Olney, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When motorcycle accidents happen, people are often quick to blame the motorcycle rider. There is an unfair stereotype of motorcyclists as rebellious risk-takers who do not care about their own safety. Sadly, this leads to many motorcycle accidents that are, in fact, caused by someone else’s negligence to be placed at the feet of the motorcycle rider. Worse still, motorcycle accidents often leave victims with serious injuries that require expensive medical treatment. It is likely that motorcyclists injured in crashes will deal with their injuries in some form or another for the rest of their lives.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident and suspect another party was negligent, we can help. Our lawyers have experience dealing with motorcycle cases and will make sure that you have a strong argument to take to court, are treated fairly, and have a fair shot at getting the financial payout you need after an accident.

For a free, no-obligation review of your case by Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s motorcycle accident lawyers, call us at (410) 694-7291.

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Olney, MD?

Motorcycle accidents have a lot of different causes. At first, it may not seem like a big deal to know what exactly caused your accident. However, knowing the cause of your crash is very important to the success of your case. In court, you can only obtain damages from defendants who you can prove actually caused your injuries, so there is no use suing a party who did not contribute to your motorcycle accident occurring.

Driver Negligence

A very common cause of many motor vehicle accidents is driver negligence. In law, “negligence” refers to when someone is careless and, consequently, someone else gets hurt. On the road, negligence can take a lot of different forms, but it can be divided into two main categories. First, drivers can be negligent by ignoring traffic laws. Speeding, drunk driving, and texting while driving are all very dangerous acts and, more importantly, prohibited by law. Accordingly, a driver who hits you while doing any of those things is negligent.

Second, drivers can be negligent by driving in a way that is counter to what a reasonable driver would do under the circumstances. Such conduct is not prohibited by law, and it is essentially up to the jury in those instances as to whether a defendant-driver’s conduct was negligent.

Defective Vehicles

The driver may not be the only thing to blame for a motorcycle accident. Sometimes, the issue is with one of the vehicles. In these cases, you allege that a vehicle was “defective.” There are two main kinds of defects: design defects and manufacturing defects.

Design defects are inherent in the vehicle. Even a car or motorcycle built exactly to specifications will have these problems. By contrast, manufacturing defects come from mistakes made somewhere along the line. These issues could pop up when the vehicle is being built or when it is being worked on or maintained.

If the defect is present in the vehicle that hit you, you can file a claim against the vehicle designer or manufacturer. If the defect is in your motorcycle, you can sue that relevant party. However, in that case, the defendant may try to make it look like the accident was your fault, especially if it was a “single-vehicle accident” involving only your bike. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know how to deal with this, and we will make sure that the truth comes to light.

Road Conditions

In some admittedly rare cases, accidents are caused by poor road conditions. Potholes, defective and broken guardrails, and uncleared debris can all lead to motorcycle crashes. In these cases, you will likely be suing a government entity, as they are responsible for maintaining Maryland’s roads. Take note that these cases have special rules for suing the government, so you should talk about it with our lawyers.

Damages From Olney, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

If you are successful in your case, you can be awarded damages by the court. The idea is to restore the victim, as close as possible, to how their life was before the accident. Obviously, the nature of one’s injuries may make this literally impossible, so financial compensation is used as a proxy. Damages in motorcycle accident lawsuits can be broken down into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages derive from things that have a quickly displayable value. Things that fall under this category include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

Evidence used to prove these damages is usually straightforward as well. For example, you can prove the extent of your medical expenses by showing the court your medical bills. The same goes for the cost of repairing or replacing your ride and lost income.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are trickier. They are based on more ephemeral things like pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Here, you ask the court to award you damages for how much an injury hurts or affects your life rather than its financial burden. Since you cannot simply show a bill that demonstrates the value of these injuries, you will have to convince the court of their value with the help of our attorneys.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different from economic and non-economic damages in that they are not based on your condition but on what the defendant did. Courts mete out punitive damages when defendants have acted especially badly. Based on the precedent set by the case Phillip Morris Inc. v. Angeletti, you must prove that the defendant acted intentionally or with malice in order to be awarded punitive damages.

Chat with Our Olney, MD Motorcycle Accident Lawyers About Your Claim

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s motorcycle attorneys can discuss your case when you contact us at (410) 694-7291.