When Are Punitive Damages Available in Maryland Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcyclists injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident are entitled by state law to file a civil negligence suit against whoever they believe caused the accident. These lawsuits, if successful, can result in an accident victim obtaining compensation for their pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and more. Unlike criminal lawsuits, the purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to make the plaintiff whole, not to punish the defendant, and so damages typically only cover the amount of harm the plaintiff actually suffered.

In rare cases, a court may allow punitive damages, which are additional damages awarded to the plaintiffs in order to “punish” the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are rare, and only appropriate in cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially wanton and malicious, rather than just negligent.

For an example of a case that might result in punitive damages, take a recent tragic motorcycle accident that sent a couple to the hospital with severe injuries. According to a local news report covering the incident, a couple on a motorcycle was hit from behind by a black Jeep, throwing them from the motorcycle and onto the road. The couple suffered severe injuries and were taken to the hospital. The driver of the motorcycle had his head split open in two places and will have to learn to walk again after breaking his leg and ankle. His girlfriend and passenger suffered internal bleeding, a broken leg, a broken arm, and now has to wear a neck brace.

While the story is tragic, what is even more upsetting is the fact that the accident may have been intentionally caused. According to the same news report, on the night of the incident, the accident victim and his girlfriend were out celebrating his 21st birthday. They ended up at a bar, and ran into an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The four got into a fight. The victims left the bar on their motorcycle, but about half a mile away they were hit. It has since been determined that those who hit them were those they were fighting with just moments before at the bar. Because of this, the victims’ families believe that the crash was intentional, and are asking officials to press charges.

Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, the victims and their families are certainly entitled to file a civil negligence suit against the driver of the Jeep. If evidence suggests that the crash was caused intentionally, or even with wanton disregard for safety, this case may even be an example of one in which punitive damages are appropriate.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a loved one have recently suffered injuries due to a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may also be struggling financially. Let the dedicated advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, handle your case and help you pursue the recovery that you deserve. Schedule a risk-free consultation with one of our dedicated and experienced attorneys today by calling 800-654-1949. Calling is free, and we will not bill you unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.

Contact Information