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Motorcycle Accidents and Contributory Negligence

| Category: Motorcycle Accidents | July 16, 2021

Maryland is one of a very small number of states that follows what is referred to as the “pure contributory negligence” rule. This rule can make it difficult for people who are injured in accidents to recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and the other party is saying it’s your fault, you should contact the Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles as soon as possible. 

How the Contributory Negligence Rule Can Affect Your Claim

In Maryland, the contributory negligence rule can prohibit you from receiving any compensation at all for your accident if your own negligence contributed to the accident in any way. For example, if you were struck by a car that ran a red light, the fact that you were speeding may prevent you from being compensated for your injuries and other losses. Obviously, this is a harsh result. 

Anti-Rider Bias?

Experienced Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers routinely encounter a bias against motorcycle riders. Many people consider them to be reckless and irresponsible and consider riding a motorcycle to be inherently dangerous. As a result, insurance adjusters, witnesses, judges, and juries are more inclined to believe that the motorcycle rider was at least partially responsible for causing the accident. For those who have been injured in a motorcycle accident, this bias can be difficult to overcome, resulting in the denial of claims.   

Common Examples of Contributory Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Cases

While many contributory negligence arguments are baseless, there are some things that motorcyclists routinely do that can raise this issue. Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers handle many cases that involve the following: 

  • Speeding
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Riding after consuming alcohol
  • Unsafe lane changes or passing vehicles in unsafe situations
  • Not wearing a helmet or other protective gear

If you were doing any of these things before your accident, it doesn’t mean that your case is hopeless. 

How Waldorf Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help

Our Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers help injured riders in the following ways: 

  1. We address and overcome the anti-motorcycle bias that many accident victims face. This includes careful documentation of your experience as a rider, your driving history, and all of the things you routinely do and were doing at the time in order to ride safely. 
  2. We require strict proof that you were riding negligently. Contributory negligence is what is referred to as an “affirmative defense,” meaning that the other party must prove negligence. It isn’t enough to simply claim that your own negligence contributed to the accident. We also introduce evidence to refute the claim when available. 
  3. We require proof that your negligence contributed to the accident. Even if you were negligent, the other party has to prove that it contributed to causing the accident. Using the example above, the fact that you were riding 5 or 10 miles per hour over the speed limit may be irrelevant if the other driver ran a red light. 

Contact the Waldorf Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Our Firm Today 

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we can help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. The sooner you contact us the sooner we can help – call us today at 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.