Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Hit-and-run accidents are often characterized by several distinct elements. Common characteristics include the accident having very few witnesses and or poor lighting, as the driver is more likely to believe there will not be repercussions for their behavior. If there are many witnesses or the scene is highly visible, people are less likely to flee the scene of a crash. Similarly, drivers are much more likely to flee the scene of an accident between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., than between 8:00 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. This is due to a host of reasons, but one explanation is that nighttime drivers generally engage in more risky behavior.

What Is a Hit and Run Accident?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines hit-and-run accidents as collisions in which at least one person involved in the crash departs the scene of the crash before offering any (or sufficient) information or aid to the other involved person(s) or fails to properly report the crash. Hit-and-run accidents are a major issue for many reasons, but in particular, they can increase the severity of outcomes given delays or the complete absence of medical attention for the victims. As of 2017, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that both the rate and fatality levels of hit-and-run collisions are on the rise. There were an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015. This translates to a hit-and-run crash happening somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds. The 2,049 fatalities that resulted from hit-and-run crashes in 2016 were the highest number recorded up to that point.

A recent article described how a serious hit-and-run accident occurred early on the morning of Sunday, September 25. Around 4:00 a.m., a man was riding a Lime motorized scooter on the way home on 14th Street Southwest when the incident occurred. A witness told law enforcement officials that she was right behind the driver when she saw the car hit the scooter near 14th Street and Jefferson Drive Southwest. The witness said that the driver did not stop when the collision occurred, and instead, kept driving toward Virginia. After seeing the crash and realizing the driver was not stopping, the witness followed the car that hit the scooter and took down the license number. She then called the police. That night, first responders from D.C. Fire and EMS took the man to a local hospital. The scooter rider is now recovering in the ICU. The driver has not been located and the hit-and-run is now being investigated by the D.C. police.

As modes of transportation become more varied and diverse, the kinds of collisions that happen on the road can evolve for the worse. Drivers are always adapting to new sets of circumstances, underscoring the importance of the need for drivers and pedestrians to work together to create a safe environment on roadways for all involved.

A recent news article revealed details of a collision in Washington, DC that happened towards the end of last month. According to the article, an individual was riding on a scooter near downtown when he was suddenly struck by an SUV. The man fell on the ground, immediately unconscious but still breathing. The driver of the SUV left the scene of the crash, and investigators are still looking for him so they can press charges.

The crash victim was brought to the hospital as soon as first responders arrived at the scene. There are currently no details about the severity of his injuries or about what kind of scooter he was using at the time of the crash.

Hit-and-run accidents can be scary, frustrating, and anxiety-producing because of the many questions you may have about what to do next. From insurance claims to filing police reports, and figuring out the next legal steps, this type of accident can be tricky to navigate alone. A hit-and-run accident involves a driver hitting a person, vehicle, property, or object and fleeing the scene, taking no accountability for the injuries to the person or the damages made to the property. This includes failure to provide assistance and failure to report the accident. Under Washington, D.C. law, first-time offenders of a hit-and-run violation may face a penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Penalties may increase depending on how many times a person has been found to have been involved in a hit-and-run violation, as well as depending on the damages that resulted because of the collision.

According to a recent news report, a driver of a car was driving on Frank Tippet Road in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and collided with a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was found unresponsive at the scene and was later pronounced dead. The driver of the car fled after the crash. Police were able to later find the car that was involved in the crash, and were working to identify the driver.

What Next After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

After a car accident, it can be stressful to figure out what next steps to take, including the typical insurance claims. In many accident cases, after an accident happens, drivers exchange insurance information to help with processing claims. In the case of a hit-and-run, you may be wondering what to do next. In addition to seeking any medical attention that may be needed and ensuring your safety, it can be helpful to document the accident. This includes contacting the police and filing a police report so that it can be documented. Taking photos at the scene of the accident, including any injuries or property damage can be helpful. It is also important to contact your insurance company to file a claim. In addition, connecting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can be an essential next step to take. An attorney who has expertise in these types of claims can help you navigate the laws, including laws that concern the statute of limitation, or the deadline you have for being able to file a suit after an accident. Whether you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, or whether your loved one is the victim of a hit-and-run and suffers injuries or even death as a result, having a lawyer on your side can make the difference in being able to recover damages for you or your loved ones injuries.

On a typical day, drivers and pedestrians share the road with various emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. Emergency vehicles may have to maneuver their way through heavy traffic to respond to an incident, which requires other drivers to be alert and prepared to safely move to the right and allow the vehicle to pass by. It is not surprising that when emergency vehicles are responding to other incidents, there’s a risk that they may instead collide with other cars, motorcyclists, or pedestrians on the road. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 180 people died in crashes involving emergency vehicles. Drivers and pedestrians should be alert and aware of their surroundings so that they can pay attention to when emergency vehicles that share the road with us.

In a recent news report, a man on a motorcycle was seriously injured after he was struck by a firetruck in Northwest D.C. According to the report, D.C. Fire and EMS crews were responding to a fire when they collided with a motorcyclist. The accident occurred at the intersection of 3rd and E streets in the Judiciary Square neighborhood. While no one on the fire truck was injured, the driver was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. An internal investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the crash.

