Baltimore Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Many people across Maryland enjoy riding motorcycles, a fun way to experience the open road. However, even when motorcyclists operate their bikes with due care and skill, they are still at risk of an accident caused by the negligence of other motorists.
Unfortunately, when motorcycles are involved in accidents with other vehicles, it is the motorcycle rider who usually suffers the consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash that was caused by another driver, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. The Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys of Cohen & Dwin, P.A., can help.
Since 1977, we have fought for the rights of motorcycle riders across Maryland who have been injured through no fault of their own. We work tirelessly to help injured riders demand the financial compensation they deserve and need to get their lives back to normal. Schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.
Do You Have a Baltimore Motorcycle Accident Claim?
As a licensed motorcyclist, you have the right to use the road just like any other motorist. You also have the right to expect that your fellow motorists will operate their vehicles carefully and safely. When other motorists operate their vehicles in a negligent manner, involving you in an accident on your motorcycle, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about your legal rights.
You should speak to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer if:
- You suffered injuries in the accident.
- You had to take off time from work due to the crash.
- You will require follow-up medical treatment or ongoing care.
- You are unable to return to work.
- Your quality of life has been affected by your injuries.
Building a strong claim for maximum compensation can be a complicated process. The Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyers of Cohen & Dwin collectively have over 100 years of experience helping motorcyclists in Baltimore pursue compensation for injuries and damages suffered in preventable crashes. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys for help in determining whether you have a motorcycle accident claim.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents More Complicated?
Although many people think that motorcycle accident claims are just like any other car accident claim, this is simply not the case. Motorcycles are smaller motor vehicles and lack the metal frame and other safety protections of a passenger vehicle. As a result, motorcyclists are at greater risk, and when they are involved in accidents, they tend to suffer more severe injuries than the occupants of other types of vehicles.
In addition, recovery from the catastrophic injuries that motorcyclists can suffer typically requires far more time and greater expense. This can make resolving a motorcycle accident claim more difficult, since the victim of a motorcycle accident may continue to receive treatment long after his or her legal claim is resolved. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that any financial recovery in a motorcycle accident claim includes the expenses that the accident victim will incur in the future. The at-fault driver, or their insurer, may dispute the number of future damages that an injured rider seeks.
To make matters more complicated, many drivers who are responsible for accidents with motorcycles try to avoid blame by claiming that they “didn’t see” the motorcycle. A driver looking to avoid liability for a motorcycle accident may also try to rely upon prejudices and stereotypes of motorcyclists as reckless speedsters. The driver may claim that a motorcycle rider was speeding, lane splitting, or otherwise riding in a reckless manner that caused or contributed to the accident. As a result, motorcyclists who are injured in accidents often have more difficulty establishing the negligence of other drivers and how that negligence caused the accident.
Pursuing a motorcycle accident claim can be a complex, time-consuming endeavor. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you don’t have to go through the personal injury claim process alone. At Cohen & Dwin, our knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys can take that burden off you.
Benefits of Hiring a Baltimore Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be offered a quick cash settlement by the responsible driver or the driver’s insurance company. Hiring a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you and pursue a claim for compensation, however, can greatly improve your chances of full recovery of damages.
- Having an attorney represent you means that you gain the benefit of the experience of a professional who has successfully pursued compensation for other injured victims in these types of cases.
- An attorney can thoroughly investigate your accident, uncovering the evidence needed to prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
- An attorney can also negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, refusing any settlement offer that fails to represent fair and full compensation for your damages.
- Retaining a motorcycle accident attorney also means that you have an advocate who can guide you through the complex process of filing a lawsuit to pursue your claim.
- Finally, having a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer fighting on your behalf means that you can focus your time and energy where it is needed most following your accident – on your physical and emotional recovery.
How Is Fault Determined After a Motorcycle Crash?
After a motorcycle crash, the parties involved may dispute how the accident occurred and who was responsible for causing it. There are many different pieces of evidence that can be used in a motorcycle accident case to determine fault, such as:
- Accident scene photographs. This includes damage to the vehicles, positions of the vehicles following the wreck, skid marks on the road, traffic controls and road markings, and weather/lighting/road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Police accident report. The police who investigate the accident may offer a determination of who was at fault.
- Traffic citation or criminal arrest. Any motorist involved in the accident being cited for a traffic violation, or arrested for a criminal offense, presents strong evidence that the motorist was negligent in the operation of his or her vehicle.
- Eyewitness statements. Eyewitnesses to the accident can provide additional, outside perspectives of what happened beyond the statements of the motorists involved.
