Accidents involving motorcycles tend to be catastrophic and, in some cases, can lead to tragic fatalities. As a motorcycle accident victim, chances are you are suffering severe and painful injuries with long-lasting implications. Such damages could mean staying out of work recuperating for an unprecedented period. Apart from physical challenges, there is still the issue of financing treatment and daily expenses, which might prove difficult in your current state. As a victim, you might need to consider finding ways to get the financial assistance you need to stay out of debt.
For a better shot at getting compensated for a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence or carelessness of another road user in Maryland, consider hiring the services of an experienced Ellicott City motorcycle accident lawyer for professional legal representation.
Pinder Plotkin Law has helped many motorbike accident victims pursue and acquire compensation for damages and injuries suffered. As a professional law firm, we know what it takes to ensure the responsible parties are held liable for their actions and are here to guide you through the various, sometimes complicated, legal processes of filing a claim.
We understand how your current predicament can be unsettling and scary – after all, it is not something that you had planned for! And with costs accruing, the last thing to be worrying about is how you are going to pay for legal services. At Pinder Plotkin, we want our clients to be as stress-free as possible, which is why we provide a free initial consultation to anyone seeking legal help. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, give our personal injury attorneys a call today and schedule a no-obligation, free-of-charge consultation.
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How Do Motorbike Accident Attorneys Help When It Comes to Compensation Claims?
Pursuing a motorbike accident claim can be quite complicated for riders compared to drivers. Sadly, some people still hold biases against motorcyclists and negatively paint them as reckless/irresponsible rebels who take uncalled for risks on the road. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their legal teams often use these biased notions to their advantage to try and shift the blame to the biker to minimize the amount they payout.
At Pinder Plotkin Law, we understand that a majority of bikers are responsible and cautious road users. In most cases, it is other road users, especially motorists, that are careless around motorcyclists. A majority of motorbike accidents happen because car and truck drivers refuse to yield to bikers or do not respect their right of way. However, the party responsible for the accident might evade liability for some injuries, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet or the appropriate protective gear, even if what the rider was wearing at the time of the accident has nothing to do with the incident.
The experienced and professional motorbike accident attorneys at Pinder Plotkin are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve. As people who’ve worked with accident victims before, we do hope that you leave the task of handling legal matters to us and focus on fully recovering from your injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Ellicott City?
Motorcycles are unlike cars that have tons of safety features installed in them by default. When riding a bike, you, the rider, are almost entirely exposed – and that is why even minor crashes often result in severe injuries. However, it is worth noting that a majority of motorbike accidents are preventable and avoidable.
Here is a look at some of the reasons why motorbike accidents occur:
- Distracted driving such as texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Dooring – When someone unexpectedly opens a car door and hits a biker
- Lane splitting and lane changes
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Faulty lighting, mirrors, or brakes
- Failure to maintain a vehicle
- Aggressive driving
- Unexpected pedestrians in the road
- Failure to pay attention to or yield to motorcycles
Once you choose to have a motorcycle accident attorney handle your case, they will take time to review your claim, and injuries suffered to establish what, why, and who caused the accident. They’ll also examine vehicle damage, the scene of the accident, and any other evidence they can find to build a case that explains what happened.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Maryland’s Department of Transportation released an accident data report from 2012 – 2016. On average, accidents involving motorcycles around the state averaged 67 crashes with fatalities, 1,153 injury crashes, and over 300 crashes with property damage within that period.
Crash data for Ellicott City is as follows:
- Between 2012 and 2016, there were about 212 motorcycle crashes in the city.
- The average number of fatal crashes stood at 7
- The average number of crashes that resulted in injuries stood at 159
- Based on this data, most crashes happened on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
- Most bike accidents occurred around early fall, late spring and during summer
A majority of motorcycle crashes in Ellicott City were as a result of inattentive driving, distracted driving, or aggressive driving. It is worth noting that most accidents could have been avoided were it not for reckless driving.
