Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Injured Riders
I have been a motorcycle driver since the 1970 and I understand the freedom and excitement of riding on two wheels. I also understand how cars and trucks oftentimes do not see a motorcycle and how quickly a motorcycle rider can be seriously injured by a car or truck.
In the United States, motorcycle accidents are one of the leading causes of fatal vehicle accidents. Motorcycle accidents tend to be more serious because motorcycles offer so little protection to the rider, Even though motorcycle accidents are less common than auto accidents, the results can be more devastating. If a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident, he or she has little protection from the effects of the impact. Many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. Surviving victims typically require extensive and costly medical treatment. Brain damage, spinal injuries, and other injuries can result in expensive medical visits, lost wages, pain, and suffering. My goal is to help people injured in motorcycle accidents obtain the resources and benefits necessary to regain the quality of life they once had. Whether the accident is minor or severe, your case can benefit from an experienced Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer to help you understand your rights in the fight for just compensation.
Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Many people think motorcycle riders have a reputation for being reckless and driving at unsafe speeds. Many motorcycle accidents, however, are actually caused by a car driver’s negligence in operating the larger vehicle involved. In order to establish that the other party was at fault, negligence will have to be proven. You need the aggressive and knowledgeable assistance of my firm. As your Maryland personal injury attorney, I can investigate the scene, have witnesses interviewed, and build a strong case based on the evidence. During my representation, I can work with you to prove that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The other driver breached the duty of care.
- You suffered recognizable injury.
- The other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.
No PIP (personal injury protection)
Maryland motorcycle accident victims are not covered by PIP, which regularly provides automobile accident victims with this coverage for medical coverage and reimbursement for lost wages. An attorney can be a resource to assist a rider in finding proper medical care when injured.
So what can I collect if I am injured by the negligence of another driver while riding my motorcycle?
An attorney can help you collect:
- Past and future medical expenses: ambulance transportation, emergency room visits, visits to your doctor, and physical therapy if these treatments and expenses are related to your accident.
- Lost wages: You can make a claim for the time you missed from work even if you were able to take sick leave from your employer. In severe cases and if you are deemed to be disabled, you can also collect for future earnings. These lost future earnings will be reduced to today’s value (called “net present value”)
- Pain and suffering: An injured motorcyclist can make a claim against a negligent driver for pain and suffering. The amount of pain and suffering is determined by he severity of the injuries, the duration of any medical treatment, any scaring and a review of the drivers medical records after treatment is concluded.
- Loss of Consortium: The spouse of an injured rider can file a separate claim for damage to the martial relations including loss of companionship, affection and sexual relations.
How Much Time Do I Have?
In Maryland, you generally have 3 years to file suit if you are injured by the negligence of another driver. There are other shorter time frames involved if you are injured by a motor vehicle driven by an employee of a government. An attorney can assist you in identifying the correct timeframe for your case. If you fail to comply with these time frames your claim can be denied. Additionally, you have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company by providing them with information and perhaps a statement in a timely manner.
What Steps Are Involved in Being Compensated for a Motorcycle Accident?
What to Do the Day of the Accident.
Your first action after involvement in a motorcycle accident should be to stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. The law requires that drivers exchange driver’s license, registration and insurance information before leaving the scene of an accident. In Maryland if a police officer is dispatched to the scene, he will assist in the exchange of this information. You can be criminally charged with a hit and run if you leave the accident location. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to the vehicles involved. These can prove very useful later as many cases do not get to court for years.
Seek Medical Treatment
If anyone is injured, immediate medical assistance should be obtained and the police should be contacted to report the accident. A police report of the accident can help support your insurance claim and any liability claims. Use caution and discretion during any conversations and do not plead guilty or admit fault at the scene of the accident. Let an attorney review the facts of your case and discuss with you. It is advisable to politely refuse to comment on the situation with anyone at the scene until you speak with an attorney.
It is not unusual for you to feel fine at the scene of the accident and wake up stiff, sore, and in pain the next morning. If this happens you should seek medical treatment.
The Demand Package
When your medical treatment is complete, I will collect all of your medical records and the related bills as well as documentation to support your claim for any lost wages. These collected documents will be assembled into a demand package for submission to the opposing parties insurance company.
Usually while the client is in treatment the insurance takes a position on liability, which essentially means are they going to pay or fight the claim. If the insurance company denies the claim before the client completes treatment, a? no demand package is prepared and a case is filed with the court.
After the opposing person receives the demand package insurance, they conduct a review of the medical records and bills. Each insurance company has its own way to evaluate bills and medical treatment. Most will also call the employer and verify the lost wages claim.
After this review and verification is completed, I will speak with the insurance companies claims adjustor. Typically, the insurance company will make an initial offer to settle. I will make a counter demand on behalf of the client. It is not unusual for there to be multiple rounds of offers and demands. If a settlement amount can be agreed on, the insurance company will prepare a release for the client to sign and mail a check to the client’s attorney. I deposit the check and when it has cleared, I pay any outstanding bills and give the remaining balance to the client in the form of a check.
If a fair settlement cannot be agreed upon or the insurance company denies liability, the case will need to proceed to Court. I always meet with a client before filing suit to make sure they understand what is entailed in the court proceeding, what expenses to expect and to agree on what court we are going to file in and whether the matter will be submitted to a judge or jury.
When filing suit in Maryland, you can file in either the District Court or the Circuit Court. Judges conduct the trials in the District Court and juries are available in the Circuit Court. Small claims are all claims under $5,000.00 and the rules of evidence are relaxed. District Court cases can be filed for up to $30,000.00 and cases demanding over $30,000.00 are filed in the Circuit Courts.
As you proceed with your case, Raymond Carignan, Esq., can remain by your side to help you obtain just compensation. I am a Maryland motorcycle rider and accident lawyer who can help you prove that the negligent party is at fault. In addition to Maryland, I also serve clients in Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Contact my firm for experienced legal representation and a strong advocate who can fight for your right to compensation.
Call or text me today on my cell at (410) 703-2703 or email me for a free consultation. Consultations are free, and there is never a legal fee until your case is won.