Maryland Motorcyclist Who Lost Leg Wins $3.2 million Personal Injury Judgment from Cecil County

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

Jack Lebowitz and Vadim Mzhen are personal injury lawyers that know how to handle claims and lawsuits against individuals, property owners, and government entities. We understand the complexities that can be involved and we are committed to fighting for your rights to compensation. There also may be more than one liable party that can be held responsible for your accident. We can determine who is responsible and file claims against them on your behalf.

Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today to schedule your free consultation.

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