Baltimore Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycles offer traveling convenience while simultaneously appealing to our sense of adventure. Riding a bike is fun, but we must recognize that the experience carries inherent risk. Therefore, if you are planning to become a motorcycle enthusiast yourself, it would not be a bad idea to learn about the contact details of a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer beforehand.
In this article, we will discuss motorcycle accidents in-depth and how a Baltimore personal injury lawyer can help victims navigate their messy aftermaths. We will also discuss a wide range of topics you should know if you intend to use your motorcycle more while traveling through Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and other parts of Maryland.
How Often Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
It is important for motorcycle riders to recognize the risks that are inherent to using their preferred mode of transportation. We can highlight the risks better by discussing some relevant statistics. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, a total of 1,343 motorcycle crashes occurred in the state back in 2021. Those are the most motorcycle accidents recorded since 2017 when they tallied a total of 1,451 crashes.
Riders should also note that motorcycle crashes are more common in certain parts of the state. Prince George’s County was the site of the most motorcycle accidents in 2021. A total of 202 accidents were in Prince George’s County that year. During that same year, 191 motorcycle accidents were in Baltimore County, and an additional 131 were in Baltimore City.
Digging deeper into Maryland’s crash statistics reveals that 78 people died following their involvement in motorcycle accidents in 2021. In total, 1,114 people also sustained injuries due to those unfortunate incidents. We must acknowledge the risk of injury and even death for motorcycle riders in Maryland. You can become a more responsible and safer rider by being mindful of the risks. Remember to call a Baltimore motorcycle attorney for assistance if a negligent motorist is responsible for your accident.
Steps to Take Following a Motorcycle Crash
Chaos tends to follow motorcycle accidents. However, amidst all that chaos, you could make mistakes that ultimately cost you fair compensation. Avoid making those mistakes by following the steps detailed here.
Check Yourself for Injuries: Injuries are common in motorcycle crashes. Immediately following the collision, you should examine yourself for any injuries. Do the same for your passenger if you have one.
Call 911: Place an immediate call to 911 after your accident. Tell them to send an ambulance to the scene so anyone injured can receive emergency treatment. Even if no one was hurt, you should still call 911 and ask for police assistance.
Gather Information from the Other Party Involved: If you can walk comfortably after the accident, approach the other party involved and ask for their information. You will specifically need their name, address, contact details, and insurance information.
Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident: Assuming you can move without pain, this is a good time to collect some evidence. Take pictures and record videos of the accident site to preserve it. During this time, you should also talk to any witnesses at the scene. Ask them for their statements and note their contact details as well.
Speak to the Police Officers Once the police officers arrive, you can speak to them to share your version of the events. You can also request their assistance if the other driver did not provide their information. Do not forget to ask for the names and contact details of the responding police officers so you and your motorcycle lawyer can speak to them later.
Consult with a Doctor The adrenaline pumping through your veins may prevent you from feeling the pain caused by your injuries. But eventually, the adrenaline will wear off, and you will need to manage your injuries somehow. Go to the doctor right after your accident so they can thoroughly examine you. Then, if you have any additional injuries, the doctor will detect them.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Baltimore: You will require the services of a motorcycle crash lawyer as you sort through the aftermath of your accident. Remember to hire a Baltimore personal injury lawyer if you do not have one already.
Notify Your Insurer About the Accident: Lastly, you need to tell your insurer about what happened. At this point, only share the details given by the other driver. Do not comment on anything else until you have spoken with your motorcycle crash attorney.
Maryland and Motorcycle Laws
Laws are set in place to always keep Maryland motorists safe. If you do not abide by those laws, you could be on weak legal footing if an accident occurs. Furthermore, many of Maryland’s motorcycle laws keep riders safe, so following them is highly recommended. Let’s talk more about those laws in this section of the article.
Required Safety Gear for Motorcycle Riders
Compared to other states, Maryland is stricter regarding requiring safety gear for motorcycle enthusiasts. All motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet. Your chosen helmet must also comply with the Department of Transportation standards. So quickly check if a motorcycle helmet is compliant by seeing if it has a DOT sticker.
Aside from the rules regarding helmets, Maryland also requires motorcycle riders to use eye protection. The eye protection could come in the form of a face shield, some goggles, or a windscreen. Per Zero Deaths Maryland, the eye protection riders use must also be impact-resistant if they wish to comply with existing safety standards.
Guidelines for Accommodating Passengers
The state of Maryland does allow motorcycle riders to bring passengers along. However, the riders must ensure that their motorcycle has the proper equipment to accommodate passengers. Certain features must be present on motorcycles before they can be deemed safe for more than one rider. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, features that must be on the motorcycle include a fastened seat, foot pegs or floorboards, as well as straps or grab bars that the passenger can hold on to while riding. Do not accommodate a passenger unless those features are available to them.
