Here at the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team, we fight on behalf of cyclists throughout Bel Air and the surrounding counties. An experienced Bel Air motorcycle accident lawyer will work tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve. Our Bel Air injury attorneys bring a lot to the table, including:
- An in-depth understanding of Maryland automotive law.
- Award-winning attorneys working around the clock.
- Decades of experience handling cases just like yours.
Rest assured that when disaster strikes on the open road you are not alone. Our legal team is in your corner and will do whatever it takes to ensure you are compensated for damages. Have you, a friend, or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident in Bel Air? Pick up the phone and call us today at (410) 525-5337.
Motorcycle accidents are exceedingly common and often very severe. The road can be dangerous even for a driver protected inside of a bulky truck. It’s far more dangerous for a driver exposed on top of a motorcycle. But it’s that freedom and exposure that attracts so many new cyclists to the road.
Many cyclists make an effort to learn as much as possible in regards to safety before making that first big trip. Unfortunately, training and preparation aren’t always enough to avoid an accident on the road. Especially when that accident is the fault of another driver. In those cases, we are here to help.
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How Can A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Not every motorcycle accident requires the legal expertise of Pinder Plotkin. Instances where nobody is injured, the damage to the motorcycle is negligible, or where you are the cause of the accident are a few examples. There are also many scenarios where contacting us as soon as possible is advisable. It takes the assistance of a trained attorney to get the compensation you really deserve.
It’s very important that you work specifically with attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accidents. General lawyers you see advertised on the television from dusk-till-dawn aren’t suited for these cases. A motorcycle accident lawyer will have a greater understanding of the intricate laws and regulations that relate specifically to cyclists. They have experience with these specific case types and are far more likely to secure a larger settlement from the insurance companies.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents?
Accidents on the open road are frequent even in a peaceful state like Maryland. Motorcycle accidents share many of the same causes as traditional car accidents. The unfortunate difference between the two is that a motorcycle accident is far more likely to result in death or serious injury. Here are some of the leading causes of accidents involving a cyclist.
The Left Hand Turn
This is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents in the country that involve a cyclist and a second vehicle. In most cases, the automobile driver is not paying attention to the road when making a turn at an intersection or when trying to pass a car. The driver does not see the cyclist to their left even though the cyclist is obeying all traffic laws. The majority of these cases are the fault of the automobile driver.
Driving Under The Influence
Despite the massive popularity of rideshare sites like Uber and Lyft, we still see far too many drunk drivers on the road. A driver under the influence has a much slower reaction time, pays less attention to the road, and is far more likely to cause an accident than a sober driver. In these cases, it is always the fault of the intoxicated driver and it is the victim’s right to receive compensation for all damages they suffer.
In some instances, the accident is not the fault of any particular driver but rather is caused by faulty equipment. The most common failure points on a motorcycle are the chassis, the mirrors, and the brakes. Proving liability in these cases is always more complex. Liability may lie on the manufacturer or the brand. In some cases, it may still be the driver’s fault because they did not provide necessary maintenance over time. And in some rare cases, it may be considered the fault of the mechanic who last provided maintenance.
Motorcycle Accidents Statistics
Accident statistics involving cyclists are very alarming. On a national scale, motorcycles only make up 3 percent of the total vehicles on the road. That small group of drivers is 27 times more likely to die in a vehicle accident compared to a traditional passenger car, according to the NHTSA. In 2018, there were 82,000 motorcycle-related injuries and 4,985 deaths in the United States.
Luckily, Maryland is one of the safer states for operating a motorcycle. We are ranked 29th in terms of motorcycle fatalities per registered bike. There were roughly 118,277 registered motorcycles in the state in 2017 with only 62 fatalities. Here are a few more statistics specific to Maryland:
– 1,027 motorcycle-related injuries occurred in 2017
– 13 percent of motorcycle accidents in Maryland occurred in Baltimore City.
– More than 30 percent of motorcycle fatalities are caused by a passenger vehicle that is unable to see the cyclist.
What Are The Motorcycle-Specific Laws In Maryland?
Working with a local legal team that has ample experience dealing with motorcycle-specific laws in Maryland is crucial for winning any claim. Motorcycle laws vary significantly from one state to another. If you choose to work with a novice legal team or one that’s new to the area, then you’re only holding yourself back. What motorcycle-specific laws should you be familiar with?
