The doctrine of sovereign immunity protects state and local governments from many lawsuits. In cases against the state, in order for a Maryland motorcycle injury claim to go forward in court, the government has to specifically waive immunity for such a claim. Sovereign immunity protects not only the state, but also its employees as long as they are acting in their official capacity and their actions are without malice or gross negligence.
Local governments, such as cities as counties are also generally protected by immunity. However, unlike the state government, under Maryland law, local governments only benefit from immunity when they perform governmental functions, as opposed to proprietary functions. Courts have held that governmental functions are those that are sanctioned by the legislature, are solely for the benefit of the public, and have no element of private interest. Other courts have stated that the distinction is between acts that are performed for the common good as opposed to those that are done for the benefit or profit of a corporation.
For example, the operation and maintenance of public parks, swimming pools, and police forces are normally considered governmental functions, and thus are protected under immunity. However, whether a function is governmental or proprietary is often not clear, and has been the subject of much litigation.
Students and Families Confront City After Fatal Accident of 13-year-old Bicyclist
City residents voiced concerns to one city after a thirteen-year-old student was recently killed in a tragic accident while riding his bike to school. According to a recent news report, the student was hit by a car on his way to school on his thirteenth birthday. A friend of the boy told city council that the speed limit needed to be lowered on the road, which passed by three schools. The speed limit was 45 miles per hour on the road. People also complained that there was no crosswalk on the road, putting students in danger while walking or biking to school. At least one parent had raised concerns previously about the safety of walkers and bicyclists on that road.
The mayor of the city said that the matter was complicated by the fact that the road was within the city, but overseen by the county. City officials said that the road was studied since last year in an effort to address the concerns of the residents, but no steps had been taken. Police reported that an investigation into the accident was ongoing.
Contact a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maryland motorcycle crash, we understand that the stress can be overwhelming. The injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers have represented Maryland motorcycle accident victims for over 20 years. We will answer your questions and help you through every step of the legal process. Our team works with experts, including accident reconstructionists, who can help assess your claim and seek the full compensation you deserve. Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 800-654-1949, or contact us via our online form.