Motocyclist Faced with a Sudden Emergency

The Bowie motorcycle accident lawyers at Reinstein, Glackin, Patterson & Herriott serve clients in Prince George's, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties. Our clients are from Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Forestville, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, Annapolis, Edgewater, Rockville, Mayo, Bethesda, Germantown, Olney, Beltsville, Deale, Bethesda, Severna Park, Largo, Landover, Oxon HIll, La Plata, Waldorf, Crofton, Columbia and Chevy Chase.
In 2015, George Patterson obtained a policy limits award in an arbitration to resolve a motorcycle accident.  Mr. Patterson's client was in a formation of motorcyclists heading to a charitable event when the driver of a truck ahead developed a flat tire.  When a vehicle sustains a tire blow out, the proper course of action is to lightly hit the accelerator but more importantly to avoid hitting the brakes.  Hitting the brakes results in the vehicle abruptly slowing and creating a hazard for following traffic.  The driver of this truck slowed his vehicle drastically in the left lane before attempting to move to the shoulder.  The motorcyclist observed a vehicle ahead make a rapid lane change to the right, revealing a stopped or nearly stopped truck.  The motorcyclist was travelling at approximately 55mph with about 5 car lengths of space between her car and the truck.  It is very dangerous for a motorcyclist to fully apply the brakes.  If the front brakes lock the motorcyclist will most likely crash.  If the rear brakes lock, the motorcyclist may lose the ability to turn.
A motorcyclist would need at least 10 car lengths to safely bring a motorcycle from 55 mph to a stop. Mr. Patterson's client had taken numerous motorcycle safety classes and was able to testify about many safety considerations that apply to riding a motorcycle.  For example, a motorcyclist should not apply the brakes and swerve at the same time.   When confronted with an emergency the motorcyclist should swerve then brake or brake then swerve.  In addition, a motorcyclist should avoid driving on the shoulders of a highway at higher speeds due to dangers of hitting debris.

This motorcyclist attempted to slow her vehicle as much as possible and then attempted to steer her motorcycle between the truck and a vehicle passing her to the right.  She almost successfully made this maneuver but the rear portion of her motorcycle clipped the truck.  She was tossed from her motorcycle into the middle of Route 495.  A witness to the accident pulled over and ran into traffic to stop approaching cars from running over the helpless motorcyclist.

The insurance company for the truck denied the claim arguing that their driver did nothing wrong and that the motorcyclist was contributorily negligent for failing to avoid the truck.  The arbitrator found the driver of the truck responsible because he had been operating a truck that needed an alignment with used tires.  In the arbitrator's opinion this created an unreasonable risk of a tire failure occurring while the truck was operated.  The arbitrator also found that the motorcyclist did as well as could be expected under the circumstances. 

Bowie motorcycle accident lawyer, George Patterson has handled serious concussion, road rash, and motorcycle accident cases in courts in Upper Marlboro, La Plata, Annapolis, Rockville, and Prince Frederick.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident please contact lawyer, George Patterson for a free consultation to discuss your case.  The Bowie, motorcycle accident lawyers of Reinstein, Glackin, Patterson and Herriott may be reached at 301-383-1525 or after hours or on weekends at 240-893-7474.

Each case is different.  Past records are no assurance that our lawyers will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case.

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