Maryland Motorcycle Laws
As a biker in Maryland, you need to know what the law dictates concerning the operation of motorcycles, so you know whether you are at fault or not in the event a crash occurs. One of critical motorbike-specific law in the state is the helmet law.
- The State of Maryland requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet when using the state’s highways, interstates, streets, and roads. Furthermore, the helmet must be one that’s been certified by the state’s Department of Transportation. Off-road dirt bikers are not required to wear a helmet.
- Any motorcyclist using state roads is required to have eye protection when riding their bike. The only time they can ride without protection is if the bike has a windscreen. This law does not apply to off-road bikers.
- While motorbike users are not required to ride with their headlights on during the day, most road safety experts recommend it as it helps lower a biker’s chance of getting into a wreck due to poor visibility.
- The law also requires that motorbikes have a muffler installed.
- When carrying passengers, a passenger seat and footrest are required.
- Helmets that have speakers should have one speaker for one ear only.
- In the state, motorbike handlebars mustn’t go beyond 15” above the rider’s seat.
- Lane sharing – motorbikes riding abreast on a single lane – is legal.
- Lane splitting – riding on the line between two occupied lanes when passing – is considered illegal.
How is Fault Determined in Maryland Motorcycle Accidents?
While most motorbike crashes are a result of one road user’s error or outright negligence, some wrecks can be proven to have been as a result of both the defendant and plaintiff making mistakes. Maryland is considered a pure, contributory negligence state, which means that a victim who contributed to the accident by being negligent is barred from taking legal action for damages and injuries suffered.
Any form of negligence on the plaintiff’s part can completely bar them from seeking and recovering damages. A lot of motorbike victims have ended up losing out due to this law even though they are sure they are not at fault. Sadly, unless the victim is able to prove that they did not contribute to the accident, they could lose their case.
The motorbike accident attorneys at Pinder Plotkin Law have years of experience handling and representing personal injury cases in Maryland Courts with the state’s contributory negligence laws in mind. Our lawyers take the time to research each accident and all of the available evidence using expert witnesses, police reports, witness accounts, and other vital pieces of evidence to pursue settlements that favor our clients, irrespective of who’s at fault.
What Type of Compensation Do Motorcycle Accident Victims Receive?
The damages and injuries you incur during the accident can be categorized (broadly) into three major categories. These are:
These are generally calculated using your records and include the cost of replacing or repairing personal property destroyed during the crash, lost wages due to time spent away from work, and medical expenses.
Involves damages that can’t be quantified into specific values and include loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
These are meant to punish defendants even further for extremely negligent or intentional acts that lead to severe harm or injury. They also are used to deter the general public and the defendant from engaging in similar actions in the future.
Does the State of Maryland Have Time Limits to When One Can File a Claim?
If you are thinking of filing a claim for damages incurred during a motorbike crash, then please note that Maryland allows a limited time for victims to file a suit. This period is what’s known as the statute of limitations. Cases involving motorbike crashes have a 3-year statute of limitations period, which starts counting from the day the accident happened.
If you fail to file your claim before the period ends, you waive all of your rights to seek compensation. Want to know more about Maryland’s statutes of limitation and how they can affect your claim? Call Pinder Plotkin today and speak to some of the best motorbike crash attorneys in Ellicott City.
Get A Free Case Review With Our Ellicott City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been involved in a bike crash on Maryland roads, chances are you already understand how tough things can get, especially financially. A minor crash can turn your life upside down without warning. However, with an experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable motorbike attorney by your side, it shouldn’t be that hard to get things right back on track.
Our team of professional and skilled attorneys has decades of combined experience helping accident victims successfully pursue compensation for damages and injuries suffered. We have the skills and knowledge needed to leverage the evidence available to build strong cases and prove the other party’s fault.
If you, or someone you know, have been involved in a motorbike accident give us a call today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll assign your case to one of our reputable, skilled, and compassionate personal injury lawyers who’ll provide you with the advice and guidance you need when choosing the way forward.