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Road accidents involving motorcycles are statistically some of the most dangerous and deadly types of crashes. According to a press release from the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration, over 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. With numbers like that, motorcyclists should educate themselves on the most common causes of motorcycle crashes, and be vigilant in exercising appropriate safety precautions when taking a bike out on the road.

Motorcycles are some of the smallest motorized vehicles on the road, and the vehicles themselves offer little, if any, protection in the event of a crash. Cars and trucks have been designed with safety features in mind since they became widely used on American roads. Most cars include seatbelts, airbags, and are structurally designed to protect the occupants in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists do not enjoy the same safety features on their bikes. These safety deficiencies can be somewhat offset by the improved maneuverability and stopping distance offered by a motorcycle, but the fact remains that if a crash does occur, the biker is at considerable risk.

Motorcyclists have the ability to use additional safety equipment in the event of a crash. By far, the most important piece of safety equipment is a helmet. Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the risk of serious injury or death to a rider in the event of a crash. The Maryland Transportation Code, Section 21-1306 requires that anyone driving or riding on a motorcycle wear an approved helmet. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) evaluates and grades helmets that are on the market. Riding with a DOT approved helmet is important, as many less expensive helmets on the market today are not sufficient to protect a rider from an accident occurring on public roads or highways.

Americans love to have fun. The recreational industry in the country is a multi-billion dollar business, and many Marylanders enjoy participating in recreational activities for their amusement. Boating, four-wheeling, skiing, rock climbing, and other recreational sports and hobbies generally have inherent risks associated with them, which can result in participants suffering serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Activities that involve multiple people of various skill levels recreating in the same space can be a recipe for accidents and injuries. The recently popularized negligence trial involving actress Gwenwth Paltrow and a man she allegedly crashed into while skiing at a Utah ski resort has brought attention to the liability for accidents occurring at shared recreation areas.

The case against Ms. Paltrow was relatively simple. The plaintiff sued the actress after allegedly suffering injuries in a skiing accident. The main dispute in the trial was over which of the skiers was at fault for the crash. When skiing, the person farther down the hill generally has the right of way, and another person who causes an accident by failing to yield that right of way could be held accountable for any injuries suffered by the other skier. The jury in the Gweneth Paltrow trial found that the plaintiff could not prove, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the actress failed to respect the plaintiff’s right of way. As a result of the verdict, Ms. Paltrow will not be responsible for any of the other skier’s injuries.

Who Is Liable in a Skiing Accident?

When recreation is enjoyed in a public or private place, there may be other parties who can be held accountable for an accident. A private business, such as a ski resort, race track, or marina does have a duty to ensure that their customers are not placed in unreasonable danger by the actions of the owner. Businesses often attempt to reduce their liability by requiring their customers to sign an express waiver of liability, or implicitly assume the risks of that activity by agreeing to participate. Although these waivers reduce the liability of the business, they are not absolute. Businesses still have the responsibility to adequately train their staff and prevent acts of gross negligence by their employees. If employees act outside the scope of their job description, they may be held accountable in their individual capacity.

Every day, road users share the road with a multitude of vehicles, pedestrians, and bikers. This includes smaller cars sharing the road with much larger trucks that vary in size and weight. Truck drivers also need a different type of licensing in order to be able to properly share the road with other vehicles. According to the International Used Truck Centers, on average, semi-tractor trailer trucks are around 72 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet tall. When a car collides with a semi-truck, it can be devasting and shocking. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious crash can be challenging.

In a recent news report, a 25-year-old man was killed in a car crash in Indiana. According to police reports, the two vehicles crashed when a semi-tractor trailer was crossing the road to make a left turn. While the semi-tractor trailer was attempting to make the left turn, a passenger vehicle struck it, driving under the truck. Investigators determined that the driver of the semi-tractor trailer is at fault because the driver failed to yield to the right of way. The driver of the passenger vehicle was taken to a local hospital but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

[sc_fs_faq html=”true” headline=”h3″ img=”” question=”What Should Families Know About Fatal Truck Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

When a manufacturer places a defective product on the market, they put consumers at risk of serious harm. If a person suffers injuries from a defective product, he or she may bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. When a manufacturer realizes their products have caused harm, they can and should announce a product recall to prevent further harm.