These laws and regulations dictate what equipment must be present on the bike or the driver during operation. They include appropriate headgear, muffler, seat, turn signal, eye protection, and mirrors.
Drivers who are under the age of 18 must complete an approved safety course in the state of Maryland. However, it’s advisable that every aspiring cyclist complete a safety course at least once before hitting the open road.
In Maryland, anyone operating a motorcycle must have a valid Class M driving license. Otherwise, they can be subject to a fine, the loss of the vehicle, and more severe penalties.
Lane Sharing and Splitting
A maximum of two motorcycles are allowed to share a lane and ride next to each other. However, lane splitting is not allowed in the state of Maryland. Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between two lanes in an attempt to bypass slower vehicles.
What Are The Most Common Injuries Seen In Motorcycle Accidents?
National statistics suggest that 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in bodily injury. Our expert attorneys are accustom to working with clients still ongoing in their recovery process. We have seen accident victims suffering from all sorts of imaginable injuries. However, there are a handful of injuries that we see more often than others in the case of motorcycle accidents. They include:
This is by far one of the most common injuries experienced because cyclists often make contact with the road during the accident. While it may seem less severe than a damaged spine or broken bone, road rash can cause permanent scarring.
Broken Arms Or Legs
The arms and legs are not always protected by cyclists. When a cyclist is thrown from their bike they may cradle their body in an attempt to protect themselves. This most often results in damage to the arms and frequently includes broken bones.
Spinal Cord Injury
The neck and the spinal cord are two sensitive areas that you hope to never damage. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to significant damage during a motorcycle collision. Damage to the spinal cord can lead to massive medical bills and a lifetime of physical therapy.
How Is Fault Determined In A Bel Air Motorcycle Accident?
Determining fault is a necessary part of our legal work with every motorcycle accident claim in Maryland. This most often involves proving negligence on behalf of the other drives or a responsible third party. Negligence includes operating a vehicle in a way that is careless and with disregard for the safety of others. It is the responsibility of the person who is at fault to pay for the damages of the victim.
There are a number of ways a driver may have acted that is considered careless or negligent. That includes driving without paying attention to the road, driving too fast, following too closely to the cyclist, driving with disregard to signs or laws, and driving under the influence of alcohol. Our legal team will work day and night to gather evidence from witnesses, police reports, cameras, and any other potential sources needed to prove fault.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Receive For My Motorcycle Accident?
In Maryland, there are three types of damages that can be covered in a personal injury claim. Most claims involve a combination of two or more types of damage.
- Economic Damages: This includes the cost of repairing the motorcycle, the cost of hospital bills, and any future expenses like physical therapy.
- Non-Economic Damages: This covers damages that don’t have a clear dollar sign attached, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and any loss of reputation.
- Punitive Damages: These are added in severe cases as a form of punishment. They are rarely awarded in Maryland and their availability will depend entirely on the specifics of the case and the party at fault.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Insurance companies are never eager to pay for damages of any sort. They may even try to deny your claim initially in hopes that you will walk away. Of course, you should never walk away without first discussing your options with our legal team. Here are some of the reasons an insurance company can deny a claim.
- The insurance policy has lapsed or was canceled. This is why it’s always important to ensure that your insurance policy is paid and up to date.
- They believe the accident was your fault. This is a common occurrence. If we determine that the accident was not your fault then we will do everything possible to gather enough evidence to prove your case.
- They don’t believe you were really hurt. Always seek medical attention following a motorcycle accident. Having official reports from a medical professional will make it much easier to avoid this denial reason.
Are There Time Limits To Filing A Claim In Maryland?
Every state has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. In Maryland, you have up to three years to file your motorcycle accident claim. You’re advised to file your claim much sooner than this because it’s a long enough process as it is.
Contact a Bel Air Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Pinder Plotkin for a Free Case Review
Every Maryland resident has the right to put on their helmet, climb on their bike, and enjoy the freedom of the open road. We have some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and riding a motorcycle is a great way to see it all. Unfortunately, other vehicle operators may not have your safety in mind when driving. They may drive recklessly and with negligence in a way that causes serious harm to you and your motorcycle. If that happens to you, then pick up the phone and call the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team at (410) 525-5337 for a free case evaluation.