In a busy city like Washington, D.C., it is common to hear an emergency siren blaring or to see emergency lights flashing, signaling a need for drivers to safely yield so that the emergency vehicle may pass by. Unsurprisingly, emergency response vehicles may be traveling at high speeds to respond to an incident, and sometimes these vehicles may provide little to no warning to give drivers enough time to decide how best to proceed. In some situations, if an accident occurs with an emergency vehicle, the emergency vehicle may decide either not to stop so that they may continue responding to their original emergency situation, or they may decide to stop briefly to give the other driver enough time to get identifying information.

Earlier this week in Prince George’s County, a teen was killed when he crashed his dirt bike into a tree after running from police. The family of the teen has recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Prince George’s County, seeking $20 million in damages.

According to a report by the Washington Post, two teens were riding on a Kawasaki dirt bike in an apartment complex when an officer began to tail them. The officer claims that he suspected the pair were involved in a recent armed robbery. As the officer initiated a traffic stop, the teens fled. The officer pursued the teens across county lines and into Washington DC. Once in DC, the teens crashed the motorcycle into a tree. The driver of the motorcycle died as a result.

The deceased teen’s family is claiming that the officer did not have the authority to pursue the teen, citing to recent changes in Prince George’s County police protocol. Pursuant to police protocol, an officer can only chase a fleeing suspect when he or she suspects the suspect of certain enumerated crimes. While riding a dirt bike on public roads is illegal, it is not one of the crimes listed. Moreover, the officer did not have police authority in the District of Columbia, once the teens entered that jurisdiction.

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A recently filed class action lawsuit accuses District of Columbia police officers of intentionally running their squad cars into black motorcyclists, in order to then confiscate the bikes and sell them.

The main plaintiff in the case claims that the Metropolitan Police Department officers intentionally target mostly young, male, African American motorcyclists in poorer areas of the city, without regard for their lives, safety, or constitutional rights.

The suit further claims that the District of Columbia and MPD supervisors not only condone but also tacitly encourage this practice, in order to make money off of the bikes.

The class seeks to represent all young black motorcyclists riding small motorbikes or all terrain vehicles of 250 cubic centimeters or less. They estimate the class size to be in the hundreds, based upon the declarations submitted by victims.

The complaint alleges that riders abandon their bikes after being hit by MPD cruisers, in an attempt to flee. The bikes are then confiscated, and allegedly sold to create a revenue stream. The class claims the officers have caused bodily injuries, pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress and damage to their bikes, among other things. They seek class certification and $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages for alleged constitutional violations, negligence, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, up to 25% of motor vehicle accidents in this country occur because motorists were distracted driving and more often than not using cell phones and other handheld devices. The GHSA’s report, which was released last week, is called “Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do.”

As our Washington DC personal injury law firm has reported in past blogs, distracted driving is very dangerous and can dramatically increase the chances of injuries or deaths. It also can be grounds for a DC car crash lawsuit against the driver. Other findings from the study:

• Some drivers are distracted as much as 50% of the time they are on the road.
• Texting while driving, which is both a manual and visual distraction, is even more dangerous than talking on a phone.

• Examples of other common types of distracted driving behavior include talking to other passengers, looking for tapes or CD’s, switching radio stations, drinking, eating, reading directions or a map, reading books or newspapers, dealing with kids or pets, shaving, putting on makeup, shuffling through an iPod, and reading your GPS.

Many people don’t realize that distracted driving impairs their ability to drive safely. This does not change the fact that this behavior can result in very deadly consequences.

Should other parties aside from a distracted driver be held liable for DC personal injury or wrongful death? A couple of years ago, one woman sued Nextel, Samsung, and Sprint for her mother’s distracted driving death. The plaintiff claimed products liability because the three companies allegedly failed to warn the driver that using a cell phone wile driving is a safety hazard. Samsung countered that it did include safety warnings on its websites and packaging and in its user manuals and advertising.

Report: Gadgets Linked To 25 Percent Of Car Accidents, AutoGuide, July 13, 2011

Read the GHSA’s Distracted Driving Report

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, US Department of Motor Vehicles
Cell Phone and Texting Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association
More Blog Posts:
US DOT Holds Second Annual Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2010
Preventing Maryland Car Crashes: State Senate Approves Ban on Reading Text Messages While Driving, Maryland Accident Law Blog, March 9, 2011
Maryland Lawmakers Want Texting While Driving Ban to Block Drivers From Reading Messages, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 20, 2010

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According to the Washington Post, one of the reasons that more red-light cameras are being installed in the Washington region is that per a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, between 2004 and 2008 they helped the number of DC traffic deaths at intersections go down by 26%.

Red-light cameras catch drivers crossing intersections when the light is red by taking a picture of them committing the act. Although some people have complained that the cameras are a tool for raising revenue—these cameras generated $7.2 million in revenue in 2000, under $5 million in 2005, and $7.2 million in D.C. in 2009— stopping people from driving across the street when the light is red can save lives. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Washington Post changing driver behavior is the goal. She says that traffic deaths in the District went down 50% in four years.

