Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Collision Cases in Bowie, Frederick, Lexington Park, Prince Frederick, Rockville & Waldorf
Motorcyclists are almost 26 times more likely to die in a crash than a car driver. They are also five times more likely to be injured. Negligent vehicle drivers, poor road conditions and even defective auto parts can lead to serious injuries. It is important to know your legal rights and to have a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer with you.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, please call the experienced lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC for a free case evaluation. Call us at (301) 812-4777 to find out if you can seek compensation for your motorcycle repair, medical bills, any rehabilitation you may require, and even any loss of wages you may have sustained.
Dangers of Motorcycle Accidents
When a 4,000-pound vehicle hits an exposed motorcyclist, it’s not surprising that the motorcyclist can suffer numerous traumatic injuries to various parts of their bodies. The injuries can only multiply and get worse if the crash throws the motorcyclist from their bike. Then, they experience the impact of the vehicle as well as the impact with the ground. Sometimes, a motorcycle will hit a fixed object, such as a light post, and the motorcyclist can collide directly with that object.
Overall, motorcyclists can suffer catastrophic injuries in accidents. Some injuries that can often be fatal include:
If you or a loved one suffered life-altering injuries in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to have your medical bills and other expenses compensated. Contact Alpert Schreyer Poe today to get started on your case with a free consultation.
Determining Who is Responsible for Your Injuries
The first step to pursuing the financial recovery you deserve after a motorcycle crash is to determine the cause of the accident. Below are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
Two-thirds of all motorcycle crashes happen when another driver violates the motorcycle operator’s right of way. It only takes a moment for the driver of a car, truck, or another vehicle to make a bad choice and change the life of a motorcyclist. Motorcycles are simply smaller visual objects. So other drivers on the road must make an effort to consciously look out for them. Distracted and negligent drivers must be held accountable for their actions. Did the other driver fail to look for a motorcycle? Was the car driver on the cell phone or driving under the influence of alcohol?
Design or Manufacturing Flaws
Let’s face it, part of the allure of motorcycles is the freedom and the thrill that comes with it. Sadly, the freedom and rush that comes from riding doesn’t come with crashworthiness. Motorcycles have no roof, no airbag, no safety belt, and no steel cage to protect the operator and/or any passengers. This lack of protection puts more importance on the experience of the rider and the quality of manufacturing of the bike.
When determining liability for a traffic collision, a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer will take many factors into account. When only the motorcycle rider is involved in the crash, the makeup and manufacturing of the bike may be considered in determining liability. Are there design flaws or manufacturing defects in the motorcycle that caused or contributed to the crash? Some vehicle models have inherent flaws. Others may be in the midst of a recall. If a defective motorcycle causes a crash, the manufacturer could be held liable.
Just as motorcyclists are more likely to be impacted by the weather, they are also more affected by road conditions. The government agency in charge of maintaining the roads has an obligation to make the streets safe for all motorists. When poor road conditions such as potholes or uneven pavement lead to a motorcycle collision, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway could be held liable as well.
Recovering Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or the other driver’s, it’s important to keep in mind that every insurance company is doing the same thing—trying to minimize the amount they pay out. For this reason, it’s important to retain an attorney to represent you in settlement negotiations, even if the insurance company has indicated its willingness to settle your case out of court. You lawyer will thoroughly investigate your claim and make sure that all of your losses are documented and that any settlement you accept is adequate.
Some of the kinds of losses that should be addressed in your motorcycle accident settlement include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
There may be additional damages available in your case. The best way to make sure that you obtain the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident is to see your physician, comply with all treatment recommendations, and retain an attorney as soon as you can.
Wrongful Death Claims for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Every state has its own particular laws regarding wrongful death claims. Maryland law allows a wrongful death claim after a fatality that occurred due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party.
There are two separate actions that family members may file after a fatal motorcycle crash, including:
- Wrongful death claim – Brought to seek compensation for the losses of loved ones, including lost future financial support, lost companionship, lost support, and more. Maryland does cap non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, at $2 million for wrongful death claims.
