Many individuals enjoy the freedom that comes with operating a motorbike on the busy streets of Prince George’s County. However, each Lanham motorcycle accident lawyer on our team can attest that riding a motorcycle isn’t always as problem-free as depicted by some.
Each year, our county sees, on average, 199 motorcycle-involved crashes per the latest Maryland Department of Transportation statistics.
Our Lanham motorcycle accident lawyers are advocates for the injured. Our attorneys represent individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries or lose their lives in senseless crashes through no fault of their own. We are primed and ready to help seek justice for the harm a negligent motorist or another liable party caused you. Your initial consultation to discuss your potential personal injury case with a GDH Law attorney is completely free.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents Our Attorneys Handle
The lawyers at GDH Law have experience representing clients who they themselves or their loved ones suffered harm while operating their motorbikes where the following attributable factors played a role:
- Driver inexperience: Many teens rush to get their Maryland driver’s licenses soon after they become of age to do so, whereas others, intimidated by nearby, heavily congested roadways like I-495 (also known as the Capital Beltway) wait until operating a vehicle becomes a necessity when they’re older to get behind the wheel. Whatever the circumstances under which a car driver ventures onto the roadway, a lack of experience in making sound judgments, such as determining when they have ample time to make a turn ahead of a fast-approaching motorbike, can pose a danger to other motorists, like motorcyclists.
- Reckless driving: This is a catchall category into which various actions such as distracted or drowsy driving, speeding, road rage, drag racing, not checking one’s blind spot before changing lanes or turning, cutting in too close in front of others, failing to yield to another’s right of way, and other similar dangerous driving behaviors fall. Each of them puts motorbike riders at risk of getting hurt or killed in scenarios like ejections, dooring incidents, and more.
- Drunk driving: A significant percentage is attributable to alcohol intoxication, whether on behalf of a driver, pedestrian, or motorcyclist. As most of us are likely aware, alcohol impairment affects a person’s ability to make sound judgments, which may lead to them doing things like speeding up or slowing their vehicle, stopping sporadically, or running lights or stop signs, all of which put lives on the line.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries Our Lanham Motorbike Attorneys Help With
As you may realize, if you were hurt in a crash, there’s no one type of injury that motorcyclists may suffer. Each Lanham motorcycle accident lawyer on our team has experience representing clients filing insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits who have the following:
- Road rash
- Crush injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Blunt force trauma or internal organ injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
In addition to filing an insurance claim or lawsuit on behalf of injury victims, our attorneys have also represented the best interests of surviving family members by filing wrongful death lawsuits.
Maryland Motorcycle Laws That Can Affect Liability Determinations
The use of helmets is mandatory per Maryland Statutes §21-1306. That same section of the code additionally outlines how state law also requires that motorcyclists wear eye protection unless their bike comes equipped with a windscreen.
Another state law to be aware of is the lane-splitting one. This practice, which involves motorcyclists driving down the center of two lanes in an attempt to break free from slowing or stopped traffic, is illegal in Maryland.
The examples above are only two of many laws that motorcyclists must abide by when operating their motorbikes on Maryland roadways. If they don’t, then even if another motorist also violates the law, causing them to suffer injuries, an injured motorcyclist or their surviving loved ones may not have any legal standing to pursue a claim for damages they suffered. Why is that the case? It comes down to Maryland being a pure contributory negligence state.
How Pure Contributory Negligence Affects Lanham Motorcycle Accident Claim Outcomes
Anytime you file an insurance claim or motorcycle accident lawsuit, the responsibility to prove liability belongs to the claimant or plaintiff. You and your attorney must show that had it not been for the actions of the person who caused the accident, your injuries or family member’s death would not have resulted.
There’s an added layer of complication to proving liability in Maryland, which is the pure contributory negligence doctrine. It makes it impossible for you to recover compensation if your negligence, as the victim, caused your injuries in any way.
So, let’s circle back to the examples of illegal activities, such as not wearing a helmet, using eye protection, or lane-splitting above. If the defendant can counter your assertions of liability with proof that you engaged in one of the illicit activities above, it can absolve them of any liability for your fate. This could happen in other cases where there isn’t necessarily a violation of the law; however, the defendant is capable of showing you did something negligent that ultimately caused the accident.
In any of the situations above, this could mean that the defendant might not have to pay one cent toward medical bills, funeral costs, or other damages a motorcycle accident victim sustains.
Why Having a Lanham Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on Your Side Matters in Your Case
As you likely understand in reading the description of how liability works above, it’s really easy to incur extensive accident-related bills or lost wages and to have no way to repay them because liability determinations went sideways.
One of the benefits of working with GDH Law is that we can review the police report in your case and other documentation necessary to assess for liability as soon as during your initial consultation. A Lanham motorcycle accident lawyer can then advise you accordingly as to your rights in your case, including any options for making a financial recovery.
So, if you have mounting medical bills, lost wages, or lost a loved one in a motorcycle collision, be careful who you speak with. If you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, it could affect the outcome of your claim. Contact our Prince George’s County law office for a free case review to learn what your rights are and to preserve the ones you have.