Tragically, while most motorcyclists are conscious road users, the same cannot be said about other Maryland motorists – perhaps because, unlike motorcycles, vehicles have some safety features that protect drivers from the risk of serious injury.
Suppose you have been in a motorcycle crash in Takoma Park or anywhere else in Maryland. In that case, you need a committed, qualified, and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer from Pinder Plotkin Legal Team to fight for your deserved compensation.
We have a proven record of success in recovering compensation for bikers injured in accidents caused by another person’s negligent actions. Our Takoma Park personal injury attorneys are prepared to put their knowledge and experience to pursue financial recovery on your behalf.
Please contact Pinder Plotkin Legal Team today at (410) 525-5337 to schedule a free consultation and understand your legal options and how we can help you maximize your settlement.
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How Can a Takoma Park Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
The at-fault driver or their insurer may try to get you to agree to a quick cash settlement when you get injured in a motorcycle crash. Having a Takoma Park motorcycle accident attorney from Pinder Plotkin can improve your chances of recovering total damages. You also get the benefit of being represented by a professional. A Takoma Park motorcycle accident lawyer can also:
- Investigate your accident thoroughly and uncover the evidence needed to determine fault and liability.
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurers on your behalf, refuse any exploitative settlement offers that are not reasonable or fair.
- Represent you in court. Retaining a Takoma Park motorcycle accident attorney means that you have a professional who can advocate and guide you through the complex claims process and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
Finally, having a Pinder Plotkin Takoma Park motorcycle accident lawyer in your corner means you can rest and recuperate while we fight on your behalf.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents kill or injure hundreds of Maryland residents every year. These motorcycle collisions are usually caused by one of the following factors:
When drivers get distracted, they fail to notice other motorists’ movements, particularly motorcyclists in their vicinity, resulting in a collision.
Failure to yield or pay attention to motorcycles
Since motorcycles are smaller than vehicles, drivers need to be keen to avoid colliding with motorcyclists.
Drunk driving or drugged driving
Intoxicated drivers have poor judgment, which may cause them to collide with bikers.
Faulty mirrors, brakes, or defective lighting
Components like a broken brake light can get motorcyclists into an accident.
Unexpected pedestrians in the road may cause bikers to crash as they try to avoid hitting them.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Maryland
In the past five years, the Department of Transportation in Maryland has recorded on average 1,654 motorcycle crashes yearly. On average, these accidents caused 69 deaths and 1,382 injuries each year.
What Are The Motorcycle Specific Laws in Maryland?
Maryland law sets a number of rules for motorcyclists:
Qualifying as a Motorcycle Operator in Maryland
To qualify as a motorcycle operator in Maryland, you must:
- Satisfy Maryland’s minimum age requirement
- Get a Maryland motorcycle license, a learner’s permit
- Have your motorcycle registered with the state of Maryland
- Get insurance coverage that satisfies Maryland’s state requirements
Maryland’s minimum age requirement for operating a motorcycle is 15 years and nine months old.
Getting A Motorcycle License/Endorsement In Maryland
The Department of Transportation in Maryland requires riders who want to apply for a Class M license to have already met the requirements for obtaining a regular driver’s license.
Motorcycle Education & Training In Maryland
Motorcyclists are required to complete a motorcycle safety course. If you are below 18 years in Maryland, you must complete a motorcycle safety course to get a Class M license.
Maryland Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Motorcyclists in Maryland have the same registration, licensing, and insurance requirements as drivers.
Maryland Helmet & Equipment Laws
Section 21-1306(b) of the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code requires motorcyclists to:
- Operate motorcycles while wearing a helmet that has passed the approval of the Motor Vehicle Administration and has a sticker from the Department of Transportation.
- Wear eye protection if the motorcycle is not equipped with a windscreen
Additional Required Motorcycle Equipment
Additionally, Maryland’s laws also require motorcycles to be equipped with:
- Two brakes
- At least one headlight
- A white light for illuminating the license plate
- A horn
- Two mirrors
- A red rear light
- A red brake light
- Two footrests for the operator
- Two footrests for a passenger
A motorcycle’s handlebars should be no more than 15 inches above the operator’s seat.