DC Car Crashes

According to a survey conducted last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, although 93% of drivers reported that they believe that if a motorist can stop safely to obey a red light then it isn’t acceptable to run one, 1/3rd of them admitted that they had done just that in the past 30 days. Regardless of whether or not you approve of red-light cameras, it is important to point out that running a red light at an intersection can prove catastrophic should a Washington DC auto accident occur.

Some reasons why people run red lights:
• Speeding
• Distracted driving
• Drunk driving
• Drugged driving

None of these reasons are good enough reasons to get involved in a DC car crash. Not only can injuries or deaths result but the negligent driver could end up in jail.

Use of red-light cameras in Washington area increases, Washington Post, February 23, 2011
Q&As: Red light cameras, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Related Web Resources:

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

District Department of Transportation

More Blog Posts:
Baltimore Automobile Accident News: Kent Island Father and Young Son Die in Rte 50 Car Crash, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 22, 2011
Baltimore Car Injury News: Reckless Driving Suspected Injury Accident in Anne Arundel County, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 20, 2011
Baltimore Car Accident News: Maryland Woman Dies; Other Injured in Charles County Traffic Collision, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 18, 2011

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The District intends to install more traffic cameras at street intersections. The main purpose of these new portable cameras is to catch motorists committing traffic offenses, such as failing to come to a full stop and not yielding to pedestrians. The cameras will be placed in areas where there is proven need for greater enforcement and control. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the cameras will be put in place “within the next year.”

Intersections are a common site for traffic crashes. With vehicles approaching from opposite directions, pedestrians crossing the street, and people attempting to make left and right turns, the fact that the risk of collision goes up is no surprise.

Our DC personal injury law firm hopes that with additional cameras set up, more people will be discouraged from committing traffic violations that can lead to Washington DC car accidents. The knowledge that one can get caught on camera running a red light or not coming to a full halt at a stop sign, or turning left even when the left turn arrow is red will hopefully prevent such “minor” offenses, which are, in fact, among the most common causes of serious injuries and deaths at intersections.

How to Avoid Becoming Involved in an Intersection Accident:
• Pay Attention
• Don’t drive while distracted
• Be ready to stop or slow down even if there is no “Stop” sign or traffic light
• Yield to the pedestrian that is already crossing the street or the vehicle that is already moving through the intersection even if you technically have the right of way
• Always look in all directions before driving across the street or turning
• Obey traffic rules
D.C. to Add More Traffic Cameras, Government Video, February 7, 2011
Red-light cameras save lives, study says, Washington Post, February 1, 2011
Related Web Resources:

DC Department of Transportation

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

More Auto Accident Posts:
Washington DC Car Accident Involving Metro Bus Causes Injuries, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2010
Baltimore Injury Accident News: Alcohol Blamed in Fatal I-70 Car Crash that Killed Montgomery County Woman, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 6, 2011
Maryland Bicycle Injury News: Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit following Fatal Baltimore Cycling Accident, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2010

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While New Year’s Eve and Day are definitely occasions to mark with celebration, it is unfortunate that there are people who may end up dying or getting seriously hurt in a Washington DC car accident because another person was driving while drunk. Hopefully, the more aggressive push by lawmakers and law enforcement officials through their “Drunk Driving. Over The Limit. Under Arrest” campaign will help keep more people safe this year. That said, it is still up to motorists to refrain from driving drunk.

According to new analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, at about 80 drunk driver-related deaths on New Year’s Day, the average number of traffic fatalities where alcohol is a factor goes up by almost 150% more than if it were the same day of another week during the holidays. For example, in 2005 when New Year’s fell on a Saturday, there were more alcohol-related deaths at 98 fatalities than if the holiday fell on the season’s other Saturday. Last year, there were 73 drunk driving fatalities on New Year’s Day. New Year’s Eve fell on a Thursday night. Unfortunately, although many Americans don’t approve of drunk driving, AAA says that many of them do it anyway.

These fatality figures don’t take into account the number of injuries that can occur on New Year’s Day as a result of alcohol. Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among underage drinkers alone, 1,980 of them went to the hospital on January 1. That’s a lot more than the approximately 546 who end up in the hospital on a typical day. Drunk driving, other alcohol-related accidents, and acute intoxication were among the causes. There are, of course, also adults and children who may have sustained injuries in a New Year traffic crash involving alcohol.

Steps motorists can take to drive safely into 2011:
• Appoint a designated driver.
• Don’t let your friends drive while drunk even if they think they can.
• Don’t get in the car with a drunk driver.
• Pack an overnight bag just in case you end up drinking more than you intended.
• Bring cab money just in case.

• Be careful if you choose to walk to or from your destination. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says New Year is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians.

Beware of heightened drunk driving dangers this New Year’s Eve, Consumer Reports, December 30, 2010
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Holiday Drunk Driving Crackdown, NHTSA, December 13, 2010
Underage drinkers a New Year’s hazard, Washington Examiner, December 30, 2010
Related Web Resources:
What to do after a car accident, MSN
Metropolitan Police Department,

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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