Motorcycle accidents are particularly destructive and can turn lives upside down and destroy futures. The aftermath of a motorcycle accident is just as chaotic as the accident. While you should be resting and recuperating, you are expected to take on insurance companies and fight for your compensation.
Dealing with all this on your own can be too much. That’s why the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team is here for you. We have experienced Annapolis motorcycle accident lawyers ready to stand up to insurers who want to exploit you by trying to make you settle for a lowball offer. We have made a name for ourselves by winning compensation for our clients in Annapolis and all over Maryland.
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How Can An Annapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Pursuing motorcycle accident claims is a lot more complex than car accident claims. Most people, including insurers and their attorneys, hold biases against bikers, painting them negatively as reckless rebels.
At Pinder Plotkin, we know often it’s the other motorists that are careless around motorcycle riders. We can help you report your motorcycle accident claim to your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.
Our attorneys can also help you file your claim after successfully determining liability through investigations and analysis of documents like police reports, witness testimonies, and medical reports.
Finally, our motorcycle accident lawyers can appeal if insurance denies your claim and challenge an unsatisfactory settlement award.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents?
Most motorcycle accidents are preventable and avoidable. Some happen purely by accident or bad luck. There are numerous causes of motorcycle accidents. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Speeding – When a driver is speeding, she/he has less time to stop and there’s a greater risk of accidents.
- Opening doors – When someone opens a car door suddenly and hits a biker.
- Distracted driving – Texting and other distractions can cause a driver to fail to notice a motorcyclist.
- Failure to give way to or pay attention to motorbikes – This is another common cause of accidents.
- Lane changes and lane splitting – Switching and splitting lanes on a bike can get you into an accident.
- Aggressive driving – This involves speeding and flouting basic traffic rules. It is a common cause of bike accidents.
- Drunk driving or drugged driving – Intoxicated motorists can hit motorcyclists with their erratic driving as they swerve.
- Faulty mirrors, brakes, or lighting – Defective motorcycle components can cause an accident. For example, you can crash on a motorcycle because your brakes failed.
- Unexpected pedestrians in the road – The rider might crash while trying to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
Our attorneys will evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and the injuries you suffered to determine fault.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Maryland
Maryland experiences approximately 1,800 motorcycle accidents every year, which result in injuries and death. For example, Maryland reported 76 fatalities from motorcycle crashes in 2017. Besides, motorcyclists are ten times more likely to sustain severe injuries than drivers.
What Are the Motorcycle Specific Laws in Maryland?
Every motorcyclist in Maryland should be familiar with the state laws regarding motorcycles so that they can know if they are at fault in the event of a crash. We have listed some of the most vital motorcycle laws in Maryland.
Maryland motorcyclists are required by law to wear a helmet while using the state’s roads, streets, interstates, and highways. Additionally, Maryland’s Department of Transportation must certify this helmet. The law doesn’t require off-road dirt bikers to wear helmets. Helmets speakers are only allowed on one side of the helmet.
All motorcycle riders plying Maryland’s state roads must wear eye protection when riding their motorcycles unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen. This law exempts off-road bikers.
The law doesn’t require Maryland motorcyclists to use their headlights during the day though many traffic safety experts recommend it.
In Maryland, riders must keep the handlebars on their motorcycles about 15 inches above the rider’s seat.
A motorcycle should be equipped with a passenger seat and footrest when carrying a passenger.
The laws of Maryland require motorcycles to be equipped with a muffler.
Maryland prohibits motorcycles from driving between lanes or overtaking a vehicle in the same lane as that vehicle is moving in, or riding between rows of vehicles. Section 21-1303 of Maryland’s motorcycle laws state that every motorcycle is entitled to use a full lane.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles don’t have a vehicle’s safety features. This puts the rider at risk of sustaining severe injuries when they get into a crash. Even a minor motorcycle accident can cause injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries:
- Road Rash – Your body will get cuts, bruises, and abrasions when your body hits the ground after falling off a motorcycle at high speeds.
- Broken Bones – You are likely to suffer broken bones and fractures when your body is thrown off the bike and collides with other vehicles or objects.
- Spinal Cord Injury – The impact of a motorcycle crash can cause injuries to the spine that may result in paralysis or even death.
- Head and Brain Injuries – Failure to wear the recommended helmet can cause traumatic brain injury in the event you crash and hit your head.
How Is Fault Determined In An Annapolis Motorcycle Accident?
Maryland is one of the four states in the U.S. that applies the contributory negligence rule for personal injury claims. Under this doctrine, a victim’s claim is defeated if there exists any contributory negligence. In other words, under Maryland’s contributory negligence rules, if you played any role or shared any degree of fault or blame for your motorcycle accident in any way, your lawsuit against the defendant will be considered null and void. In theory, if you are only 2% liable and the other motorist is 98% responsible, you are not entitled to recover any damages from the other driver!
In a Maryland motorcycle accident, any negligence on your part can bar you from recovering damages completely unless you can prove that there wasn’t any contributory negligence on your part.
Our Annapolis motorcycle accident lawyers can help you determine fault with Maryland’s contributory negligence law in mind. We will investigate the accident and analyze available evidence in detail to establish the at-fault party.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Receive For My Motorcycle Accident?
The types of compensation you can recover from a motorcycle accident claim are classified into:
These damages have a monetary value meaning they can be calculated accurately from your medical and employment records. They include:
- Medical expenses (including physical therapy, transportation costs linked to the treatment injury suffered, prescriptions, surgery, hospital stay, and even medical devices)
- Lost income
- Damage repair and replacement costs.
- Lost earning capacity
These damages are not financially quantifiable because they do not have a specific dollar value. They include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or guidance or companion
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, these damages are not compensatory. They seek to punish the at-fault party further for grossly negligent acts that cause severe harm or injury. Punitive damages are also meant to deter the defendant and the general public from partaking in similar actions in the future.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Since insurance companies are out to make profits, there is no telling the lengths they would go to avoid paying out compensations. Insurers aim to pay out as little as possible by denying claims to maximize their profits. Here are some reasons why insurers might have rejected your motorcycle accident claim:
- There was a lapse in coverage. I.e., your insurance payments were not up to date.
- The policy did not insure the driver.
- The accident situation is not covered by the policy.
- The policy amount wasn’t enough to pay your claim.
- The insurer believes the fault for the accident lies with you.
- The insurer believes that you were not really hurt.
- The insurer thinks pre-existing conditions or old medical issues caused your injuries and not the accident.
- You failed to provide the proper documentation.
- You did not adhere to the statute of limitations.
Are There Time Limits To Filing A Claim In Maryland?
Maryland’s statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents is three years, measured from the date the accident occurred or when you discovered your injury. You automatically waive your right to file the claim if you don’t adhere to this timeframe. Did you suffer an injury in a motorcycle crash on Maryland roadways? Call us, our lawyers will ensure that you don’t miss this crucial deadline and recover the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Annapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
You might be able to recover damages legally through a motorcycle accident claim if you or a loved one sustained an injury due to a motorcycle crash. At Pinder Plotkin, we are vastly experienced in motorcycle accident claim negotiations and litigations. We fight hard to protect motorcycle accident victims in Maryland and ensure they get fair compensation. Our qualified legal team has the expertise to handle your claim.
Riders who sustain injuries through someone else’s fault deserve to be compensated so that they can sustain or rebuild their lives and livelihoods. At our Annapolis accident firm, we help motorbike crash victims identify and hold those at fault financially and legally responsible.
We offer an initial free consultation with no obligation to hire us. Please call (410) 525-5337 today to schedule your free case review.