Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Waldorf, MD
Our Waldorf motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience helping people across all of Southern Maryland after a serious vehicle accident.
Almost 6,000 motorcyclists perished in traffic accidents in 2021 alone. Another 82,000 riders suffered injuries. These statistics are a somber reminder of the daily dangers motorcyclists face on the road. Most of the casualties are entirely avoidable and are the result of nothing more than reckless auto drivers and hazardous road conditions.
The following article will help answer some of your basic questions about motorcycle accidents. However, if you received injuries in a motorcycle accident, it’s vital you contact a local Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyer to help hold the responsible party liable. Our attorneys are standing by to assist you. Give us a call today to get going.
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Understanding Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland
About 73 motorcycle riders and passengers die annually in Maryland. Far and away the largest cause of these deaths is head trauma. Statistics also indicate that weekends and midday hours are the most dangerous period for motorcyclists. And unlike car passengers, motorcyclists are injured in over 70% of motorcycle crashes.
Like most states, Maryland mandates the use of a helmet for motorcycle riders and passengers. Similarly, all motorcyclists must wear protective eyewear unless their motorcycle has a windshield.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often devastating because of the relative vulnerability of riders compared to car passengers. Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Left-turn collisions. Surprisingly, left-turn collisions are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, and occur when a car makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The car driver typically doesn’t see the motorcyclist or misjudges their speed.
- Lane splitting. This practice involves the motorcyclist driving between two lanes of traffic. While lane splitting can help reduce traffic congestion, it is illegal in Maryland and can also spike the risk of an accident.
- Speeding and reckless driving. Excessive speed reduces reaction time and can increase the severity of accidents. Similarly, aggressive driving, like weaving in and out of traffic, can instantly cause an accident.
- Impaired driving. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs suffer from reduced perception and reaction time, making accidents significantly more likely.
- Road hazards. Due to their small size, motorcycles are more susceptible to dangers from road hazards. Potholes, loose gravel, wet or slick surfaces, uneven road heights, and other irregularities can quickly bring down a bike.
- Motorcycle defects. A malfunction or defect in the motorcycle can lead to an accident. Examples of this include faulty manufacturing, design flaws, or lack of proper maintenance.
These are just a few of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents. Other examples include blind spots, poor weather, and distracted drivers.
Frequent Motorcycle Injuries
Now that we understand the causes of motorcycle accidents, let’s look at the most common motorcycle injuries themselves.
- Road rash. Perhaps the most recognizable motorcycle injury, road rash occurs when a rider’s skin makes contact with the road during a fall. This abrasion can range from mild (similar to a skin scrape) to severe, involving several layers of skin and possibly underlying tissue.
- Bone fractures. A motorcycle doesn’t provide a surrounding frame like a car, so the rider’s bones bear the brunt of the impact when accidents happen. Commonly fractured bones include the wrist, arm, collarbone, and leg.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Even with helmet use, riders can still sustain concussions or more severe TBIs during crashes. These injuries can range in severity from short-term concussions to permanent cognitive issues that limit your ability to work.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can have devastating, permanent consequences, including partial or complete paralysis. High-impact crashes can result in vertebral fractures or disc injuries, affecting the rider’s mobility and quality of life.
- Biker’s arm. When riders fall during an accident, their natural instinct is to put their arms out to break the fall. This can lead to sizable nerve damage in the arms, a condition most people call “biker’s arm.”
- Internal injuries. Internal organ damage and internal bleeding frequently result from the force of impact, even if there aren’t apparent external injuries. Such injuries are particularly treacherous because they might not be immediately recognizable.
Given the wide variety of motorcycle accident injuries and their possible consequences, it’s critical that you visit a doctor after your accident, even if you feel fine.
Critical Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Your actions immediately after a motorcycle accident strongly impact both your well-being and the potential outcome of any legal matters. Here are the essential steps you should consider.
First Steps At the Scene
Start by ensuring your safety first. If you’re able to move without severe pain, get to a safe location off the road to prevent further accidents or injuries. Turn on your hazard lights or set up flares if you have them. Once complete, call 911. Even if the accident seems minor, it’s essential to involve the police. Their report can be crucial if you decide to make an insurance claim or if there’s a dispute about who was at fault.
Next, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, including their name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance details. Also, gather contact details from any witnesses and document the scene thoroughly if possible. Take photos of the accident scene, your motorcycle, the other vehicle(s) involved, and any injuries you sustained. This can be vital evidence later on.
After Leaving the Scene
Once the police have completed their report, seek medical attention. Many common motorcycle accident injuries like concussions or internal injuries are not immediately apparent. Therefore, getting checked out by medical professionals, either on the scene or at a hospital, is crucial. In addition, keep records of any medical treatment you receive, including medications, therapies, or surgeries. This will be important if you need to prove the extent of your injuries.
Finally, get legal help. If you believe the other party was at fault, it’s wise to consult with a Waldorf motorcycle accident attorney. They can guide you through the legal process, help protect your rights, and hold the at-fault party accountable.
Contact Our Team of Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Waldorf Today
There are many motorcycle accident lawyers in Waldorf that you can choose from. That said, choosing the right one is vital because it will make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Having an experienced, established firm with a track record of outstanding results is especially important.
Fortunately, Southern Maryland Law is just the reliable, outstanding firm that you’re looking for. We pride ourselves on our involvement with the Southern Maryland community for over fifty years. More than that, we have successfully helped thousands of people obtain excellent results in their cases and strive to provide our clients with the individualized attention they need. Don’t wait. Call us today or visit our website to start.