Friday, March 19, 2010

$5 Million Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Bicycle Accident

Mr. John Yates, a 67-year-old bicyclist, was riding his bicycle on Maryland Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland on August 4, 2009 when he was struck in the rear by a truck owned by Potts & Callahan. The collision caused the bike to get stuck under the wheels of the truck when the truck made a right hand turn onto Lafayette Avenue. Yates were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck failed to stop after the accident. The truck was found two days later in the Potts & Callahan service yard with a blood and hair still on the front tires. DNA testing confirmed that the truck was involved in this collision.

On March 3, 2010, the family of Yates filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Potts & Callahan for wrongful death. The lawsuit accuses the driver of the truck and Potts & Callahan of negligence. The dispute in this matter is whether or not Yates was in full compliance with Maryland law.

According to the law in Maryland, the operator of a bicycle must stay as close to the right side of the roadway as practicable except when turning left. There are exceptions to this rule, a bicyclist must use a bike lane or smooth shoulder whenever one is available and may not ride on a controlled road with a speed in excess of 50 miles per hour. It is important to note that the violation of any of these rules does not constitute negligence as a matter of law unless the violation is the proximate cause of the injury. If the bike rider was found to have contributed to accident, his estate is completely barred from any recovery.

If you, a family member, or someone you know was injured in a bicycle accident or if you would like more information on car accidents or personal injury claims, please contact Portner & Shure for a free consultation.

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