For example, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Bethesda, Maryland, Fisher-Price has reannounced its recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers. Fisher-Price originally announced the recall in 2019 after over 30 infant fatalities occurred in the sleepers. These fatalities often happened when infants placed in the sleepers would roll from their backs to their stomachs or side without proper restraints. Sadly, since the recall, there have been 70 additional fatalities. In total, 100 infant deaths occurred. Fisher-Price’s re-announcement of the recall comes after reports that at least eight infants died after the initial 2019 recall.

What Are the Elements of a Maryland Product Liability Lawsuit?

An injured plaintiff suing a product manufacturer should understand the elements of a negligence vs. strict liability theory of recovery. Plaintiffs can bring a negligence lawsuit if the defendants who caused their injuries acted carelessly—or if they were careless by failing to act. To succeed in a negligence claim, plaintiffs must prove the defendants owed them a duty of care, breached that duty by acting carelessly or failing to act, caused the plaintiffs’ injuries through their carelessness, and that the plaintiffs suffered resultant harm. When suing a manufacturer for negligence, plaintiffs must prove the manufacturer owed them a duty of care to manufacture their products safely and failed to meet that duty.

A recent news report detailed a tragic accident that occurred in Caroline County, Maryland. According to the news report, the car accident involved two cars on Williamsburg Road. Initial reports revealed that a Nissan drove east when it crossed the center and struck a Ford F-450 head-on. The driver of the Nissan, a 44-year-old male, died at the accident scene. The crash is still being investigated and a post-crash analysis is being conducted.

Head-on collisions, although much rarer than other types of accidents, can have devasting impacts for the parties involved. While the reasoning behind these types of collisions can vary, some of the causes can include but are not limited to, mistakes that occur when driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, and mechanical issues with a vehicle. However, it may take some time to determine who the at-fault driver was in head-on collisions. This is because of the forceful impact that these crashes have, which may result in vehicles veering off to different parts of the roads and ending up in completely different orientations. Post-crash analysis can be pivotal to determining what lead to the accident and may involve the evaluation of skid marks and debris from the scene of the accident.

Head-on collisions can have devasting consequences including death, brain injuries, broken bones, and paralysis, to name a few. This can result in lost wages, limited mobility and a change in the quality of life, and other consequences. As a result, after such an accident you may be considering what legal steps to take to recover damages.

A driver who is involved in a car accident is required to remain on the scene in the state of Maryland, and fleeing the scene of an accident can result in penalties. Hit-and-run accidents may happen for a variety of reasons, including due to a driver being uninsured. According to a recent news report, a 23-year-old male died after a pedestrian hit-and-run crash. Interstate 95 in Maryland was closed for over four hours as a result of the accident. A man and a woman passenger parked on the side of the road and were having a discussion outside of their vehicle. During the conversation, the woman entered the highway and the man attempted to pull her back from the road. While in the roadway, the male was struck by a Nissan Altima. The Nissan Altima fled the scene. While laying injured on the road, a tractor-trailer also struck the male but failed to stop their vehicle. Soon after, a Honda CRV additionally struck the male and stopped on the shoulder to call 911.

Penalties for Hit-and-Run Drivers

Pursuant to Maryland law, leaving the scene of an accident that results in serious bodily injury is a felony that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. However, if the hit-and-run accident results in death and the driver was found to have reasonably known that the accident caused death, perpetrators can face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Additionally, hit-and-run accidents in Maryland can lead to 8 to 12 points on a driver’s license.

Left turns present some of the most dangerous situations on Maryland roads. When compounded with nighttime driving, the operators of any vehicles may be rightfully concerned for their safety when other vehicles are making left turns. Maryland motorcyclists are even more threatened in these situations, as their vehicles can be harder to see, and the consequences of a crash are often more severe. A tragic crash earlier this month killed a motorcyclist after a driver failed to yield the right of way when making a left turn on a Southern Maryland highway.

