Motorcyclists have the right to use Maryland’s roads just like other road users. They can also reasonably expect that other motorists will operate their vehicles in a safe manner. When other road users are negligent and they cause an accident, the motorcyclist may have the right to compensation. However, you may not know how to build a case or determine whether you have a valid claim.
Since you probably don’t want to leave money on the table, you should contact a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer if:
- You suffered injuries beyond just a few cuts and bruises
- You have to take time off work because of your injuries
- You’ll need ongoing care or follow-up treatment
- You can’t return to work because the accident left you disabled
- Your injuries have affected your quality of life
When you consult with a lawyer, they will listen to your account of what happened, review the evidence, and give you a professional opinion. If it clear that you had a role to play in the accident, you may not be able to get compensation. Given Maryland’s contributory negligence laws, you can only recover damages if the other party was completely at fault.
What You’ll Need to Prove to Recover Damages
The other driver’s insurance company won’t just hand over a check if you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident. You’ll have to build a strong case in which you prove that the driver caused the crash and the crash caused your injuries. Your attorney will help you with this, but you may find it helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the terms you will hear. These include:
- Damages: The financial cost of the accident. Damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Direct and proximate cause: The action that led to damages that wouldn’t have arisen otherwise.
- Duty of care: The legal obligation to be careful and avoid harming others.
- Negligence: When a road user violates their duty of care by doing something that no reasonable driver would do or failing to act in a responsible manner.
- Liability: Responsibility for any damages caused by the crash.
Your claim will hinge on your ability to establish that the other party was negligent in some way and that they should be held liable for your damages. Your Maryland car accident attorney will have to prove the four elements of negligence.
1. The driver had a duty of care towards you. Proving this is easy since all drivers have a duty of care towards other road users.
2. The driver acted negligently and therefore, breached their duty of care. Driving negligently can include breaking traffic laws and failing to look out for smaller vehicles.
3. You were injured specifically because of the other driver’s actions. Your injuries and property damage must be directly caused by the accident. To help prove this element, you must go to the doctor immediately after the accident.
4. The other driver’s negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries and losses. The driver of the vehicle that struck you isn’t always legally responsible even if they were acting negligently. For example, a driver may run a stop sign but only because their brakes failed. In such a case, the manufacturer of the brakes or a repair shop may be held responsible.
Your attorney will make sure you pursue the right party for damages. They will gather evidence to support your claim that the other driver was at fault. Common types of evidence include:
- The police report
- Accident scene photos
- Eyewitness accounts
- Traffic citations or arrest records
- Testimony from accident reconstruction professionals
Compensation You Can Recover After a Maryland Car Accident
There are two types of damages you may be able to claim after a crash: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial expenses and losses like medical costs and property repair or replacement costs. Non-economic damages compensate victims for intangible losses like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC Today!
Don’t delay in contacting a car accident lawyer in Maryland. In most cases, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t act in time, the court is unlikely to hear the matter except in specific circumstances. In any case, the sooner you contact an attorney, the more likely it is that your claim will be successful. You want to give your lawyer as much time as possible to gather evidence and build a case. if you want to get the compensation you deserve, reach out to the team at Pinder Plotkin LLC today.