Q: How does a Maryland criminal case against the driver who caused my motorcycle accident affect my right to compensation?
When you’ve been the victim of a motorcycle accident with another vehicle, it helps to pay close attention to any formal charges the police may bring against the other driver. These charges may end up benefitting you later in your civil claim against the other driver.
Civil court and criminal court are two separate entities in Maryland, but both may hear evidence regarding the same event. For example, if the other driver broke the law while causing the accident that left you injured, the state will likely bring a separate criminal case against the at-fault driver. This case will appear in criminal court, whereas your request for compensation from the same driver for the same accident will likely take place in a Maryland state or county civil court.
Some of the same information may be used in each case. For example, if the other driver was charged with (and possibly convicted of) a DUI in connection with your Maryland motorcycle accident, you can use that information in your civil case to show that the other driver was undeniably at fault for the accident. When you have evidence that the other driver willfully broke the law, that fact often works in your favor when it comes time to negotiating your settlement amount. The judge deciding your compensation amount may be more sympathetic to your pleas when the other driver chose to disregard the law rather than if he simply made an honest mistake.
Understanding the intricacies of civil and criminal cases in regards to motorcycle accidents can be overwhelming. When you’re ready to pursue a Maryland personal injury claim against the driver who caused your wreck, call one of our experienced accident lawyers at 800-875-9700.