• January 18, 2017

William Bosley Injured in Hagerstown, MD, Dump Truck Accident

Hagerstown, MD -- January 12, 2017, William Bosley was injured following an accident in which he was struck by a dump truck while riding his bicycle.

70-year-old Bosley was riding a bicycle along Downsville Pike approaching the intersection of Progress Way.

According to Maryland State Police, Bosley entered the intersection as a dump truck was approaching on westbound Progress. Police reports state that the dump truck failed to yield the right of way to Bosley, driving into the intersection and hitting his bicycle.

Bosley was knocked onto the roadway where he suffered critical injuries. EMS rushed to the scene and transported him to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for intensive car. His current condition hasn't bee released.

Authorities did not say if they issued any charges or citations. Their investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

When you see a fact pattern like this one, the thought tends to be that it's an open and shut case in favor of the victim. Details indicate that Mr. Bosley was traveling down the Pike on a recumbent bicycle and the dump truck turned into his path. Reports even say the truck failed to yield the right of way. These fat patterns certainly favor the victim in this case, but the simple fact that this accident happened in Maryland means it is much more complex than one might think.

Maryland has what's referred to as contributory negligence when it comes to wrongful death claims. What this basically means is that if a jury finds the plaintiff even 1% at fault for their own accident, then the defendant doesn't have to pay any compensation at all. None. And trucking companies are not in the business of losing money. With so much on the line, you better believe they're going to do everything they can to get that 1% and avoid liability altogether.

Even with a fact pattern as seemingly clear as this one can lose traction when trucking companies fight hard enough. An obvious excuse that the trucking company could make is that the stature of the victim's bicycle made it difficult to see. Recumbent bicycles involve the rider sitting in a more reclined position compared to a normal bicycle. The trucking company could easily argue that Mr. Bosley contributed to the hazardous conditions that led to the accident.

I know this seems ridiculous, but remember what I said: the trucking company only needs that 1%. They're going to do whatever it takes to put doubt into the jury's head and squirm their way out of compensating those affected by the accident.

One of the great benefits of the civil justice system is that since we're dealing with property and not liberty, we have a lower burden of proof. The outcome of the case is determined by the preponderance of the evidence. In states like Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and Alabama, byzantine legal systems that still use contributory negligence as the barometer for obtaining compensation raise that burden of proof to a level that rivals a criminal conviction. This short-changes victims and allows wrong-doers to go unpunished.

Without an experienced attorney, victims and their families can easily find themselves at a disadvantage against a company that is putting all of its available resources into fighting the accusations. By gathering a case of tangible and irrefutable evidence, those affected by truck accidents can even the scales and have a fair chance at getting the compensation they deserve.

--Grossman Law Offices

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