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Motorcycle accidents: increased danger, same elements for relief

Baltimore residents may be surprised to hear that over 100,000 people suffer serious brain injuries every year in the country. The causes are varied, although motorcycle drivers in particular face increased dangers on the road. Indeed, a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to die in an auto accident than his car-driving counterpart, and five times more likely to be injured.

A recent Maryland accident provides an unfortunate illustration of these increased dangers. In the incident, a man traveling on a motorcycle was struck by a 17-year-old car driver as the latter tried to turn left into a parking lot. While the motorcyclist took action to try to avoid the turning car, he was unable to miss the car, and he was thrown from his motorcycle when it struck the rear of the car.

Like many motorcycle-car accidents, the driver of the car and his passengers were not injured in the crash that killed the motorcycle driver. Police are continuing to investigate the matter to determine the precise cause of the accident.

While the dangers may be increased for motorcycle riders, the elements of a negligence action remain the same as other negligence actions. Specifically, the motorcyclist has to show the car driver owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused injury to the motorcyclist.

Given the increased dangers for motorcyclists, however, the negligence action may differ slightly depending on the facts. For example, because of the brain injury risks detailed above, there may need to be some medical evidence on the cause of a person's brain injury and the effects it has on that person. Brain injuries in particular can be complex, which provides all the more reason for those injured to have an experienced attorney who can help evaluate the case and pursue claims for legal relief.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Perryville man killed in motorcycle crash," Jonathan Pitts, Sep. 14, 2012

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