While it is awful anytime someone is involved and injured in a Maryland car crash, it is even more tragic when someone is killed as a result of a preventable accident. Unfortunately, however, those riding bicycles and motorcycles are generally more susceptible to serious injuries and death because they are less protected than those in cars and trucks which provide a buffer between other vehicles, roadside objects, and the road itself.
Recently, a 10-year-old bicyclist was tragically killed when she was struck by a car. According to a local news report covering the accident, the 5th grade girl was riding her bicycle to school when she fell off and was struck and killed by an oncoming SUV. The exact cause of the girl’s fall is still unknown, but authorities believe that the victim’s backpack may have caused her to lose her balance and fall.
The driver of the SUV that struck and killed the child is not expected to face any criminal charges. However, just because criminal charges are not filed does not mean that they will not end up in court. In situations like this, Maryland law allows the victim’s family to file a civil lawsuit against the driver. If it is found that the driver was negligent or somehow at fault for the accident—by texting while driving, speeding, or unreasonably failing to apply their brakes, for example—the family may be able to recover for their pain and suffering, as well as funeral and burial costs and any medical expenses.
To be successful in a wrongful death suit generally requires proving four elements. First, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care. All drivers owe a general duty of care to drive reasonably safe, so this element is often met with ease. The second element is proving that the defendant breached this duty of care. This can be harder to prove, and is often the focus of much litigation. For example, evidence that would be helpful for a plaintiff would be evidence that the defendant ran a red light, was texting while driving, or knew their brakes needed repair but did not get them fixed. Third, the plaintiff must prove that this breach was the proximate cause of the accident and the victim’s death—that the driver’s negligent conduct actually led to the event in question. Lastly, the plaintiff must show that they suffered actual damages. In wrongful death cases, this is unlikely to be disputed, of course.
Proving a wrongful death case is not always as straightforward as it may seem at first glance, and anyone considering filing a Maryland wrongful death claim should reach out to a dedicated attorney for immediate assistance.
Do You Need a Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a Maryland accident, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you file a Maryland wrongful death claim. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys will zealously fight for your legal rights every step of the way so that you can focus on healing. With decades of experience, you can trust us to earn you every penny you’re entitled to. Learn more by contacting us today at 800-654-1949, to schedule a free consultation.