Motorcycle Lane Laws
Next, we need to talk about laws regarding motorcycle lanes. Once you occupy a lane on the road, you are entitled to that lane as a motorcycle rider. Only one more motorcycle rider is allowed to join you in that lane. If the driver of a car or truck rides alongside you, they are violating Maryland law.
Maryland motorcycle riders also cannot engage in lane splitting. The police can cite motorcycle enthusiasts who ride on the lines separating the lanes of the road for their irresponsible driving.
Contributory negligence is a term you often hear if you intend to pursue a motorcycle accident claim. For those unaware, the contributory negligence rule dictates how compensation is doled out in Maryland personal injury cases. According to this rule, a plaintiff will be deemed ineligible to receive compensation if they are even one% responsible for the accident.
You can expect the defense to use that rule to their advantage. Partner with a Baltimore motorcycle accident attorney to stop them from successfully using that tactic.
I Recently Received Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash. What Can I Expect in Terms of Compensation for My Claim?
Hiring a legal expert puts you in a prime position to recoup compensation for your injuries. So, what can you expect in terms of compensation? The severity of your injuries will heavily impact the compensation you may receive.
If you suffered a relatively minor injury, such as a sprained ankle or shoulder, you might receive around $15,000 to $20,000 in compensation. The payout for a whiplash injury that did not cause long-term damage will likely be around $6,000. Plaintiffs who suffer more serious injuries that carry long-term consequences typically receive more money. For instance, the doctor who examined you may diagnose you with a brain injury. Since brain injuries often require long-term treatment, payouts to plaintiffs who sustained them average close to $180,000.
The compensation you receive in your personal injury case should also account for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a term often used to reference the mental distress that a victim experiences following an accident. The court may order the defendant to pay more to compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced.
Do not forget that compensation packages for personal injury cases may also include payments for damaged property and lost wages. Also, the amount of compensation you receive may change based on whether you are settling or taking the matter to court.
Is Maryland an At-Fault State for Motorcycle Accident and Injury Claims?
Sorting out a motorcycle accident almost always means dealing with insurers. Whether you deal with only one insurer or multiple companies depends on whether you live in an at-fault or a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, you file a claim with your own insurer to receive funds for your medical expenses. So it is that, or you pay your medical bills with your own money.
At-fault states handle that matter differently. When an accident occurs in an at-fault state, the insurer of the party who caused the accident will be obligated to cover all medical expenses. The party responsible may also have to use their own money to pay for the plaintiff’s medical expenses if their policy is lacking.
Maryland is an at-fault state, so you should seek financial compensation from the party who caused the accident. Even though Maryland is an at-fault state, you should still report the accident to your insurer regardless of your innocence. Reporting is necessary because it creates a record with your insurer and shows that you took the matter seriously right from the start. That will come in handy when the time comes for you to file your claim.
Motorcycling in Baltimore
Baltimore is an interesting place when it comes to transportation options. It is fascinating in that regard because it is a place you can explore in various ways. Cycling is a great way to explore Baltimore; many great routes are throughout the county. Walking around Baltimore can also be plenty of fun, especially during the spring months. The gorgeous weather and the beautiful sights around Baltimore County make an afternoon stroll a pleasant experience.
But what is the experience like for motorcycle riders? Riding a motorcycle through Baltimore can be an enjoyable experience but can also be affected by numerous obstacles. Often, the obstacles that will prevent you from enjoying your ride around Baltimore are the damaged roads.
The potholes and unpaved roads throughout Baltimore can make the experience of riding a motorcycle quite harsh on your body. If you do not want to deal with those issues, you should stick to certain riding routes. Many motorcycle riders in Baltimore love the route from Falls Road to the Pretty Boy Reservoir. It should come as no surprise that it is a favorite for motorcycle enthusiasts in the area since it is one of the more scenic routes in all of Baltimore County. The route is also not that long, so it should be manageable even for new riders.
Motorcycle Crash Law Firm
Here at Leppler Injury Law, we aim to accommodate all motorcycle accident victims who need legal assistance. So, feel free to approach us for help no matter what type of motorcycle you used prior to the accident. We handle motorcycle accident cases involving:
- Antique Motorcycles
- Dirt Bikes
- Enduro Motorcycles
- Motocross Bikes
- Sport bikes
- Supermoto Bikes
- Trail Bikes
Count on John Leppler to fight for your rights in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. He will land you the compensation you rightfully deserve. Reach out to us today so John can start working on your case. Some of the locations in and around Baltimore County our motorcycle law firm serves include Baltimore, Towson, Lutherville-Timonium, Owings Mills, Cockeysville, and more.