Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Maryland, injuries are more likely to be severe than if you were operating an automobile. You can sue the driver who is at fault for the crash to recover compensation.
Most often, motorcycle accidents like the one described above happen due to driver negligence. They happen because drivers speed, fail to pay attention, make a turn when they do not have the right of way, follow too closely, or drink and drive. Many drivers do not expect to see motorcycles while driving because they are smaller and nimbler than passenger cars. A motorcycle driver or his or her family bringing a lawsuit based on another driver’s negligence must show the duty of the driver alleged to be at fault, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. A plaintiff’s failure to establish any one of these elements will result in him or her not recovering any damages.
In many cases, the other driver or its insurance company will raise contributory negligence as a defense. Maryland’s “contributory negligence” defense is the harsh rule that a plaintiff who is partially responsible for his or her injuries in a vehicle accident cannot recover anything. This means that even if a Maryland jury finds you only 1% at fault for an accident, you aren’t permitted to recover anything.
If you are able to recover for a motorcycle accident, you may recover property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, loss of employment income, and any out-of-pocket expenses. You can also recover for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, damages to your marriage, and inconvenience in Maryland. Typically, there are significant injuries after a motorcycle accident because motorcyclists have so little protection against the impact of the other vehicle.
When a motorcyclist dies due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it may be possible to recover damages through a wrongful death or survival action. A Maryland survival action is brought on behalf of a personal representative claiming recovery for the victim’s injuries. The victim’s estate can recover actual expenses incurred by the victim as well as compensation for the victim’s own pain and suffering before he or she died. It will not be possible to recover for the victim’s pain and suffering if the victim died instantaneously at the scene of the accident.
The victim’s family can bring a wrongful death suit seeking compensation for their own losses as a result of death. The most obvious loss that a family member experiences as a result of a motorcyclist’s death is grief and suffering. There may also be financial losses if a family member paid the medical bills or funeral expenses.
If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident or other motor vehicle accident, you should consult with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact the attorneys of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman at (866) 902-4111 or via our online form. We can help you investigate possible avenues of relief.