A fatal crash resulting in catastrophic loss to numerous families occurred earlier this year in Annapolis when the driver of a 2015 GMC Yukon, Carl Behler, crossed the double yellow line and hit 7 cyclists as they were riding in Southern Maryland.  The group was heading westbound on the far right side of East College Parkway, riding single file with front and rear lights on their bikes and were almost 2/3 way into a 33 mile ride when Carl Behler, who was driving his SUV eastbound on the other side of Frontage Road, crossed over the double yellow lines and hit the group.

Insurance requirements.

 A negligent driver will be held responsible in a Maryland accident if fault can be proven.  There is a mandatory insurance requirement, and the negligent driver’s insurance will typically be responsible for paying repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the injured party, or parties of an accident.  Police did not believe speed, or alcohol were factors in this crash but are investigating. Maryland has a three-foot rule for drivers, meaning cars need to be at least three feet away from bicycles when passing them, but in this case the driver ended up on the wrong side of the roadway.

All Maryland drivers must carry insurance protection as follows:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury
  • $60,000 for 2 or more people
  • $15,000 property damage

Driver fault.

When an individual fails to exercise the degree of care expected of a reasonable person, and it results in an injury, it is called “negligence.”  In order to prove negligence in court, elements that must be argued in a successful case should include:

  • Duty – other driver owed you a duty of care,
  • Breach of duty – other driver failed to meet duty of care,
  • Cause in fact – you would not have been injured if other driver did not breach duty,
  • Proximate cause – your injury was caused by the other driver’s failure to uphold duty of care, and
  • Damages – loss that a value can be assessed for.

Damages.

If the personal injury claims and wrongful death actions are successful, the claim will address the losses to the individual(s) and surviving family(ies), including funeral expenses, present and future lost wages, present and future disability-related expenses, and compensation for the loss of companionship comfort and affection, along with any medical expenses, or other expenses related to the accident.

Wrongful death.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help a beneficiary file a claim with the insurance company to receive death benefits. In addition, police reports, death certificates, medical reports and all the bills incurred as a result of the accident will need to be gathered and submitted for a wrongful death legal action.  Murnane & ONeill lawyers are experienced with all types of accident claims and can be instrumental in navigating a path for families who have suffered loss after a catastrophic accident.

Murnane & O’Neill

7425 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

(t): 410.761.6800
(f): 410.761.0198

 

Sources:

https://law.justia.com/codes/maryland/2019/transportation/title-21/subtitle-13/sect-21-1306/

http://www.mva.maryland.gov/vehicles/insurance/