Motorcycle accidents frequently involve aggressive driving on the part of the motorcycle driver. This includes speeding, abrupt accelerating and de-accelerating, abrupt lane changes and driving between lanes. Anyone who has driven on Route 695 during the spring or summer has observed this behavior plenty of times.
On the other hand, motorcycle accidents are also caused by other drivers. Typically, a driver in a car or SUV will fail to use caution before making lane changes. Because motorcycles are relatively small size, they are easier to escape into the blind spot of the other driver -particularly if someone is driving a large SUV type of vehicle. Unfortunately, these days it has become less of a practice for drivers to look over their shoulder before making a lane change. When drivers fail to do this, they are more likely to strike a motorcycle driver they failed to see.
Another less common, but not infrequent cause of motorcycle accidents, is a defect to the motorcycle itself. Every once in a while, motorcycles have recalls due to the discovery of defects some of which are related to their operation. Recently I had a client who was seriously injured while riding a motorcycle when his clutch failed to disengage. My client struck the car in front of him when it had stopped abruptly because my client was unable to downshift and slow down in order to avoid the collision. Because re-calls are fairly frequent, bike owners need to be on the lookout for notices to correct manufacturing defects that are discovered.
What Types Of Injuries Do Motorcycle Riders Generally Sustain From Accidents?
As you might expect, motorcycle injures tend to be far more serious due to the high rate of speed involved and the exposure of the driver. It’s also a fact that motorcycle accidents more often end in death. Two types of injuries common to motorcycle accidents are burns and head injuries. Burns refer to the skin abrasions that develop from skin is scraped away from the asphalt of the road. The worst of these cases require skin grafts.
Head injuries can range from facial lacerations, skull fractures, concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Of these conditions traumatic injury has the potential to cause the most disrupting effects. Temporary symptoms of traumatic brain injury include headaches, blurry vision, confusion, memory loss and depression. The more severe cases of cognitive dysfunction require long-term rehabilitation and a life-care plan.
What Do You Look For In A Viable Motorcycle Accident Case?
The basic considerations for a motorcycle accident case are the same for any other accident case, that is, who caused the accident and what are the extent of the injuries.
As A Driver And Passenger, Am I Required To Wear A Helmet And/ Or Safety Gear In Maryland? Will This Hurt My Case If Either Of Us Was Not Wearing The Gear If It Is Required?
Maryland motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet that has been certified to meet the standards established by the Department of Transportation. In addition, riders must also wear an eye-protective device that is in compliance with the Federal Food and Drug Administration regulations on impact resistance, 21 CFR Section 801.410(d)(2). Helmet face shields qualify as eye-protective devices.
The Maryland Court of Appeals case of Rogers v. Frush, 257 Md. 233 (Md. 1970) determined that failure to wear a helmet cannot be used to bar a claim by arguing that a rider was contributorily negligent. Likewise, the failure to wear a helmet cannot be used by the defense to diminish a recovery for damages.
What Is The Value In Hiring An Attorney Who Has Specific Experience In Handling Motorcycle Accident Cases vs Just General Auto Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents often involve more serious injuries and specialized longer-term medical treatment. It’s in your best interest to find an attorney that has experience and comfort in dealing with medical experts who may be required to testify at trial. Your attorney should also be prepared to deal with the anti-biker bias that exists in the minds of some insurance company adjusters. They should also have the ability to take a case to trial if negotiations don’t result in a fair settlement.
For more information on Bicycle Accident Injury Claims In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (443) 499-2919 today.
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