Motorcycle Accident Claims in Maryland

The Unique Challenges of Recovering Damages

Motorcycle Accident Claims in MarylandMotorcycle accidents are almost always the result of negligence by another driver, the manufacturer of the bike (or some component of the bike), or the person or entity responsible for maintaining a roadway. Though the principles of negligence remain the same, certain unique issues that can make it more difficult to fully recover for losses caused by a motorcycle accident, as opposed to other vehicle accidents, which is why you want an experienced attorney to protect your rights.

  • Cultural bias against “bikers” — Motorcyclists are, in general, a different breed and may be subject to stereotyping by jurors and opposing counsel. You want an attorney who knows how to minimize that.
  • Special challenges establishing the cause of the accident and injuries — Questions can arise regarding the extent to which failing to wear a helmet aggravated injuries or whether the crash was caused by gravel or potholes.
  • Injury types can be significantly different — Because there’s little between you and the road, chances are your injuries will be serious and likely to include road rash or permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Experienced Baltimore County Motorcycle-Accident-Injury Attorney

A Maryland SuperLawyer, Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of personal injury victims, including people hurt in motorcycle wrecks, for more than 35 years, representing clients across the state of Maryland. He has an AV-rating (the highest possible) from other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has received the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible). He’s also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and carries a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Motorcycle Crash Lawyer in Maryland

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle wreck in Maryland, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

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Drunk Driving Accidents

Proving Liability and Recovering Compensation

Even though there have been many public service campaigns to reduce the risk of drunk driving,it remains one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 800 people are hurt nationwide every day in motor vehicle accidents involving the use of alcohol, with about 4% of those accidents causing a fatality.

Establishing Liability

Though a conviction for DWI/DUI is evidence of fault, it doesn’t necessarily allocate all responsibility to the drunk driver. Maryland is one of a handful of states that follow the legal principle of contributory negligence, which means that if it can be shown you were partially responsible for the crash, you may recover limited damages or no damages at all.

Recovering Compensation

The NHTSA also reports that up to a third of all persons convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders. Because auto insurance premiums rise so dramatically after a conviction for drunk driving, it’s not uncommon for a drunk driver to be underinsured or have no insurance at all. In those situations, you may need to look at other potentially liable parties for compensation:

  • The bar or other establishment that served the driver alcohol
  • The driver’s employer, if the accident occurred during the course of employment
  • The manufacturer or designer of any dangerous or defective product that caused or contributed to the accident
  • The party responsible for maintaining the roads, if the accident was caused by a roadway defect

Experienced Baltimore County DUI/DWI Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith offers more than three decades of experience to men and women in the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents involving the use of alcohol. AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, attorney Smith has been awarded the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible). Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine, he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Maryland

If you’re hurt in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in Maryland, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Traumatic Brain Injury

The Legal Basis for Recovering Damages

Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Traumatic Brain InjuryIf you suffer any type of blow to your head, whether in a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall, or other mishap, there’s a significant risk of a debilitating brain injury. Even a minor bump to the head can cause a concussion and lead to persistent headaches, nausea and vomiting, cognitive challenges, loss of balance or mobility, and changes in sleep patterns. When the careless acts of another person cause your injuries, you have the right to seek damages in court for all your losses.

Lawsuits seeking compensation for personal injuries are typically based on the legal theory of negligence. To successfully prove negligence, you must show three things:

  • the defendant failed to act as an ordinarily prudent person would under the circumstances (in other words, they breached the duty of care expected by society);
  • the defendant’s actions caused an accident; and
  • you suffered actual losses because of the accident.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may not all be immediately apparent after an accident, and some may not show up for weeks, months, or even years. Accordingly, you’ll likely want to introduce expert medical testimony and will want to work with an attorney who understands the full impact of a brain injury.

