Accidents that involve motorcycles result in catastrophic and sometimes tragic fatalities. If you or your loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, you could be in great physical pain for a long time, and it could mean spending time away from work. You’ll also probably need financial help to cater to the mounting medical bills, not to mention everyday expenses.
Obtaining the proper financial compensation for an accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person usually entails working with an experienced Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer. At Pinder Plotkin Law, we have helped many motorcycle accident victims pursue compensation for their damages. We know exactly what it takes to hold the responsible parties liable for their actions, and you can rely on us to guide you through the legal process.
We understand that your circumstances can be scary and quite unsettling. And with the accruing costs, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to pay for a personal injury lawyer in Maryland. This is why we provide all our clients with a free initial consultation. So, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Pursuing Motorcycle accident claims can be a lot more complex for the rider compared to car accidents. It’s unfortunate that some people still hold biases against motorcycle riders, negatively painting them as reckless rebels who take unnecessary risks on the road. Insurance companies and their attorneys often use these prejudices to try to shift the blame for the accident to the biker in order to minimize what they pay.
At Pinder Plotkin, we know most motorcyclists are always cautious and responsible on the road. It’s often other motorists who are careless around bikers. In fact, many motorcycle accidents occur because truck and car drivers fail to yield to motorcyclists or don’t respect their right of way. The liable party might try to evade liability for certain injuries in case the rider wasn’t wearing the right protective gear or a helmet, even if what the biker was wearing had nothing to do with the accident.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Maryland, are always ready to take on the work of pursuing the compensation you need and deserve on your behalf as you focus on making a full recovery.
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Unlike passenger vehicles that have a number of safety features installed by default, a motorcycle leaves the rider exposed almost completely. That’s why even minor accidents can result in serious injuries. However, many motorcycle accidents are both avoidable and preventable.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Dooring – When a person unexpectedly opens a car door and hits a motorcyclist
- Distracted driving such as texting while driving
- Failure to yield to or pay attention to motorcycles
- Lane changes and lane splitting
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Faulty mirrors, brakes, or lighting
- Unexpected pedestrians in the road
- Failure to maintain a vehicle for safety
Your attorney will review the circumstances surrounding your case and the injuries you sustained to establish who or what caused the accident. They will also examine the scene of the accident, vehicle damage, and any other available evidence, as these can be used to demonstrate in court how the accident occurred.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics for Maryland
The Maryland Department of Transportation released a report outlining accident data in the state from the year 2012 to 2016. On average, motorcycle accidents in the state averaged 1,153 injury crashes, 67 crashes with fatalities, and 361 crashes with just property damage between 2012 and 2016.
For Maryland, the crash data is as follows:
- There was an average of 212 motorcycle crashes in Baltimore from 2012 to 2016
- The city had an average of 7 fatal crashes
- The average injury crashes stood at 159
- Based on the data, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday saw more crashes compared to other days of the week
- Most motorcycle accidents happened during late spring, early fall, and in summer months
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Maryland involved distracted driving, aggressive driving, or inattentive driving. Many of these motorcycle crashes could have been avoided if the reckless driver behaved differently.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Maryland?
It’s important for every Maryland motorcyclist to be familiar with the law so that they’re well aware of whether they are at fault in case a crash occurs. One of the most important motorcycle-specific laws in Maryland is the helmet law.
- Motorcyclists in the state must wear a helmet while using Maryland’s roads, streets, interstates, and highways. Furthermore, this helmet must be certified by the Department of Transportation. Off-road dirt bikers aren’t required by law to wear helmets.
- All motorcyclists on the state roads are required to wear eye protection when riding their bikes. This is unless the motorcycle has a windscreen. Off-road bikers are exempt from this law.
- While Maryland motorcyclists aren’t required to turn on their headlights during the day, most traffic safety experts agree that it’s a good practice as it decreases your chances of getting into an accident from poor visibility.
- When carrying a passenger, a passenger footrest and passenger seat are both required.
- The law requires you to have a muffler.
- Helmets speakers are only legal for one ear only.
- In Maryland, motorcycle handlebars must not go beyond 15 inches about the rider’s seat.
- It’s illegal to drive on the line between two other occupied lanes in order to pass (lane splitting)
- Lane sharing is legal – motorcycles riding abreast in a single lane
How is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
Although many motorcycle accidents are as a result of one driver’s outright negligence or error, some accidents can be proven to have been caused by both the plaintiff and the defendant. Keep in mind that Maryland is a pure contributory negligence state, meaning that victims whose negligence contributed to the crash are barred from suing for their damages.
Any negligence on the part of the plaintiff can completely prevent them from recovering any damages. This law has often shaken many victims, who ended up in the hospital because of accidents they know weren’t their fault. Unfortunately, unless the plaintiff is able to demonstrate to the court that there wasn’t any contributory negligence on their part, the case can be lost entirely.
Pinder Plotkin motorcycle accident lawyers have years of experience preparing personal injury cases with Maryland’s contributory negligence law in mind. Our staff will research the accident and available evidence in detail, using witness accounts, police reports, expert witnesses, and any other important evidence to pursue a favorable settlement, no matter who was at fault.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
The damages you incurred in your motorcycle accident can be broadly categorized into three major categories, as outlined below.
These damages can be calculated accurately right from your records. They include medical expenses, lost income from time spent away from work, and the cost of repairing or replacing personal property destroyed in the crash.
These are the sort of damages that cannot be quantified into a specific value. They include physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
These are damages meant to punish the defendant further for intentional or extremely negligent acts that cause serious injury or harm. Punitive damages also serve as a deterrent to the defendant and the general public from engaging in such similar acts in the future.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Maryland?
If you want to file a claim for the damages you incurred in a motorcycle accident, Maryland law allows you limited time to file a lawsuit. This time window is referred to as the statute of limitations. Motorcycle accident cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years, which is measured from the date of the accident.
Failure to file your claim before this statute expires means that you waive your right to file the claim forever. To learn more about the statute of limitations and how it affects your case, get in touch with the Maryland car accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin today.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident on the roads of Maryland you probably already know how financial hardships can easily crop up. A minor motorcycle wreck has the potential of turning your life upside down. However, with a knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled motorcycle lawyer by your side, you can get your life back on track.
Our Maryland personal injury firm has decades of experience helping victims injured in motorcycle crashes pursue compensation for their damages successfully. We know how to leverage the available evidence to build a strong case and prove the fault of the other driver.
As such, if you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash, contact us today and schedule your free consultation. We will assign you to one of our skilled, compassionate, and reputable personal injury attorneys, who will provide you with the guidance and advice you need to decide the best course of action for your case.