In fact, the top reported injury types were bruises, scrapes, and cuts. However, a very significant 11% of all child bicycle accidents resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Unsurprisingly, when a motor vehicle is involved in the accident, the chance of the child suffering a traumatic brain injury greatly increases.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case requiring the court to determine if a group of city contractors that designed and landscaped the foliage around an intersection could be held liable after a motorist was killed at the intersection. Ultimately, the court concluded that because the city approved the work and the alleged hazard was readily apparent, the contractors were absolved from liability.

Motorcycle HeadlightThe case is important for Maryland car accident victims because, while the exact doctrine applied in Maryland differs slightly from that which was applied in this case, the concepts and considerations underlying the court’s rationale are consistent with Maryland law.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was the mother of a man who died after being struck by a truck upon entering an intersection on his motorcycle. The plaintiff claimed that the foliage surrounding the intersection obstructed the motorists’ view of the intersection as they approached, causing the accident.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that raises an important issue for Maryland motorcycle accident victims who believe that their injuries were due to a poorly designed road or intersection. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff established that the government’s negligent planning and design of the road were the proximate cause of her injuries.

Legal News GavelThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a passenger on a northbound motorcycle being driven by her husband. The couple approached an intersection in which they did not have a stop sign. At the same time, a pick-up truck was traveling in a perpendicular direction and had stopped at a stop sign. The driver of the pick-up truck looked both ways before entering the intersection; however, as he pulled into the intersection, the plaintiff and her husband collided with the side of the truck.

The plaintiff was seriously injured, and her husband died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the government in charge of designing and maintaining the road, claiming that the road was negligently designed. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the government was negligent in failing to install a four-way stop at the intersection, allowing too high a speed limit, and failing to provide adequate signage in advance of the intersection.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that raised an interesting perspective on an issue that commonly comes up in Maryland motorcycle accidents. The case involved an accident victim’s claim that he was an “occupant” in the vehicle that struck him because, after the collision, the man landed atop the car, which was insured by the defendant insurance company.

Legal News GavelWhile the court rejected the plaintiff’s creative argument, the case illustrates the type of outside-the-box thinking that can sometimes be successful in Maryland personal injury cases.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle. After the collision, the plaintiff fell backwards, landing on the hood of the defendant’s car and rolling up the windshield before falling onto the ground. The plaintiff sustained serious injuries in the accident and filed a personal injury claim against the defendant.

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As a general matter, Maryland government employees, entities, and organizations are entitled to immunity from Maryland personal injury lawsuits. However, under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), accident victims can pursue a claim for compensation against the government in certain limited situations.

Legal News GavelUnder the MTCA, victims can pursue a variety of claims against government entities up to the statutory limit of $400,000 per claimant per incident. However, certain conduct is removed from the MTCA and will not be covered. Namely, this is if the person or entity that caused the injury acted with malice or gross negligence or took actions not within the scope of the person’s employment. Other important exceptions also apply, and anyone considering a claim against a government agency or official in Maryland should consult with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.

A recent case discusses one motorcycle accident plaintiff’s difficulties when attempting to bring a lawsuit against a local government for the condition of the roads that she believed caused the accident. While the state’s tort claims act involved in the case is different from Maryland’s, the case illustrates some of the common difficulties plaintiffs have when attempting to bring a lawsuit against a government entity.

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When someone gets on the back of a motorcycle, the last thing they are expecting is that they are going to be injured or killed in a Maryland motorcycle accident. Indeed, the vast majority of motorcycle operators are responsible motorists, but not everyone appreciates the risks involved in operating a motorcycle, and some motorcyclists take unacceptable risks.

Legal News GavelA passenger who is injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident may have a claim for damages against several parties. If the accident was caused by another driver, that driver and their insurance company may be on the hook for any injuries sustained by the victim.

In single-vehicle motorcycle accidents, passengers may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the driver of the motorcycle and the driver’s insurance company. In the event that the at-fault party does not have adequate insurance coverage, the passenger may be able to also file a claim with their own insurance company under the underinsured motorist provision.

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Earlier this year, a state supreme court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case raising an important issue for Maryland bicycle accident victims who were injured while riding on public property. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether a government landowner was entitled to immunity under the state’s recreational use statute when the path where the injury occurred was used for both recreational and non-recreational purposes.

Legal News GavelFinding that there was no language in the state’s recreational use statute requiring that land be used exclusively for recreational purposes in order for immunity to attach, the court determined that the government landowner was entitled to immunity. Thus, the accident victim’s case was dismissed.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding a bicycle with her niece along an asphalt path that was owned and maintained by the defendant municipality. The path was designated as a non-motorized path, and it was commonly used for recreational purposes. However, the path was labeled as “mixed use” and was also used by some commuters as a way to get to work.

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Riding a motorcycle on Maryland roads always presents some level of risk. However, that risk is heightened when traveling in a parking lot. While Maryland parking lot accidents are not normally serious when they involve cars or trucks, when the vehicle involved is a motorcycle or scooter, the chance of the accident resulting in serious injuries or death is greatly increased.

Legal News GavelIt’s common knowledge that, in general, motorists have a difficult time seeing motorcyclists while on the road, due to their slim profile. In a parking lot setting, however, the risks of not being seen are even greater, due to the number of other cars and trucks that could potentially obscure a motorist’s view. Additionally, motorists too often speed or drive aggressively through parking lots, not realizing the dangers that such conduct creates for those around them.

Scooter Operator Killed in Parking Lot Accident

Earlier this month, a 73-year-old woman was struck by another vehicle while riding an electric scooter in a suburban parking lot. According to a local news source covering the accident, the collision took place in the morning hours.

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