Proven Maryland Brain Injury Attorney

Long recognized as a Maryland SuperLawyer, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland. AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, Smith has received the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest possible). He has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. The American Lawyer magazine honored him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Knowledgeable Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in the Baltimore Area

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

NHTSA Launches Five-Year Motorcycle Safety Plan

Agency Seeks to Reduce Injuries and Fatalities

NHTSA Launches Five-Year Motorcycle Safety PlanIn 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a five-year plan in response to a long-term trend that has seen the number of fatal motorcycle accidents on America’s roadways more than double in the last 20 years. According to data collected by the NHTSA, more than 5,100 people died in motorcycle accidents nationwide in 2017, compared to just 2,116 in 1997. In 1997, motorcyclist fatalities represented 7% of all deaths on the roadways. Today, they represent 17%.

The agency acknowledges that the primary cause of the rise in injuries and deaths is the increased popularity of motorcycles. Compared to others on the road, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision with another vehicle, and the annual economic costs are nearly $13 billion.

The NHTSA five-year plan includes:

  • Providing riders with greater access to training and educational programs
  • Increasing helmet use
  • Increasing the percentage of bikers who are properly licensed
  • Increasing visibility of bikers and bikes on the roads
  • Reducing instances of impaired driving
  • Improving roadway design
  • Increasing enforcement of motorcycle safety laws

Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought to protect the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Baltimore area and across the state for more than 30 years. Long recognized as a Maryland SuperLawyer, Smith is AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The American Lawyer magazine tabbed him as a Top-Rated Lawyer, and he’s also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible). A highly-respected litigator known for his ability to get positive results at trial, he has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Baltimore County Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Personal Injury Claims—Proof Requirements—Part One

Demonstrating the Defendant Acted Unreasonably

Personal Injury Claims—Proof Requirements—Part OneWhen you suffer physical injury and/or property damage in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. If you aren’t able to get adequate relief from insurers or the at-fault party voluntarily, you may need to file a lawsuit in civil court. To succeed with such a claim, you’ll have to prove that the defendant acted negligently. That requires you to show that:

  • The defendant did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances;
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • You suffered actual losses as a consequence of the accident.

Let’s look at the first element of proof—the breach of the duty of care. Under the accepted principles of personal injury law, every person in society has a duty to act reasonably in all pursuits. That applies to driving a car, designing and manufacturing products, and maintaining the premises of property, as well as other activities. To have a claim for damages after an accident, you must show that the defendant (the person you want to pay for your losses) breached the duty to act reasonably. That breach may take many different forms. Examples include speeding or running a red light, failing to test a product for safety, and improperly maintaining walkways on property.

The determination whether a defendant met the standard of care is made by the finder of fact (typically the jury) at trial. There’s no specific standard set forth in the law. Whether or not conduct was reasonable is ascertained on a case-by-case basis, based on the unique facts of each lawsuit.

Proven Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for over three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been called a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney known for getting results, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

When you hire attorney Smith to handle your claim, he’ll start by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, visiting the scene if necessary. When necessary, he’ll work with expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and financial planners, to present the most compelling arguments to help you get full and fair compensation for your losses.

Experienced Baltimore County, Maryland, Accident Recovery Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Can You Still Seek Compensation for Your Losses?

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?When you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident, your first thought, after receiving medical attention, is likely to be that you need to contact your auto insurance provider. That may not be in your best interests, though. In fact, you’ll likely benefit most if you immediately retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Here’s why.

Your insurance company maximizes its profits by minimizing the amount it pays out on claims. Accordingly, the company has an incentive to offer you less than you deserve; delay payment in the hope that you’ll accept less than you’re entitled to; or simply deny your claim. When you work directly with insurance adjustors, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. The adjustors do this all the time and are good at making it seem like the amount they are offering is a good deal.

An experienced lawyer, on the other hand, knows when you’re being offered full and fair compensation for your losses. Your attorney has an incentive to maximize your recovery, as his or her compensation is directly tied to what you receive. Make your first call to an experienced lawyer, who can then be your intermediary with insurance companies, working to get the benefits you need and to which you are entitled.

