Distracted driving has become a widespread problem around the country, including Maryland. A momentary glimpse at a cell phone to send or read a text message or to make a call may seem inconsequential but it actually is enough to cause an accident or fail to avoid a crash and inevitably kill or injure another person. A motorcycle accident in March 2013 southeast of Laurel is testament to that fact.
In Gambrills, a 30-year-old man who was riding a motorcycle was killed when a car struck him. A 21-year-old woman was driving the car and prosecutors allege that she was texting when she crossed into the motorcyclist's path.
The woman admitted to her negligence and was previously facing up to five years in prison. She eventually cut a plea deal with prosecutors that keeps her out of prison and fines her $500.
The plea deal developed after the eyewitness testimony of a 15-year-old girl became unreliable. Family members of the man killed say they were infuriated by the plea deal and plan to pursue further civil action on the man's behalf partly to help the man's young daughter.
The incident is a clear reminder that any accident can leave multiple accidents behind other than the person injured or killed. Many victims leave families that are left to fend for themselves financially and emotionally. These losses are especially tragic if there are young children involved who must now grow up without the guidance of a parent.
Legal action can help victims and their families cope with the aftermath of the accident. Both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits can be filed to recover compensation to help with expenses. Legal action can also hold a driver accountable for his or her negligence, regardless of whether or not criminal charges are filed or the person is convicted.