Greenbelt, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Regrettably, in Greenbelt, motorcycle accidents are quite frequent. This is primarily because some drivers disregard riders who share the roads, resulting in severe accidents and injuries.

Recovering from injuries like these can be a lengthy and difficult process, often requiring significant financial assistance to cover medical bills and other costs. However, victims who have been injured because of another driver’s negligence can seek justice with the help of our experienced attorneys. Our team is dedicated to providing a thorough and accurate assessment of your case, fighting for you to receive the full compensation you are entitled to. While the prospect of a lawsuit might seem daunting, we will work tirelessly with you every step of the way to overcome any obstacles in your case.

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291 to speak with our motorcycle accident lawyers and receive your free case review.

Motorcycle Laws You Should Be Aware of While Riding in Greenbelt, MD

Riding a motorcycle in Maryland offers a unique sense of freedom and enjoyment. However, to fully experience this joy, it is essential to be aware of and comply with the state’s motorcycle laws. These laws are designed to protect both you and other road users. If you were injured because one or more of these rules were violated by another person, our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you get justice. The following are the most important motorcycle laws you should know in Greenbelt:

Motorcycle Licensing

In Greenbelt and throughout Maryland, operating a motorcycle requires a specific license or endorsement. In order to acquire a motorcycle license, there are a few steps you need to follow. Firstly, you must pass a written test that covers traffic rules and safe-riding practices. This test is designed to evaluate your knowledge of the rules of the road as well as your understanding of safe-riding practices. Secondly, you must pass a skills test that evaluates your ability to operate a motorcycle in a safe and controlled manner. This test is designed to identify your proficiency in handling a motorcycle under different conditions and situations.

Alternatively, you can also opt to complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course, which includes both classroom instruction and practical training. This course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of motorcycle riding, safety, and maneuvering. In the classroom, you will learn about traffic rules, safe-riding practices, and the importance of protective gear. In the practical training sessions, you will learn how to operate a motorcycle safely, including how to start and stop the vehicle, how to shift gears, how to brake, and how to turn.

Helmet and Eye Protection Laws

It is also mandatory for all individuals operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle to wear a helmet that complies with the safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The helmet must be firmly fastened with a chin strap to ensure maximum protection in case of an accident.

In addition, riders are required to use eye protection unless the motorcycle has a windscreen. This is because eye protection helps to prevent debris, dirt, or other foreign objects from entering the eyes and causing potential accidents.

Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

All motorcycles must have at least one rearview mirror, as this enables the rider to see what is happening behind them, thus reducing the risk of accidents. In addition, all motorcycles must be equipped with a horn, which is a crucial component for warning other drivers of your presence on the road.

To enhance visibility and minimize the risk of collisions, it is mandatory for all motorcycles to have a headlight that is always on, even during daylight hours. This makes it easier for other motorists to spot the motorcycle, especially in low-light conditions. In case you are planning to ride after dark, your motorcycle must also have tail lights and brake lights, for these are essential to signal your movements and warn other drivers of your actions.

Lane Splitting and Sharing Laws

In Greenbelt and all of Maryland, lane splitting is not permitted. Lane splitting is a practice that involves riding a motorcycle between slow-moving or stopped traffic. This means that motorcyclists cannot ride between lanes in order to bypass traffic. However it is permissible for two motorcycles to share a lane side by side, but it is illegal for more than two motorcycles to ride abreast in a single lane.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Motorcyclists must also obtain liability insurance coverage. This insurance is necessary to provide financial assistance in case the rider causes any damages or injuries to other individuals during an accident. The minimum coverage amounts mandated in Maryland are $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 for property damage.

This means that if you are involved in an accident and you are held liable, your insurance policy will cover expenses related to the injuries or damages caused to others up to the aforementioned limits. However, these are only the minimum coverage amounts. It might be beneficial to obtain additional coverage beyond these limits to ensure that you are adequately protected.

Passenger and Age Restrictions

In Greenbelt, it is mandatory for a motorcycle to have a permanent passenger seat and footrest if it is designed to carry a passenger. This implies that a motorcycle that lacks a permanent passenger seat is not allowed to carry any passengers.

Furthermore, children under the age of 16 are not permitted to ride as passengers on a motorcycle unless they are participating in a supervised, state-approved motorcycle training course. This provision has been put in place to ensure the safety of young children who might not be able to handle the risks associated with riding a motorcycle.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a legal principle that can bar a plaintiff from recovering damages if found to be even slightly at fault for their injuries. Unlike comparative negligence, which reduces the plaintiff’s recovery in proportion to their fault, contributory negligence can completely bar recovery if the plaintiff is found to be even 1% at fault.

This doctrine has significant implications for motorcycle accident victims in Maryland, one of the few jurisdictions that still adhere to the contributory negligence standard. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident and found to have contributed to the incident or their injuries in any way, they might be unable to recover damages. This rule applies even if the other party bears the majority of the blame for the accident.

The determination of contributory negligence in a motorcycle accident lawsuit relies heavily on the specific facts of the case. Factors such as speed, adherence to traffic laws, use of safety gear, and the actions of both parties leading up to the accident are carefully considered. For example, if a motorcyclist was speeding or not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, these factors could be used as evidence of contributory negligence.

Our Greenbelt, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help

For a free case consultation with our motorcycle accident attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.