Maryland Motorcycle Accident Law: What Riders Need to Know to Stay Safe

Motorcycle enthusiasts in Maryland navigate unique challenges on the road in comparison to drivers of other motor vehicles. As a motorcycle rider, it is crucial to be aware of the laws designed to ensure your safety and protect your rights in case of an accident. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through pertinent aspects of Maryland motorcycle accident law, including helmet and insurance requirements, as well as common causes of motorcycle accidents. We will also discuss strategies for seeking compensation in the event you are involved in an accident, highlighting the importance of gathering evidence, determining liability, and working with an experienced attorney. By understanding these laws and taking proactive measures to ensure your safety, you will be better equipped to ride confidently and pursue fair compensation should you be involved in a motorcycle accident in Maryland.

I. Helmet and Protective Gear Requirements

Maryland law mandates that all motorcycle operators and passengers wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Helmets must be securely fastened and have a reflective surface visible from the rear. In addition, Maryland law requires riders to wear eye protection, which can include goggles, a face shield, or protective eyeglasses.

Wearing helmets and protective gear not only helps you comply with the law but also significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries and reduce the risk of death by 37%. 

II. Maryland Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Motorcycle riders in Maryland must have liability insurance to cover potential damages in the event of an accident. The minimum insurance coverage required in Maryland includes:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage

Apart from liability insurance, riders can also opt for additional coverage options like collision, comprehensive, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for added protection.

Having adequate motorcycle insurance not only helps cover expenses in an accident but also ensures compliance with Maryland law, avoiding penalties like fines, license suspension, or even criminal charges.

III. Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland

Understanding the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help riders take precautions to prevent accidents and protect themselves on the road. Some frequent causes of motorcycle accidents include:

1. Distracted driving: Car and truck drivers who engage in distractions like texting, eating, or adjusting the radio can cause accidents involving motorcycles due to their inattention.

2. Left-turn accidents: Many motorcycle accidents occur when a car makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, misjudging the distance or speed of the motorcycle.

3. Unsafe lane changes: Motorists may fail to check their blind spots or use their turn signals properly, leading to collisions with motorcycles.

4. Speeding: Both motorcyclists and other drivers who exceed speed limits increase the chances of causing an accident and sustaining severe injuries.

5. Road hazards: Uneven surfaces, debris, or potholes are more dangerous for motorcycles than cars, as they have less stability and are more prone to accidents due to sudden changes in road conditions.

IV. Seeking Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident in Maryland

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Maryland, taking the following steps can improve your chances of receiving fair compensation:

1. Collect evidence: Gather information and document the scene of the accident if possible. Take photos of the damages, road conditions, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses and involved parties.

2. Seek medical attention: Seek immediate medical attention even if your injuries seem minor, as symptoms may worsen over time. Keep detailed records of your injuries and treatment.

3. Police report: Obtain a copy of the police report, which provides important details of the accident and may help with your claim process.

4. Consult an attorney: Work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you navigate Maryland’s legal process and advocate on your behalf.

V. Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Law

In Maryland, the contributory negligence law plays a critical role in personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents. Under this law, if the injured party is found to be even partially responsible for the accident, they may be prevented from recovering any compensation.

Due to Maryland’s strict contributory negligence law, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help build a strong case on your behalf, proving the other party’s full responsibility for the accident.

VI. Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim resulting from a motorcycle accident is three years from the date of the accident. It is crucial to consult with an attorney promptly after an accident to ensure you do not miss the filing deadline and lose the opportunity to pursue compensation.


Understanding Maryland motorcycle accident laws, safety requirements, and insurance regulations is crucial for riders to stay protected and seek fair compensation in the event of an accident. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney is essential in building a strong case, especially given Maryland’s strict contributory negligence law.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in College Park, Maryland, trust the dedicated team at The Law Office of Ben Evan to provide personalized guidance and strong representation. Our skilled motorcycle lawyer has a comprehensive understanding of Maryland motorcycle accident law and will work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

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