Motorcycle Accidents in Frederick, Maryland
Across the nation, motorcycle crashes have dropped in recent years, but these wrecks still kill thousands of people annually. In Maryland, the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes has remained fairly constant, even while such deaths are dropping nationally.
The danger of dying while riding a motorcycle is far greater than the threat to people in cars, and motorcyclists account for a disproportionately high number of crash victims overall. Some of the reasons for this are obvious. After all, motorcyclists are far more exposed than are people in passenger vehicles.
While there might be fewer safety features available to motorcyclists, the vast majority of crashes are still the result of driver errors. Sadly, many motorcyclists are killed or injured because drivers simply are not looking out for them. It is the obligation of drivers to share the road. Failing to do so can lead to tragic results.
If you were hurt in a Frederick, Maryland motorcycle accident, contact Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP today at 301-668-2100 to discuss your claim. Our dedicated motorcycle crash attorneys are ready to advocate on your behalf.
Negligence Claims in Frederick, Maryland Motorcycle Accidents
When a person is injured in a crash caused by another person, the victim can file a claim against the liable driver. That claim will be based on negligence, which essentially means that when the other driver caused that crash, he or she was not behaving as a reasonably prudent person, and therefore breached a duty to others on the road.
Car crashes can be a messy business. Most states recognize that a person may share some small level of culpability, even in accidents that are mostly another driver’s fault. Maryland is not one of those states. In Maryland, a motorcyclist who is “contributorily negligent” will not be able to collect compensation from another driver who was more at fault.
Many people see this as an unfair policy. To put it in perspective, imagine a motorcyclist who was injured in a crash. The fault for the collision is 80 percent that of another driver. The motorcyclist was 20 percent at fault. The motorcyclist is claiming $100,000 in damages. In most states, the court would look at the shares of liability and then award the motorcyclist damages discounted to reflect his or her share of the liability. That motorcyclist would therefore recover $80,000. If that crash happened in Maryland, the motorcyclist would not recover a dime.
While this might seem harsh, it is important to note that many injured motorcyclists in Frederick, Maryland, still have valid and successful claims. Many drivers are entirely at fault in accidents with motorcycles. A skilled injury attorney won’t let the negligent driver’s insurance company get away with groundless accusations of contributory negligence.
Will Contributory Negligence Bar My Claim if I Did Not Use a Helmet?
No, your claim will not be barred for a failure to use a helmet. The fact that a motorcyclist did not use a helmet cannot be used as a way to prove that the person was contributorily negligent. This remains the case even though failing to use a helmet is technically against the law in the state, at least for the moment. Courts make this exception, and no evidence regarding the lack of a helmet should ever make its way into your case.
Why Do Cars Cause Motorcycle Crashes in Frederick, Maryland?
Motorcycles are less noticeable to other vehicles on the road. The size of motorcycles is part of the reason, but there is more at play as well. Drivers, it seems, are often just not thinking about motorcycles. For this reason, a motorist may look and then enter the path of an oncoming motorcycle anyway.
Cars making left turns have a reputation of being a major danger to motorcyclists. Drivers looking to turn left may notice other vehicles and trucks and then pull out in front of an oncoming motorcycle, leaving the biker with no time to slow down and avoid impact. These scenarios are one of the leading causes, if not the leading cause, of motorcycle versus car collisions. In nearly every left-turning driver versus motorcycle case, the driver is at fault. Of course, that is a small win compared to the horrific damage such crashes can cause to a motorcyclist.
Motorcycles are also often caught in the blind spot of larger vehicles, leading to accidents. There is little a motorcyclist can do to stay safe when other drivers behave carelessly in their presence. One thing often recommended is that motorcyclists wear bright colors to make themselves more obvious.
Call Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP Today to Discuss Your Frederick, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Claim
At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, our team of dedicated Frederick, Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to take on your case. Call us today at 301-668-2100 to learn how we can help you. Let us fight for you so that you can focus on healing and recovering from your injuries.