Bowie, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If a motorcycle accident recently turned your life upside down, our attorneys can help you recover the compensatory damages you deserve in Bowie.
In Bowie, motorcycle injury victims must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care and beached it, directly causing their accident, injuries, and damages. This will require evidence, such as eyewitness statements, photographs, medical records, security camera footage, and more. Showing that you did not contribute to your injuries in any way will be important, as Maryland is a pure contributory fault state. If the jury decides you are even minimally at fault for the motorcycle accident in question, you will be barred from recovery in Bowie. Because of that, it is important for motorcyclists to follow all laws that pertain to them, such as wearing helmets.
To have the Bowie, MD motorcycle accident lawyers of Rice, Murtha & Psoras analyze your case for free, call us now at (410) 694-7291.
The Four Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Bowie, MD
All motorcycle accident claims boil down to whether or not victims in Bowie can establish four elements. These are duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. Without establishing these four elements, you will be unable to meet the burden of proof or recover compensation for your losses.
Duty of Care
In order to eventually prove that the defendant is responsible for your motorcycle accident in Bowie, you must establish that they owed you a duty of care at the time of the crash. If they were another driver on the road, we can establish that they owed you a duty by placing them in their vehicle at the accident scene. All drivers, and motorcyclists for that matter, owe a duty of care to others on the road to uphold traffic laws and act with a reasonable level of responsibility. While duties of care differ, depending on the relationship between parties, one exists between all drivers in Bowie and elsewhere.
Breach of Duty of Care
The second element that must be shown is the negligent act, or the breach of the driver’s duty of care. Essentially, we must illustrate what the negligent driver did wrong. Were they speeding when they struck your motorcycle? Did they run a stoplight? Were they using their cellphone? Did they make an illegal turn? Were they intoxicated at the time? Proving the breach will require certain evidence, such as eyewitness statements. We can also use security camera footage, photographs from the scene, and other evidence to prove that a breach of duty of care occurred during your motorcycle accident in Bowie.
Causation is the link between the driver’s breach of duty and your injuries. You must show that you sustained your injuries because, and only because, of the other party’s negligence. This can be challenging, as defendants might attempt to argue that victims were hurt because of another accident, not the one involving them. Or, defendants might attempt to argue that victims actually contributed to their injuries, which would bar them from recovery in Bowie. To undermine these arguments, take photos of your injuries at the accident scene. Speak with eyewitnesses so that our motorcycle accident lawyers can get their statements in the future. Go directly to the hospital from the accident site so that you can further document your injuries and build medical evidence of them.
Finally, we will have to prove that you incurred real damages as a result of the motorcycle accident caused by the defendant. We will submit proof of your financial and emotional losses to do this. Economic damages can be proven by way of records, such as medical invoices. If you have missed out on income as a result of the crash, we can submit proof of your lost wages so that you can recover compensation for them. Victims in Maryland are eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering up to a limit. Currently, that limit is $935,000, according to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-108(b)(2). Your personal testimony can shed light on the mental anguish and emotional struggles you have experienced due to the trauma caused by a motorcycle crash in Bowie.
Shared Fault for Motorcycle Accidents in Bowie, MD
Maryland has strict laws regarding contributory negligence. This means that if a victim even somewhat contributed to causing their injuries in a motorcycle crash, they could be prevented from recovering compensation of any kind.
Maryland is one of few pure contributory negligence states. This bodes well for defendants and not so much for victims. If a defendant is able to argue that a victim contributed to their injuries, even in the smallest sense, that victim will be unable to sue for injury in Bowie.
Because of this, our attorneys will work hard to prove that the defendant is the only person responsible for the crash and that you did not contribute to the collision in any way. This is especially important in motorcycle injury cases, as stereotypes and preconceived notions about motorcyclists and their supposed recklessness might sway a jury to believe that a victim is partially to blame for their injuries.
So, when you are riding your motorcycle in Bowie, adhere to all laws regarding motorcyclists, including Md. Code, Transp. Art., § 21-1306(b), which requires bikers to wear helmets at all times. Practice safe riding, do not swerve in between lanes, and ensure you are maintaining your duty of care. After your crash, do not in any way accept fault for the incident. Do not say that you are sorry or have any unnecessary communications with the other driver. Allow our attorneys to handle such contact when necessary.
Call Us Today About Your Motorcycle Accident in Bowie, MD
For help with your case from Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call our motorcycle accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291.