Operating A Motorcycle In Maryland
Section 21-1302 requires motorcyclists to:
- Operate a motorcycle that has a permanent seat attached to the motorcycle
- Ride a bike while straddling the seat and facing forward
- Only carry an extra person if the bike is equipped with a permanent rear seat.
- Avoid carrying any packages or passengers that might interfere with their ability to hold both handlebars.
Section 21-1303 states that all motorcycles are entitled to use an entire lane. Riders are prohibited from riding between rows of vehicles, riding between two traffic lanes, or overtaking vehicles in the same lane.
What Are The Most Common Injuries Seen In Motorcycle Accidents?
When motorcyclists crash, they usually sustain severe and potentially life-changing injuries since they don’t have crumple zones or airbags to protect them.
Some of the most common injuries that Takoma Park motorcycle accident victims sustain include:
This refers to the burns and skin abrasions caused when a rider’s skin comes into contact with the road when he or she gets knocked over. Road rash or road burns can range from minor scratches to severe lacerations that can lead to permanent scarring.
A motorcycle accident can break or cause fractures to bones in the feet, legs, shoulders, arms, and wrists.
Head and Brain Injuries
A motorcyclist may hit their head on the ground or other objects when they are thrown off or knocked over in a crash, causing traumatic brain injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact of a motorcycle accident may injure a motorcyclist’s spinal cord and could potentially leave him or her paralyzed.
How Is Fault Determined in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
In the U.S., the pure contributory negligence rule in personal injury claims only applies in four states; Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. The rest of the states are guided by the comparative negligence rule.
Unfortunately, since Maryland adheres to the contributory negligence rule instead of the more popular comparative negligence rule, your motorcycle accident claim is defeated if contributory negligence exists.
This means that if you were partly at fault for your accident, your claim against the motorist who was the primary cause of your crash is null and void. So, if, for example, you are 5% liable and the other party is 95% at fault, you will not be entitled to get any compensation from the other party as per Maryland’s contributory negligence rule.
Any negligence on your part in a Maryland motorcycle accident can prevent you from recovering compensation entirely unless you can prove otherwise.
Our Takoma Park motorcycle accident attorneys can help you establish fault in your motorbike crash with Maryland’s contributory negligence rule in mind.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Receive For My Motorcycle Accident?
You may be entitled to three types of compensation if you get injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses that can be computed from bills, receipts, or paystubs. They include:
- Medical expenses
- Future treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
Non-economic damages do not have a specific monetary value and seek to recover intangible losses for a motorcycle accident victim such as:
- Pain and suffering compensate an injured motorcycle crash victim for the emotional and mental anguish their injuries caused them.
- Loss of quality of life, which compensates an injured biker for the loss of quality of life they enjoyed before their motorbike accident.
- Loss of companionship, which compensates the family of the injured motorcyclist for the loss of the biker’s service and companionship to their family.
In rare cases, punitive damages are awarded against the at-fault party in cases where the at-fault individual’s conduct rises to a level of malice, gross misconduct, recklessness, and negligence.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Since insurers are out to make profits, they will do what they can to avoid paying out compensation, including denying or rejecting personal injury claims. Your motorcycle accident claim might have been denied because:
- They believe you were to blame for the accident.
- The driver’s policy did not insure him or her the accident situation.
- The policy was lapsed or canceled because you made untimely insurance payments.
- They don’t believe you sustained any injuries.
- They don’t think your injuries resulted from the motorbike crash.
Are There Time Limits To Filing A Claim In Maryland?
Yes. Motorcyclists who suffer an injury in a Maryland motorcycle accident are required to file a claim against the at-fault party within three years after the accident date. Failure to do so may result in the claimant losing his or her right to pursue compensation altogether.
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team can help you file your motorcycle crash lawsuit before Maryland’s statutory window closes.
Contact Us for a Free Case Review Today
Suffering motorcycle crash injuries can be stressful for the injured rider and his or her family. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin have successfully represented numerous bike accident victims in Takoma Park and throughout Maryland. We are compassionate, and we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us at [phone] to arrange a free, no-obligation case evaluation today.