Poorly Designed Roads May Be a Contributing Cause in Many Maryland Motorcycle Accidents

After someone is injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident, the law allows for the accident victim to pursue a claim for compensation against any parties responsible for the accident. Statistics show that motorcyclists are more likely than other motorists to be involved in a single-vehicle crash. In addition, motorcyclists may be more susceptible to hazards presented by dangerously designed roads. A recent case illustrates the types of issues that can come up when a motorcyclist files a personal injury lawsuit against a city based on dangerously designed roads.

As the court described the facts, the plaintiff was traveling northbound in the left lane on a divided highway. As the plaintiff neared an intersection, he noticed there was a southbound SUV slowly approaching the intersection. The SUV began to make a left turn in front of the motorcycle, cutting the plaintiff off. Having no time to avoid the collision, the plaintiff’s bike slammed into the passenger’s side of the SUV. After the accident, the driver of the SUV claimed that his vision of approaching traffic was obscured by several trees and their wooden supports in the highway’s center median.

The plaintiff initiated a personal injury lawsuit against several parties, including the driver of the SUV and the city where the accident occurred. The plaintiff claimed that the city was negligent in designing the road and placing the trees in the center median where they could obstruct motorists’ view of oncoming traffic.

In a pre-trial motion for summary judgment, the city successfully argued that it was unaware of the hazard presented by the trees. The plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the court reviewed the evidence presented by both parties, beginning with the plaintiff’s evidence. The plaintiff presented an expert witness who testified, in his opinion, that the road’s design was dangerous and that the city should have known about it. In response, the city presented the Assistant Chief of the city’s Traffic Engineering Division, who stated that, of all the accidents occurring at the intersection, not one involved a claim that the trees obstructed motorist’s views.

The plaintiff, however, looked more closely into the previous accidents. Specifically, the plaintiff looked at the trial notes of testimony, finding that three of the accident victims testified that the trees obstructed their view. This evidence, the court held, created a material issue of fact regarding the city’s knowledge of the hazard presented by the trees. Thus, the court determined summary judgment was not appropriate.

Are You in Need of a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At our Maryland personal injury law firm, Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC we handle all types of personal injury claims, including Maryland bicycle accidents. Our dedicated team of accident lawyers handles cases across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call 410-654-3600. There is no risk in calling, because we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

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