Motorcycle Accidents

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motorcycle accident injury

Every year, around seventy motorcyclists are killed in a traffic accident in the state of Maryland, and an additional 1,400 riders and passengers are injured. Over half of the accidents that occur also involve another motor vehicle, such as a car or a truck, with those drivers more likely to be the at-fault party than the person operating the motorcycle. Since a motorcycle offers much less protection than a car, more often than not, it is the motorcyclist who bears the brunt of the injuries from the accident. If you or your family member was the motorcyclist involved in an accident, the injuries you have sustained can be long-lasting, heavily impacting your ability to work, spend time with family, and even enjoy the same mobility and lifestyle you did before your motorcycle accident. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you or your loved one recover the damages you deserve while you focus on your recovery.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

In many motorcycle accidents, the collision is an unfair conflict, pitting a car or truck against a person on a bike — a person with no air bag and no protection except for a helmet. Serious injuries can result:

  • Brain and head injuries that can have a lifelong impact on emotions and moods, behavior and functioning
  • Spinal cord damage resulting in paralysis
  • Back and neck injuries that are painful and debilitating
  • The loss of life of a motorcyclist
  • Broken bones and injuries to joints
  • Severe abrasions, contusions, and cuts (road rash or road burn)
  • Accidental amputation

Motorcycle Laws

The law requires that all motorcyclists and passengers wear a DOT-approved helmet when on a motorcycle. These helmets have been specially designed to absorb as much impact as possible should the driver get into an accident. They have thick interior lining, sturdy chin straps and fastenings, weigh approximately three pounds, and have no protruding fixtures. In addition, a DOT sticker, Snell or ANSI label, and manufacturer’s label are also often included. This ensures that they have been made to DOT specifications, and will help to prevent traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, and even death should the person wearing the helmet crash.

However, although it is the law, sometimes helmets are not worn when the motorcycle is being operated. Law provides that failure to wear a helmet is not to be considered in determining negligence, limit the liability of a party or insurer, or reduce the damages paid in any way.

Recovering Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcycle accidents are based on a fault system, which means that the at-fault driver is the one who must pay damages to the affected party or parties. However, this can be difficult to prove. Liability must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence in accident cases. Contributory negligence means that if the motorcycle driver is found to be even one percent liable in causing their accident, they are completely barred from recovering damages that could have been put to use paying their medical bills, physical therapy, and lost wages.

The first thing someone should do is retain the services of a highly skilled motorcycle accident lawyer promptly after their accident. Other ways a person can help to prove they were not at fault in their motorcycle accident is to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Obtaining the official accident report, taking pictures of the scene, obtaining witness statements and contact information, making sure to get the contact and insurance information from the other driver, and seeking medical attention are all highly important. Additionally, once they have received medical treatment, if necessary, they should keep their medical records for further use in their case.

Non-Economic and Economic Damages

When dealing with damages, someone can receive several types. The first is called property damage, and deals with the at-fault party paying the injured cyclist the amount required to cover repairs, or if the motorcycle was a total loss, the equivalent of the motorcycle’s value prior to the accident so that it can be replaced. In addition to that, they must also pay for a rental vehicle until the motorcycle has been repaired or replaced.

The other is called personal injury damages, which cover both non-economic, or non-quantifiable, and economic, or quantifiable, damages incurred by the accident. Non-economic damages are the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of time with family
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Impairment
  • Permanent injury

Economic damages can be applied to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and other costs. Keeping a diary of how the accident has made an impact on their life is one way for someone to prove non-economic and economic damages in their motorcycle accident case.

Contact Us Today

At Malloy Law Offices, we fully understand how difficult navigating the complicated waters of personal injury and insurance claims can be after suffering in a motorcycle accident. That is why we do everything we can to help alleviate some of the stress you feel when we take your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery instead. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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