With the summer season almost officially here, many Baltimore residents are enjoying the outdoors as much as they can. One favorite outdoor activity enjoyed by many is going for a motorcycle ride. As many motorcycle enthusiasts are well aware, it remains vital to drive safely on a motorcycle, especially in light of the many drivers who fail to see motorcycles on the road.
Recently, this was learned all too tragically when a New Baltimore man was killed while driving his motorcycle. The man, a reserve officer with the police department, was riding his bike northbound when he was struck by a 64-year-old man who was turning left at an intersection. While both men were taken to the hospital, the motorcycle driver was killed as a result of the accident. The other man remains hospitalized, but sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Commonly, individuals on motorcycles are injured in an auto accident when they fail to wear their helmet. In the case above, the man actually was wearing his helmet at the time of the crash, but still died in the accident.
The distinction between wearing a helmet or not, aside from usually impacting a person's safety, can also impact their ability to recover full damages in a lawsuit against a negligent driver. A number of states mandate helmet use, and sometimes, a person's failure to wear a helmet may be seen as contributory negligence on the part of the motorcycle driver in the crash. Accordingly, while the other driver may still be liable, the contributory negligence can reduce an award of damages.
Ultimately, whether contributory negligence exists will depend on the facts of each case. Accordingly, individuals injured in a motorcycle accident should work with a qualified personal injury attorney to determine how to best recover damages for their injuries.
Source: The Voice, "New Baltimore reserve officer killed in motorcycle crash," June 5, 2013