Maryland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
You followed all the Maryland bicycle laws and suggestions to avoid an accident. However, you were still injured because of another driver’s negligence. You’re not alone. According to Maryland’s Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), nearly 600 people were injured and 10 others killed in Maryland bicycle accidents in 2009. Out of the five cyclists killed in Maryland bicycle accidents in 2011, three were between the ages of 40 to 45 years old. When you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in the Maryland area, statistics can be helpful. Action, however, is better than mere words. You may be facing mounting medical bills and other bills because you’ve been out of work since your bicycle accident. A Maryland bicycle accident lawyer will take legal action on your behalf if you have a valid claim and fight for a fair settlement or trial verdict.
Causes of Maryland Bicycle Accidents
There are many possible causes of Maryland bicycle accidents, but the most common causes generally fall in one of the three following categories:
- Bicyclist negligence. This means that you caused or at least contributed to the accident. For instance, you cut off the driver and were struck by the vehicle.
- Driver negligence. The driver caused the accident by:
- Pulling out of a driveway or parking lot without looking for bicyclists or pedestrians.
- Turning directly in front of bicyclists.
- Failing to look for bicyclists while approaching a stop sign.
- Running a red light or stop sign while bicyclists are traveling in an intersection.
Some drivers are particularly careless or negligent and break traffic rules that, in turn, cause numerous Maryland bicycle accidents. For example, Maryland Transportation Section 21-902 prohibits anyone from driving while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs. Drunk drivers have been tied to serious and fatal bike accidents in Maryland and throughout the U.S. A Maryland personal injury attorney who has experience in pursuing claims related to bicycle accidents is best-suited to determining who is liable for your accident and whether any traffic laws, or other state codes, were broken. These details are crucial in determining the amount of compensation you will need to cover bills for medical needs and lost time from work. Again, speaking with a dedicated Maryland bicycle accident attorney is your best option in seeking answers to these questions.
- Poorly maintained Maryland roadways. Poorly maintained roads or roads designed insufficiently for vehicles and bicycles are a contributing factor in some Maryland bicycle accidents. Depending on the area, local or state governments are typically responsible for roadway maintenance and design — unless you are in a parking lot or on a private driveway or road. A personal injury attorney will be able to determine who is responsible for the roadway and if they are also be liable for your injuries and other harms and losses you may have suffered.
What is Negligence in MD?
Negligence is defined legally as the failure to exercise the care toward others that a “reasonable” or “prudent” person would use in the same circumstances, or taking action that such a reasonable person would not, resulting in unintentional harm to another. For cyclists, motorists breaching their duty to provide ordinary care to individuals while operating a motor vehicle is a huge risk that many bicycle enthusiasts say they encounter on a regular basis. Bicyclists, however, have the same duty of care to other bicyclists and motorists as well as pedestrians who share the road. Determining whether negligence occurred and who was negligent forms the basis for nearly all personal injury litigation. A Maryland bicycle accident lawyer can explain precisely how the negligence standard functions in Maryland law that is relevant to your case.
Maryland Bicycle Accidents: Determining Liability
Both drivers and bicyclists must follow the rules of the road in Maryland, including all traffic laws. As a bike accident lawyer in Maryland can explain, when determining liability in a bicycle accident, there are two main points to consider:
- Did someone else’s recklessness or negligence cause your accident and injuries?
- Did your negligence contribute to or cause your accident and/or injuries in any way?
Maryland is one of only a few states that enforces a strict rule of contributory negligence. This can be be advantageous for the responsible party, as the rule requires that the victim not be responsible in any way, shape, or form for the collision or crash that led to their injuries. If it can be shown that you were responsible for as little as one percent for the incident, you may be barred from financial recovery.
An example would include a bicyclist who was traveling late at night with a friend, and the two decide to a friendly race. As one of the cyclists flies down the street, they decide to go through a stop sign — even though bicycles are a part of the state’s vehicle code and are subject to stop signs and signals. They likely didn’t notice the driver of a car traveling down the intersecting street, and they are struck by the car. Mostly likely, under the state’s strict contributory negligence rule, that bicyclist would be barred from recovering any monetary damages from the driver of the vehicle.
Of course, the example discussed above is an extreme case. However, defendants frequently look for ways to avoid fault in Maryland bicycle accidents. By proving that you were at fault, even by the smallest amount, may allows the defendant to avoid paying you money in a jury award or settlement. Given the strict nature of contributory negligence rules in Maryland, you would be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney about the facts of your bicycle accident. He will look over the specifics of your accident to determine who was at fault and whether you have a claim that is likely to prove successful. It is particularly important to contact a Maryland bike accident attorney who has experience handling these kinds of cases.
Winning Maryland Bicycle Accident Claims
Wining or settling your bicycle accident claim requires the assistance of an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Maryland. He will employ his own investigation of the facts of the case and work to build the strongest possible claim to provide coverage for medical and other bills related to your bicycle accident or collision. An attorney can work aggressively to secure you the best possible outcome, whether that is pushing for a fair settlement or arguing your case before a judge or jury. Contact our office today to schedule a free, initial consultation and find out what he can do to help you.