Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

Maryland State Police are investigating a deadly motor vehicle crash in St. Mary’s County that left a newlywed couple dead. Phillip Brian Natalie died at the crash scene, while his wife, Jessica Laurel Natalie, was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s hospital following the crash. Jessica and Laurel, who were both 26, were married this summer.

The collision took place at the intersections of Crimson Drive and Willows Road. Police reports indicate that the Maryland motor vehicle collision happened after a Toyota Camry, driven by 25-year-old Lateesha Shonte Cooper, made a left turn and drove into the path of the motorcycle that the couple was riding. Cooper, who is also a Lexington Park resident, was treated at a hospital for her injuries and later released.

According to Lt. Michael Thompson, preliminary findings made it appear to him as if the motorcycle was trying to avoid Cooper’s car. He noted the possibility that Cooper might have failed to yield the right of way.

Maryland State Police records show that there were 96 motorcycle deaths in Maryland in 2007. Police say that although only 2% of all registered motor vehicles in Maryland are motorcycles, these vehicles were involved in 16% of the state’s deadly traffic collisions. While Maryland motorcyclists are responsible for 50% of these auto accidents, the other 50% of traffic crashes are caused by other motorists.

2007 NHTSA US Motorcycle Crash Statistics:

• 5,154 motorcyclists died.
• 103,000 others were injured.
• 1,784 lives were saved because of helmet use.
• 2,332 two-vehicle crashes involved collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle.

• 25% of all motorcycles involved in deadly accidents were in collisions with fixed objects.

Lex. Park Couple Killed in Motorcycle Crash, Southern Maryland Online, October 20, 2008
2 killed in crash with car, Southern Maryland Newspapers, October 15, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Motorcycle Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA

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US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced the latest national drunk driving-related death statistics. Peters noted that while the number of total DUI deaths has dropped significantly in 32 US states, half of the states experienced an increase in drunk driving-related motorcycle fatalities.

Overall, almost 13,000 people died in accidents involving motorists with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more—a drop from the almost 13,500 DUI victims that died in 2006. Peters noted that 1,621 motorcyclists that died in alcohol-related collisions last year—a 7.5% increase from the year prior.

Of the 12,998 drunk driver-related deaths that occurred last year:

• 7,283 of the victims where drunk drivers.
• 2,067 victims were riding with the drunk driver.
• 1,361 fatalities were motorcyclists that were intoxicated.
• 81 of the deaths were passengers of intoxicated motorcyclists.

• 1,431 victims were occupants of other motor vehicles.

The state that experienced the greatest drop in alcohol-related deaths was California, with 1,155 alcohol-impaired deaths in 2007 compared to the 1,272 fatalities in 2006.

States that experienced an increase in drunk driver-related deaths in 2007 included North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Alabama, Maine, Montana, Alaska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Delaware, North Dakota, West Virginia, Minnesota, Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The number of drunk-driving deaths in Maryland for 2007 was 179.

DUI Fatalities Down Nationwide and in 32 States, Says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, NHTSA, August 28, 2008
2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment – Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities (PDF)

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The parents of Gene Sergent, a motorcyclist who died after his motorcycle collided with an ambulance in Maryland City on September 14, 2007 has filed a $4.4 million wrongful death lawsuit.

John A. Turkette and Frieda L. Sergent say that witnesses saw the driver of the ambulance, Darrel E. Blount, run a red light when his emergency lights were off. They are accusing him of causing the accident.

Their allegations contradict the Anne Arundel County police’s report that it was Sergent that ran a red light on Route 198 in front of the Maryland City Plaza shopping center. An Assistant County lawyer has acknowledged that there are report discrepancies among the witness reports.

The investigation that determined Sergent was at fault closed in April. Those findings were primarily based on police findings. According to Anne Arundel County police, Firefighter Blount was exiting the shopping center in his ambulance when Sergent drove his sport bike into the motor vehicle.

Sergent’s mother, however, claims that police can’t be trusted to be unbiased, because the “police department and fire department” are family. She and Turkette are suing Blount and Anne Arundel County. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Baltimore. Frieda L. Sergent says she is determined to clear her son’s name.

Whether you are a Maryland resident or someone from outside the state who was seriously injured or lost a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident, our wrongful death lawyers would like to talk to you. Even if police reports indicate that you or your loved one caused the accident, there may be evidence that proves otherwise. If so, you could be entitled to receive personal injury or wrongful death recovery.

