Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

Every Baltimore driver who has earned the privilege of having a driver's license has learned the rules of the road at one time or another. Indeed, this is the purpose of having driver's education courses and making individuals pass their driver's test before they are given a driver's license and allowed to operate a vehicle on Maryland's roads.

While it is essential that a person have knowledge of the rules of the road in order to obtain his or her driver's license, the importance of those rules does not stop there. When drivers violate the rules of the road, it can result in significant consequences, perhaps to an even greater extent than individuals may realize.

For instance, a truck accident recently occurred when a truck driver struck a 60-year-old bicyclist. The truck driver was cited by police for failing to yield to oncoming traffic and negligent driving, as the driver was attempting to turn left on a green light at the time the driver struck the bicyclist. As a result of the accident, the bicyclist was killed.

While it remains to be seen what will happen in that particular case, in general, the impact of motor vehicle violations goes far beyond the initial citation itself. Motor vehicle violations can play an important part of a negligence action that is brought by an injured person against the driver who caused the accident.

In a negligence action, the injured person must prove the negligence of the other driver. Motor vehicle violations, such as speeding tickets, failing to yield and other violations, can be used to establish the other driver's failure to follow the duty of care that applied. By showing a failure to follow the duty of care, the injured person can prove the other driver was negligent and that the driver's negligence caused the accident in question. The finding of negligence, in turn, can result in an award of compensation in favor of the injured person. Accordingly, motor vehicle violations are very important when it comes to negligence actions, and it should always be determined whether the other driver was cited for any violations in the course of the action.

Source: 4 NBC Washington, "Driver in Fatal Bicycle Crash Charged With Moving Violations," James Doubek, Feb. 11, 2015

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