For motorcyclists, few things are as exciting as riding on the open road. However, the streets and highways in and around Columbia are rarely open. Motorcycles are required to share the road with much larger vehicles. Often, accidents occur involving motorcycles, leaving the rider seriously or fatally injured.
Our Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer has years of experience representing motorcyclists who have been injured and families of riders who were killed in crashes. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
The Dangers of Riding Motorcycles in the Columbia, MD Area
The roads and highways of Columbia are filled with all types of vehicles, including motorcycles. Motorcyclists have a reasonable expectation that other motorists will drive safely and attentively. However, this is sometimes not the case. Sometimes, another driver’s conduct presents unreasonable risks. Some behavior that leads to accidents with motorcycles include:
- Drivers that are distracted by texting, eating, or talking with other passengers in their care create an unreasonable danger to other motorists. A distracted driver is unlikely to see a motorcycle on the road and has put themselves in a situation where their ability to respond to an unforeseen situation is compromised.
- Anytime a motorist gets behind the wheel impaired by alcohol or drugs, they risk hurting themselves and others.
- Often, motorists will drive recklessly endangering other drivers. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, aggressive driving could all contribute to an accident. Because of their small profile, motorcycles are at a greater risk to be hit by a vehicle being driven recklessly.
Single Vehicle Accidents Involving Motorcycles in Columbia, Maryland
Sometimes, a motorcycle accident does not involve another vehicle. A rider simply loses control, crashing the motorcycle on the roadway or hitting a stationary object. However, the motorcyclist is not always at fault. Multiple factors could contribute to a single-vehicle accident, including:
- The motorcycle could have a design or manufacturing defect that caused the bike to malfunction.
- The road could have a dangerous condition that resulted in the motorcyclist in losing control, including uneven roadways, potholes, or debris in the road.
- A motorcyclist could be forced to avoid another vehicle that made a dangerous maneuver without striking the bike.
Unfortunately, Columbia police might file a report listing the cause of the accident as speeding or reckless driving. It is important to retain our Columbia motorcycle accident attorney to assist you in determining the cause of your accident and holding the responsible party liable for your injuries.
Pursuing Damages from a Negligent Driver with Our Columbia Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you could file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation for any damages you incurred. In order to prove that another driver was responsible for your injuries, you must establish that the other driver owed you a duty of care. Any motorist on a Maryland highway or road has a duty to drive their vehicle safely, in a manner that a prudent and similarly skilled driver would.
Next, you must establish that the driver’s actions breach the duty of care they owed you. If they were speeding or in violation of any traffic law or regulation, their conduct deviated from the required duty, and they were negligent. By gathering evidence from the accident, including police reports and photographs of the crash site, our experienced attorneys will work to show that the other driver was driving recklessly or carelessly.
Your injuries must have been a direct result of other motorist’s breach of their duty. Generally, if your motorcycle was struck by a recklessly driven vehicle, your injuries were a direct result of the collision.
Finally, quantifiable damages must arise from the injuries you sustained. These damages could be either economic or noneconomic. Economic damages are usually easier to calculate. Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident could be severe, leading to substantial medical expenses. You could seek compensation for the costs associated with medical care, physical or occupational therapy, as well as lost income if you are unable to work.
Noneconomic damages are more challenging to quantify and include pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment. Our Bethesda motorcycle accident lawyers will thoroughly evaluate all the costs and potential expenses associated with your injury to determine an adequate amount of compensation.
Columbia, MD Follows the Contributory Negligence Doctrine
Maryland is one of the few states that follow the contributory negligence doctrine. This means that if a motorist is found to be partially at fault or if their conduct contributed to the accident, they are prohibited from collecting compensation from the other driver. The percentage of fault attributed does not matter. For example, if a jury finds that one driver was 99% at fault and the injured driver was 1% at fault, the injured driver cannot be compensated for their injuries.
This doctrine can be especially problematic for motorcyclists. Insurance companies will work to present the motorcyclist in the worst possible light, a reckless rider who contributed to the accident. For example, the defendant or their insurance company will work to prove that you were riding your motorcycle at an unsafe speed or changing lanes aggressively. The experienced Columbia motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Randolph Rice understand the tactics the insurance companies will use. We will collect evidence from the accident, including police reports, eyewitness testimony, and photographs of the accident location and vehicles to counter their claims that you were responsible.
Call Our Columbia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you are a motorcyclist who was injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver or due to unsafe road conditions, contact our Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to review your rights and options.