Lawsuit filed in fatal ambulance crash, Hometown, June 26, 2008
Police recruit, two others die in weekend crashes,, September 17, 2007

Related Web Resource:

Anne Arundel County

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Federal, state, and local agencies have designated the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to remind drivers and motorcyclists to “Share the Road” safely and keep motorcyclists safe.

In 2007, one out of every nine traffic accident fatalities was a motorcyclist. 4,810 motorcyclists died in 2006. While the number of car and truck accident deaths has declined, motorcyclist fatalities are on the rise.

Recent studies indicate that about 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries or death for the motorcyclists or their passengers—compared to 20% of other kinds of motor vehicle crashes.

In Maryland recent motorcycle accidents include:

In April, a motorcyclist (and his passenger) was critically injured after he crashed his bike to avoid colliding with a large farm sprayer.

In another accident last month, a motorist was seriously injured after almost crashing into a Dodge pick-up truck.

Beginning June 1, 2008, a new Maryland law goes into effect that will allow motorcyclists to place light emitting diode (LED) pods and strips so that other drivers can see them. The accent lighting will hopefully reduce the number of motorcycle injuries and deaths at night on Maryland roads.

Maryland Senate Bill 713 also lets motorcyclists use blue dot illumination on the backs of motorcycles.

According to ABATE of Maryland, Inc, the largest association of motorcycle riders, the majority of motorcycle accidents happen because the driver of the vehicle didn’t see the motorcyclist or was at fault in some other way.

If you or someone you love was seriously hurt in Washington D.C. or Maryland because of another party’s carelessness or negligence, contact our motorcycle accident law firm for your free consultation.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month,, April 14, 2008
New Maryland Law Allows LED on Motorcycles, Clutch and Chrome, April 8, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Maryland Senate Bill 713

ABATE of Maryland

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that 4,810 motorcyclists died in deadly highway crashes in 2006—a number that grew for the ninth year in a row.

Over one of every nine road fatalities in 2006 involved a motorcycle rider. The NHTSA is providing this information to prepare motorists for “Share the Road,” Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which takes place in May.

Motorcyclists continue to likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents for a number of reasons, including:

• The smaller size of a motorcycle can make it more difficult for other drivers to see.
• It is sometimes hard to gage how fast a motorcycle is moving.

• Motorcycle riders don’t have anything except for protective clothing standing between their bodies and the impact of a collision.

To prevent motorcycle accidents, The NHTSA recommends that car drivers, truck drivers, and bus drivers do the following:

• Allow a motorcyclist the full lane width.
• Always signal your intentions.
• Check your blind spots.

• Allow more following distance when you are driving behind a motorcycle.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration provides a list of protective gear for motorcyclists:

• The DOT (Department of Transportation)-approved Helmet, which is mandatory for all motorcyclists riding in Maryland.
• Approved eye protection (Also mandatory for Maryland riders)
• A long-sleeved jacket or shirt
• Over-the-ankle shoes/boots
• Long pants made with sturdy material
• Full-fingered gloves

Please contact our Maryland motorcycle accident law firm to discuss your case with one of our experienced motorcycle crash lawyers. Your first consultation is free.

2008 Motorcycle Awareness Safety,
Protective Riding Gear, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

Related Web Resources:

Maryland Motorcycle Roads

Maryland MVA Guide for Motorcycles,

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In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, a 52-year-old motorcyclist died yesterday evening after being struck by a Toyota 4-Runner on Defense Highway in Crofton.

John Carlton Winner, a Bowie resident, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead. Karleen Jeane Talbot, the SUV driver, was not injured in the deadly collision.

According to Anne Arundel police, the accident happened when Talbott tried turning left onto Defense Highway (from Priest Bridge Center). The motorcycle was heading up Defense Highway from the opposite direction. Talbot turned her SUV directly into the path of the 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which caused Winner to be thrown off.

Motorcycle accidents can be deadly accidents for the motorcyclist—even if he or she is wearing a helmet and the proper protective gear.

2006 Motorcycle Accident Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

• There were 4,810 motorcycle fatalities in 2006.
• 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents.
• Motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than the occupant of car, truck, or bus, and eight times more likely to survive with sustain injuries.
• Speeding and drunk driving were among the most common causes of deadly motorcycle accidents.