- Survival action – This is brought on behalf of the deceased motorcyclist’s estate to seek compensation for harm to the motorcyclist, including medical expenses after the accident, pain and suffering they experienced, and funeral and burial expenses.
Generally speaking, primary beneficiaries such as spouses, children, and parents may file a wrongful death claim, a survival action, or both. If no primary beneficiaries are available or willing to file, secondary beneficiaries such as siblings or cousins may be able to do so. The damages from a survival action will go to the estate and distributed in line with the deceased person’s will or Maryland intestate laws.
Experienced Representation for Your Motorcycle Accident Injury
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you may need a motorcycle collision attorney to help you receive compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered as a result of the accident. The first job for your lawyer will be to establish who is liable for your crash. The fault may fall on the other driver, the government agency responsible for the road conditions, or even the manufacturer of your motorcycle.
If another driver caused the crash, your Maryland motorcycle accident attorney will have to establish that the other driver did not uphold a duty of care and, therefore, caused the accident. Was the other driver drinking, distracted, or negligent? An attorney can help negotiate settlements with insurance companies or represent you in court to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.
The Maryland motorcycle injury lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe have represented motorcycle riders for years. We understand the ins and outs to motorcycle laws. Call (301) 812-4777 right away for a free review of your claim.
Q:What Is the Motorcycle Helmet Law in Maryland?
A:According to Maryland Code, Title 21, Subtitle 13, Section 21-1306, “an individual may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless the individual is wearing protective headgear that meets the standards established by the Administrator.” Even if it was legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, it would be ill-advised. Those who don’t wear safety helmets are significantly more likely to suffer major injuries or even death in an accident than those who do. Be smart, be safe, and wear a helmet.
Q:What Are the Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Maryland?
A:All motorcyclists must have liability insurance with at least $30,000 per person in bodily injury coverage and $15,000 in property damage coverage. Although personal injury protection (PIP) is required for car owners in Maryland, it is optional for motorcyclists. In fact, it is rare for insurance carriers to even offer PIP to motorcyclists. Furthermore, when registering their vehicles, prospective motorcyclists must file form FR-19, or proof of insurance, with the Motor Vehicle Administration.
Q:Should I Communicate with the Other Party’s Insurance Company after an Accident?
A:No. Do not talk to them, do not sign anything, and do not provide them with any documentation. Anything you give them may be used against you, resulting in the reduction or denial of your claim. Let your trusted Maryland motorcycle accident attorney deal with them instead. S/he will protect your interests against the insurance adjuster’s aggressive attempts to go against them.
Q:What If the Other Person Doesn’t Have Insurance?
A:Check with your insurance provider about the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. Your damages may be covered even if the other person does not have any insurance. Consult with your attorney to discuss other options that may be available to you, including litigation.
Q:How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim Worth?
A:It depends; you could settle your claim with the insurance company and then your claim would be worth whatever they decide to offer you, or you could pursue litigation and the value of your claim would be equal to the cash reward granted by the judge and jury. In most cases, the latter option is the better one since insurance companies rarely offer fair settlement awards to claimants for the sake of preserving their bottom line. During the litigation process, your attorney should thoroughly establish the full extent of your damages to net you optimal compensation for all damages, including past and future medical expenses, cost of motorcycle repair/replacement, wages lost during your recovery, loss of earning capacity, and more.
Q:How Much Will a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Cost?
A:It is completely understandable to be worried about taking on additional expenses after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident. Chances are you’ve incurred significant unexpected medical expenses are may even be unable to work for weeks or even months. As a result, you may be hesitant to retain an attorney—especially if the insurance company is offering to settle your case without putting up a fight. Fortunately, at Alpert Schreyer Poe, we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you will never have to pay us anything for our services unless we recover compensation for you. By using this type of fee arrangement, we are able to make sure that injured victims have access to legal representation, regardless of their financial position.
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We have over 30 years of experience serving injured clients across Maryland and DC.
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We are willing to visit injury victims at their homes if they are severely injured or bereaved.
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