According to a local news report discussing the accident, a 73-year-old man was driving a pickup truck on MD Route 6 and performed a left hand turn onto a smaller road near the town of La Plata. The 18-year old victim, who was operating a motorcycle on Route 6 in the opposite direction, crashed his bike into the pickup truck after the older man failed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic while performing the turn. First responders were called to the scene and first aid was rendered as the victim was transported to a nearby hospital, but the medical professionals were unable to save the man and he was pronounced dead at the hospital. The article notes that driver error appears to be the cause of the crash, and no mention was made that drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash.

How Dangerous Is Driving a Motorcycle in Maryland?

Maryland motorcyclists have always been at an elevated risk of being seriously injured or killed while using the roads in our state. This increased danger causes many motorcyclists to use enhanced safety equipment while riding their bikes, but some serious injuries cannot be prevented, even by the most advanced safety equipment. The bottom line is, Maryland motorcycle riders have just as much right to travel safely on our roads as any other drivers. When a negligent driver causes an accident that seriously injures or kills a motorcyclist, they must be held accountable for the damages caused by their mistakes.

In some ways, elder abuse law lags behind other areas of law, and as a result, our clients can feel frustrated by the processes they are up against. In a system that is not always designed to protect older individuals, it can be incredibly daunting to be subject to contracts that work better for bigger companies and facilities than they do for the individuals signing them.

One clear example of an unfair practice in elder abuse law is the reality of arbitration agreements. These clauses appear in contracts of many kinds, including contracts with banks, businesses, and online services. The language of arbitration clauses almost always states that if there is a dispute that arises between the person receiving the service and the company providing the service, those parties must work the dispute out in a private arbitration setting. The individuals are barred from bringing their claims to court.

Recently, Congress banned companies from including arbitration clauses revolving around sexual harassment in their contracts. This legislation means that if an individual has been subject to some kind of sexual harassment, she or he will automatically have the right to pursue their claim in court, even if there was an arbitration clause in the contract they signed.

Drivers share the road with all types of vehicles, ranging from smaller sedans to pick-up trucks, motorcycles, buses, and more. Because vehicles range in size, length, the number of passengers that they can safely hold, and safety features, it can be hard to predict exactly how much damage may result from an accident. In addition, the conditions of the road, the negligence or recklessness of drivers, and other factors all contribute to the level of harm that may result from a truck accident. In addition, changes in seasons can alter the type of vehicles we commonly see on the road, including whether there are many school buses on the road. According to National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school bus-related accidents killed 54 people nationwide in 2020.

In a recent news report from South Carolina, a two-car crash resulted in the death of the driver of a pick-up truck. A school bus was hit by a Chevrolet Silverado that was heading southbound. Seven students were on the bus and no other injuries were reported. Local authorities are investigating the accident further, and fault had not yet been established.

Both trucks and buses can range in size and are often times larger in length and weight. These are often heavier-weight vehicles, requiring that their drivers be equipped with the knowledge and skill needed to safely maneuver the vehicle. These two types of vehicles share a similarity in that it can be difficult in some situations for the drivers of these vehicles to see in their blind spots. Blind spots are essentially the areas that a driver is unable to see when looking in their mirrors or when they turn their head to check their surroundings. In addition, poor weather conditions, obstruction by the sun, passengers or even objects can also add to obstructing a driver’s view.

Intersections can be crowded and sometimes confusing for the various people who are traveling from one place to the next – including bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers of trucks and cars. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration revealed that more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. What causes such a high rate of accidents at intersections?

According to a recent news report, a car crash in Germantown, Maryland led to one fatality and three people injured. The collision involved a truck and a Jeep, where a Ford was traveling southbound when a Jeep turned left. The Jeep struck the Ford F250 at the intersection. A man who was a passenger in the jeep was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the jeep was transported to a local hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, while the driver and passengers of the truck were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. According to photos tweeted by the county’s fire rescue Chief, a truck appeared to have crashed through a fence in the front yard of a house. The investigation into what led to the crash is still ongoing.

What are Some of the Reasons for Intersection Collisions?

Although intersection collisions can happen for a myriad of reasons, some of the common reasons include having an obstructed view of the area which may prevent a driver from having a full line of vision, illegally running a red light, illegally making a turn at the wrong time, miscalculating the movement decisions of other drivers, and distracted driving. There are some tips that drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists can follow to help keep themselves and others safe when at an intersection.

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