• 47% of the people who died in motorcycle crashes were 40 years of age or older.

In Maryland and Washington D.C., anyone riding a motorcycle is required to wear a Department of Transportation-approved safety helmet. Across the U.S., 1,658 motorcyclists survived their crashes because they were using helmets.

Please contact a Maryland or Washington D.C. motorcycle accident lawyer if you or someone you love was seriously injured while riding a motorcycle because another driver was careless or reckless. The law entitles to you personal injury compensation. If you have lost a family member in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to receive wrongful death compensation.

Motorcyclist killed in crash in Arundel, Baltimore, January 8, 2008
Motorcycle Crashes, Insurance Information Institute

Related Web Resources:

Maryland Motorcycle Roads

Motorcycle Riding Laws by State

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D.C. police say they have identified the motorcyclist that was involved in the high-speed police chase that resulted in a deadly multi-motor vehicle collision on the Capital Beltway on May 30. The crash resulted in the deaths of two people. 15 others were injured in the collision involving seven motor vehicles.

The woman who was a passenger on the motorcycle is the person that has reportedly come forward to identify the motorcyclist. According to over 20 witnesses and based on videotape and other evidence, Office Scott Campbell began chasing a motorcycle, driven by a man with a female passenger, down the Capital Beltway during rush-hour traffic. The high-speed pursuit at times reportedly exceeded 120 mph. The police cruiser eventually crashed into an SUV and other vehicles became involved in the multi-car collision.

Officer Campbell reportedly began chasing the motorcycle without notifying dispatchers—which he should have done. Kevin McDonald and Sidney Clanton, who were riding the SUV, were killed almost immediately. The car of an off-duty police officer also involved in the crash was also seriously damaged.

There is no word on whether criminal charges will be filed. The Prince George’s police department vehicle pursuit policy says that police officers can only engage in chasing a suspect if an officer has probable cause to believe that the person they are pursuing either injured or killed someone in a hit and run crash or physically violent or could become physically violent. According to police policy, police officers must prioritize ensuring the preservation of life over catching a suspect.

Statistics show that 300 people die every year in police pursuit-related accidents. Of these deaths, about 30% of the victims were innocent bystanders who were not even directly involved in the pursuit. Between 1994-2002, 102 bicyclists and pedestrians and 40 police officers were killed because of police chases.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motorcyclist, because a car driver, truck driver, another motorcyclist, a pedestrian, a bus driver, a police officer, or any other party behaved negligently or carelessly, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to demand compensation for your injuries.

Motorcyclist Sought in Pileup Is Identified, Washington Post, October 27, 2007
Study examines crash fatalities from police pursuits, UW School of Medicine, April 16, 2004
D.C. Area Crash Kills 2, Injures 15, CBS News, May 31, 2007

Related Web Resource:

Police Pursuit Accidents

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A jury in Maryland has ordered Cecil County to pay Karl Dorman, a 34-year-old Elkton man who lost his right leg in a 2002 motorcycle accident, $3.2 million. Dorman sued Cecil County for personal injury after his leg was severed during his motorcycle crash where a pickup truck collided with him. His leg hit a utility pole that was placed just 17 inches from the road.

Dorman claims that his leg was severed because the county neglected to properly maintain Nottingham Road (where the accident occurred) and the surrounding areas. The motorcycle accident took place on June 2, 2002 close to Steele’s Motel.

Because of Maryland’s limitations cap on local government liability, Dorman will only be able to collect $200,000. To win its case, the plaintiff said that the county neglect its duty to adopt regulations that would prohibit potentially hazardous objects, including utility poles, from being placed too close to roads. They cited “breach of duty” as the cause of Dorman’s severed leg.

The American Association of Highway Safety Transportation Officials has issued a recommendation that utility poles be placed at least 7 to 10 feet from the roadway. The defense said these guidelines are included in Cecil County’s road code.

The six-person jury, however, ruled in favor of Dorman. They said that the county acted negligently by not fulfilling its responsibility to keep Nottingham Road and the nearby area safe and that this negligence was a “concurrent proximate cause” or a “proximate cause” that led to Dorman’s personal injuries.

The jury awarded Dorman $605,000 for mental suffering, physical pain, humiliation, and disfigurement, $266,408.71 in lost wages, and $2,345,257 in medical costs.

