A Truck in Rockville Maryland did not Stop After Hitting My Motorcycle Causing me To Crash: Do I have a Case?  


Locate the other driver.  You will have a case if you can find the truck that hit you, this might be easier than you think due to strategically placed traffic cams. Montgomery County utilizes cameras located at the intersection of two roads, and through the Advanced Transportation Management Systems, may have footage of the accident and be able to get a license plate of the truck that hit you and left.  There would be criminal charges against that person once they are located.  You may need a lawyer to help you with the extraction of this information from the Rockville County personnel.

Sequence of suits to file. If you have sustained injuries and damages, they will need to be sought after in a criminal suit where the penalties could range from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge and jail time, depending on the injury the accident may have caused.  There would also be a civil suit to file and a criminal conviction would be used as evidence in that case.  The civil case would be on hold until the criminal case was resolved at which point moving forward with the civil case would probably yield a faster resolution. Since accidents involving motorcycles have more severe injuries, fleeing after hitting a motorcycle is much worse since the person that was hit might be badly hurt; abandoning an injured rider on the side of a road can lead to higher punitive damages awarded.

The costs for damages and injuries.  Victims of hit and run accidents most often have to file claims with their own insurance companies if the negligent driver cannot be identified.  Since Maryland is a “Fault State,” the only other option would be to make an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim.

Risks for riders. Motorcycle drivers are at risk in traffic situations at they are out-sized and seem to be in the blind spot for many other drivers on the highways.  If you have been riding a motorcycle on the highway or any open road, you know that there is a risky freedom feeling about it.  However, a situation can quickly change from a beautiful ride to a lifelong situation of pain and suffering if you do not follow the laws specific to riding a motorcycle or find yourself in harms-way due to other drivers on the road.  Vehicles need to be more aware of their surroundings as the snow and ice melt away and motorcycles reappear on the roadways.  Motorcycle riders must always engage in defensive driving techniques since many cars and trucks do not see them.

Laws specific to motorcycle riders.

  1. Maryland has a helmet law: Maryland requires all motorcycle riders wear helmets while riding on roads, streets, highways and interstates.  Helmets will not protect you from all injuries, but it will reduce the amount of head trauma you sustain if you do have a crash situation.  If you are involved in an accident and you are not wearing your helmet, there will be assigned fault based on your negligence causing you to be barred from any damage compensation.  Even if you are found to be only 1% at fault this holds true.  This reduction in damages due to you being at fault would reveal itself in settlement amounts offered to you and have a heavy impact if you sustained a more severe long-lasting injury that would increase the dollar amount on your damages compared to a broken wrist that will have a more predictable outcome.
  2. Maryland requires the use of eye protection on highways.
  3. Helmet speakers are only allowed in one ear only, but that will not stop them from being used against you if needed for a defense case.
  4. Lane splitting or driving along the line between two vehicles is illegal. Lane sharing is legal when two motorcycles ride alongside each other.

Motorcycle crash data. The 2017 Maryland Department of Transportation reported 73 fatal motorcycle accidents, up 2 from 2016 data, with a five-year average of 67.  Collision accidents with motorcycles were 1,125 in 2016 with a five- year average of 1,153, and total motorcycle crashes doubled starting in March through the Summer months.

Seek legal counsel.  If you were in a motorcycle accident and have sustained injury to yourself or other riders, or damage to your motorcycle, you should seek out legal counsel right away.  The Statute of Limitations in Maryland for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident, or when the injured party became aware of the injury (perhaps through a visit to a doctor).  Contact Rowe, Weinstein & Sohn for a consultation to see what legal action you can initiate to handle the injury and damages caused by your motorcycle accident.

The Law Offices of Rowe, Weinstein & Sohn

1401 Rockville Pike, Suite #110
Rockville, MD 20852

Office: 301-770-4710
Facsimile: 301-770-4711
Toll Free: 1-888-340-7583
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