Proven Baltimore County Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has consistently obtained positive results for personal injury victims in the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s also AV-rated by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The American Lawyer magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer, and he’s also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). A proven trial lawyer with a longstanding reputation for success in the courtroom, he has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Results-Oriented Frederick County, Maryland, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Can You Still Seek Compensation for Your Losses?

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesIn Maryland, as in most states, seat belts must be used by drivers and front-seat passengers when a vehicle is in motion on the roadway. What if you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, but you weren’t wearing a seat belt as required by law. Can you still recover compensation for your losses? In Maryland, the answer is a clear “yes.”

In many other states, the failure to wear a seat belt can be introduced as evidence of the injured person’s own negligence and can reduce the amount of damages awarded or prevent recovery of any damages at all. In Maryland, however, state law holds that the “failure to use a seat belt cannot be used as evidence of negligence,” cannot be used as evidence to limit liability, and cannot be used to reduce or diminish recovery for damages. In fact, defense attorneys may not introduce evidence of failure to wear a seat belt in any civil action for person injury, wrongful death, or property damage. Any such evidence is inadmissible pursuant to Maryland Code, Transportation §22-412.3.

Proven Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s long been AV-rated by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been honored as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A highly experienced trial lawyer with a widespread reputation for success in the courtroom, he’s received the AVVO Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Results-Oriented Frederick County, Maryland, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit—Part One

Understanding the Process for Recovering Your Losses

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesWhen you’re hurt because of the wrongful or careless actions of another person, you hope your insurance and/or the at-fault party will voluntarily cover all your losses. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. To fully protect your interests, it’s often necessary to take legal action. In this series of blogs, we’ll provide an overview of the steps involved in filing a lawsuit for damages.

To initiate legal action, you’ll need to file a complaint. The complaint identifies the parties, describes what happened, and asks the court for specific relief—usually monetary damages to compensate you for lost wages, unreimbursed medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. The complaint must be filed in the appropriate court (the rules governing this can be complex, so we won’t go into them here).

Once your complaint is filed and properly served on all defendants, the defendant(s) have a limited period of time to respond by filing what is known as an “Answer.” Typically, the defendant simply affirms or denies the statements in your complaint, rather than providing detailed responses. The defendant also typically sets forth affirmative defenses and may include counterclaims against you along with their Answer.

If the Answer is timely filed, the court will schedule a pre-trial conference (discussed in greater detail in our next blog). If, however, the Answer is not filed on time, you can ask the court for default judgment in your favor.

Aggressive Baltimore Accident and Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully protected the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 30 years. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been designated a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. Smith, a successful trial attorney, has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0(Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Experienced Prince George’s County, Maryland, Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffer needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

The Most Common Defenses to a Personal Injury Claim

Know the Arguments a Defendant Might Raise against You

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesWhen you’re hurt in an accident and file legal action to recover for your losses, there are a number of potential defenses you can anticipate. Knowing what they are can help you and your lawyers effectively prepare your case

  • Comparative negligence—This defense alleges that you contributed, to some degree, to either causing your accident or the extent of your injuries. For example, the defendant may argue that you were exceeding the speed limit or not wearing a seat belt.
  • Assumption of risk—This defense contends that you knew there was a risk of injured before you engaged in a certain activity and therefore voluntarily assumed that risk. For example, when you go to a baseball game, you assume the risk that you might be hit by a foul ball. If you are, you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries.
  • Pre-existing condition—You might not be able to recover compensation if a defendant’s negligence aggravates a condition you had prior to the accident. The defense is that your injuries are all attributable to the pre-existing condition.
  • Waiver or liability—If you signed a waiver of liability (also known as a “release”), you may have to show that the defendant was grossly negligent or intentionally harmed you in order to recover.
  • Statute of limitations—There’s a time limit for filing a personal injury claim, known as the “statute of limitations.” If the time period expires before you file, you may be without a remedy.

Proven Baltimore Accident and Injury Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for over three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’salso been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney known for getting results, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0(Superb)rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Experienced Prince George’s County, Maryland, Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffer needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101