- Accident reconstruction reports. Experts can use much of the above evidence and other information to create reports, diagrams, animations, or videos depicting how the accident likely occurred.
With much of the above evidence and our collective experience of more than 100 years pursuing claims for compensation following complex motorcycle accidents, the attorneys of Cohen & Dwin can persuasively advocate on your behalf to establish fault in your motorcycle accident case.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Compensation for personal injuries falls into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific financial losses that can be calculated from documents like bills, receipts, or paystubs.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Future treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
Non-economic damages compensate a motorcycle accident victim for intangible losses.
Non-economic damages qualify as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
You may also be entitled to compensation for property damage. You can seek payment to repair or replace your motorcycle if it was damaged or destroyed in the accident. You can also seek repair or replacement costs for other properties that may have been damaged or destroyed in the collision, such as your clothes or other property you may have been carrying on your motorcycle.
Maryland Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
If you have a claim for damages arising from a motorcycle accident, you have a limited period in which to file a lawsuit. This period is called the statute of limitations. Under Maryland law, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from a motorcycle accident is three years, measured from the date of the accident.
There are limited exceptions in which a court can pause, or “toll,” the statute of limitations. The most common exception is called the discovery rule, which tolls the statute of limitations until you “discover” your injury, or the facts and circumstances giving rise to your claim. Maryland law also tolls the statute of limitations for minors who have claims arising from motorcycle accidents, pausing the limitations period until the minor turns 18.
If you fail to file your motorcycle accident lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires in your case, the court can permanently dismiss your lawsuit. If you have questions about the statute of limitations and how it applies in your case, the Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys at Cohen & Dwin can help. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Understanding Maryland Motorcycle Laws
Although all of Maryland’s traffic laws apply to motorcycles, there are also laws specifically applicable to motorcycles. Most importantly, you must obtain a motorcycle license to legally operate a motorcycle on the roads of Maryland. You can obtain a motorcycle license by either completing basic rider training at an approved training center or through the Fast Track Licensing program if you already have experience riding a motorcycle.
When you ride, motorcycle helmet law in Maryland requires you to wear a helmet that meets state standards. The helmet either must have a face shield or you must wear protective eyewear. The law does not require motorcycles to have electric turn signal lamps, but motorcycles may be equipped with auxiliary lighting, including LEDs, provided the lights are non-blinking, non-flashing, non-oscillating, and not blue or red. If you have a passenger on your motorcycle, the law requires that your motorcycle be designed to carry a passenger. Finally, the operator of a motorcycle may only ride on the permanent, regular seat of the motorcycle and must keep his or her hands on the handlebars.
Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane, and no other motor vehicle can be driven in a manner that deprives a motorcycle of the full use of a lane, except that two motorcycles may be ridden side-by-side in a single lane. Finally, a motorcycle cannot be operated between two lanes of traffic, a practice known as “lane splitting.”
Common Causes of Motorcycle Wrecks
Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road, they are at risk for types of accidents that other vehicles may not be. In our decades of experience, the Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys at Cohen & Dwin have seen devastating accidents caused by:
- Unsafe lane changes. Drivers of cars or trucks can collide with motorcyclists when they make a lane change without signaling and/or checking their blind spot for a motorcycle.
- Speeding. Motorcycles do not accelerate or stop like other vehicles, so a driver who is speeding can easily misjudge the behavior of a motorcycle on the road and cause an accident.
- Driving under the influence. Any driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs is at a much greater risk of causing an accident with a motorcyclist.
- Car doors. Some motorcycle accidents occur when occupants of a parked vehicle open their door in the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Lane splitting. Although lane splitting refers to motorcycles driving between two lanes of traffic, it also occurs when a vehicle pulls up alongside a motorcycle in the same lane of traffic. The law gives motorcyclists the right to the full width of a lane of traffic.
- Inexperienced drivers. New or inexperienced drivers can lack the experience or knowledge to safely share the road with motorcycles.
Motorcycle accidents can also occur for reasons other than the negligent behavior of other motorists. For example, a motorcycle accident can be triggered due to poor road conditions such as potholes, debris, or slick surfaces. Accidents can also occur due to design, manufacturing, or maintenance defects in a motorcycle.
Talk to a Baltimore Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident on the roads of Baltimore, you know the financial hardships that can result. Since 1977, the personal injury lawyers of Cohen & Dwin have helped motorcyclists across Maryland receive the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. If you need help pursuing compensation after your accident, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.