It is often not clear who was at fault for a motor vehicle accident, which is why so many accidents lead to insurance disputes and litigation. If a plaintiff is at least partially at fault for an accident, the plaintiff’s ability to recover depends on the jurisdiction where the claim is filed. In the event a motorcycle accident claim is filed in a Maryland court of law, the case would be subject to the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, if a plaintiff is found to be even partially at fault in a Maryland case, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation from the defendant. Many other jurisdictions still allow a plaintiff to recover even if the plaintiff is partially to blame, and in some cases, even if the plaintiff is mostly to blame. In jurisdictions that apply the contributory negligence doctrine, such as Maryland and Virginia, the results can be very harsh for injured accident victims.
A jury in a Maryland motorcycle accident case is allowed to consider the plaintiff’s fault in addition to the defendant’s; however, the doctrine may only be considered where there is evidence of the plaintiff’s purported negligence. In addition, while the plaintiff normally has the burden to prove all elements of their case, the defendant has the burden of proving the plaintiff’s alleged negligence. Proving who was at fault in an accident requires a plaintiff to establish that the defendant owed them a duty, they breached that duty, and that the breach of the duty was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff also must prove that the defendant’s actions were sufficiently related to the injuries such that the defendant should be held liable. The General Assembly of Maryland has continued to affirm the application of contributory negligence for many years, although more recently the state has acknowledged calls for reform.
Motorcyclist Dies After Crash with Pickup Truck
A local news source reported on a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred on a recent Saturday morning. The crash, which took place at around 9:45 a.m., occurred when the motorcyclist crossed paths with a driver in a pickup truck that was hauling a boat in the opposite direction as the motorcyclist. The pickup truck driver tried to make a left-hand turn when the motorcyclist crashed into the front of the pickup truck. The motorcyclist died from his injuries at the scene of the crash. Officials reported that the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The accident is still under investigation.
Left-turns are common causes of motorcycle accidents, as motorists often have difficulties determining how close an approaching motorcycle is when they initiate a turn. This accident serves as a good example of a situation where the defendant pick-up truck driver may claim that the motorcyclist shared responsibility for the accident by speeding. However, such an allegation must be supported before it can be used to reduce or eliminate a plaintiff’s potential recovery.
Have You Been Injured in a Crash?
If you have been injured in a Maryland motorcycle crash, talk to a Maryland motorcycle injury attorney who can evaluate your potential claim. The Maryland injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, represent plaintiffs in car accident cases and other personal injury cases in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our attorneys take pride in advocating for the rights of victims, and we work closely with medical experts to pursue the compensation victims deserve. Contact us on our website via our online form or call 1-800-654-1949 to set up a free initial consultation.