A severed leg is a catastrophic injury and the costs for medical bills and recovery are astronomical. Filing a personal injury claim against the person or entity responsible for such an injury can help relieve some of the financial burden and provide the injured person with some acknowledgement for their loss.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit against any government entity can be very complicated and a plaintiff must follow strict guidelines in order for the suit to be brought. It is important to file any kind of accident claim against a government employee or agency as soon as possible. Depending on the state where the accident occurred, the government entity or employee usually must have the chance to agree to or deny your claim. If they deny your claim, you can then file a lawsuit in civil court.

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident or any other kind of motor vehicle accident in Maryland or Washington D.C., you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away.

Motorcyclist who lost leg wins judgment against county, Cecil Whig, August 29, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Findings from the Hurt Report
Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes, US Department of Transportation

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Currently, Maryland is one of 20 U.S. states that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. A group of motorcyclists, however, are pushing to have Maryland’s “Helmet Law’ revised.

They want the Maryland General Assembly to let motorcycle riders over the age of 21, who have at least two years motorcycle riding experience or finish an authorized motorcycle safety course, to be given the option of choosing whether to use a helmet.

Doctors at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, however, calls “motorcycles donor cycles.”

Maryland’s “Helmet Law” was repealed in 1979 but reinstated in 1992. Brain injuries have been known to occur 80% more frequently in states that have repealed their Helmet Law.

A recent Maryland study shows that over 50 percent of Maryland motorcyclists do not have health coverage. As the majority of people who sustain traumatic brain injuries have to use Medicaid, every brain injury ends up costing $120,000 annually of taxpayers’ dollars.

The Maryland State Police in Frederick say that they see approximately two to three motorcycle fatalities each week and that the accidents are usually nastier because the victims have no protection.

Motorcycle helmets are considered the best protection from head injuries in motorcycle collisions. Head injuries are a major cause of motorcycle fatalities.

A person who is not wearing a motorcycle has a 40 percent greater chance of sustaining a fatal traumatic brain injury (TBI). He or she also has a 15 percent greater chance of sustaining a nonfatal injury than a motorcyclist wearing a motorcycle.

States with a mandatory motorcycle helmet law:

• Alabama
• Washington D.C.
• Maryland
• Louisiana
• California
• Georgia
• Massachusetts
• Mississippi
• Michigan
• Nebraska
• Missouri
• New Jersey
• Nevada
• New York
• North Carolina
• Tennessee
• Oregon
• Vermont
• Virginia
• West Virgina
• Washington
The Helmet Law,, July 31, 2007

Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws

Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2006

Related Web Resources:

Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

State of Maryland Mandatory Helmet Law

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Abraheim Mohamed Zarti of Bryans Road in Charles County, Maryland died on Friday when the motorcycle that he was riding in was hit by a 1998 Toyota Camry at Southbound Maryland Route 210 near Matthews Road. Zarti broke his neck and died from his injuries.

The Camry was driven by Sharon Leta Glisson, 67. Police say that she failed to yield the right of way when she turned in front of him. The motorcycle collision caused Zarti to be thrown from his motorcycle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the number of motorcycle deaths in Maryland increased by 60%—from 53 to 85 fatalities a year—from 2001 to 2005.

When involved in motor vehicle crashes, motorcycle riders tend to be more vulnerable to serious injuries than the passengers and drivers of cars, buses, and trucks. Motorcycle riders do not wear seatbelts to keep them safe, nor do they have the body of a vehicle around them to prevent them from being thrown from their motorcycle or crushed by other vehicles.

Despite the size of their motor vehicle, motorcycle riders have the same rights as everyone else on the road.

A few common instances when A motor vehicle driver might get into an accident with a motorcycle rider:

• A motorcyclist is making a turn in the driver’s blind spot
• Hazardous road conditions may compel a motorcycle rider to turn or swerve unexpectedly
• The driver of the motor vehicle is turning left in front of the rider

Motorcycle riders who are seriously injured because of another driver’s negligence on the road should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can investigate your accident and file your personal injury claim for you.

If you have lost a spouse, parent, or child in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, a personal injury lawyer can file a wrongful death lawsuit for you.

Bryan’s Road Man In Fatal MotorCycle Accident in Charles County, Southern Maryland Online
Motorcycle Deaths Renew Calls for Safety Measures in Maryland, Insurance, June 13, 2007
Tips for Sharing the Road, The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

Related Web Resources:

2007 Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program,

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