One of the elements that individuals filing a Maryland negligence claim have to prove is causation. But even if a court finds a defendant’s acts or omissions were the cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injuries, the court will also consider whether the defendant’s negligent actions are a legally cognizable cause—that is, whether the defendant should be held liable under the circumstances. This consideration generally centers on whether the plaintiff’s injuries were within the harm that the defendant should have anticipated or expected due to the defendant’s negligent actions. Thus, a defendant may not be liable if the plaintiff’s injuries resulted only because of very unusual and unexpected circumstances. In considering whether a defendant may be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries, the court will consider any intervening negligent acts or omissions in the foreseeability analysis. If an intervening negligent action or omission is found to be a superseding cause, the defendant will not be held liable. Intervening acts may include the criminal acts of a third party after the defendant’s original act of negligence, as in the following case.

In a recent decision issued by a state supreme court, the court considered a case in which an employee at an Avis rental company stole an SUV from the rental lot where he worked after it had closed for the day. He drove the SUV around for hours in hopes of selling the vehicle. Police officers saw him driving erratically and approached him, and the driver sped off in an attempt to escape. As he was trying to escape, the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall where two people were sitting, severely injuring them. The two individuals sued the driver and others, including Avis rental car company, alleging negligence and vicarious liability. The juries in both cases found in favor of the plaintiffs.

However, the Supreme Court of George found that the plaintiffs could not recover because the driver’s intervening criminal conduct severed the chain of events for causation. The court held that the driver’s criminal acts were the intervening and independent wrongful act of a third person. The court decided that even if Avis was negligent in allowing the employee to gain access to a car and steal it after hours, the injuries to the plaintiffs were not a probable or natural consequence that could have been reasonably foreseen by the defendants. No evidence showed that the defendants could have reasonably foreseen that the driver would lead police on a high-speed chase and crash into the plaintiffs.

Maryland car accidents happen every day, and many of them even make headlines in the local news. Maryland residents may see headlines every week about new car accidents happening across the state. But often, the news report discusses the accident and then notes the crash remains under investigation. Readers then likely move on and forget about the crash, and do not fully see or understand the aftermath of these crashes, especially the more serious ones.

For example, just recently, the Southern Maryland Chronicle reported on a fatal car accident occurring on Route 4/Southern Maryland Boulevard at Lower Marlboro Road in Huntingtown, Maryland. According to the report, the accident occurred just around 12:00 pm on a Monday afternoon. A 2003 Dodge Ram, driven by an 18-year-old man, was traveling south on the boulevard when a 2005 Suzuki SUV, driven by a 49-year-old woman, made a left turn onto the boulevard. Both vehicles entered the intersection at the same time, resulting in the Suzuki being struck on the driver’s side. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the Suzuki on its side and the Dodge with damage to its front end.

The driver of the Suzuki was immediately transported to Calvert Health Medical Center, where she sadly died from her injuries. The driver of the Dodge was not seriously injured. As of now, the crash remains under investigation and it is not clear who is at fault.

Car accidents happen in all types of configurations—from fender benders to T-bone accidents, they can all be dangerous, injurious, and even fatal. Perhaps the most dangerous among different types of car accidents, however, are head-on collisions. When these accidents take place as a result of one party’s negligence or lack of care, those who are responsible can be held accountable through a Maryland personal injury lawsuit.

According to a recent news report, a local car accident killed two people. Preliminary accident reports indicate that a Hyundai was being operated negligently by its driver driving westbound in an eastbound lane. The Hyundai then collided head-on with a Toyota that was traveling eastbound. The driver of the Hyundai was ejected from her vehicle and was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Early reports also suggest that the Hyundai driver was not wearing a seatbelt. The driver of the Toyota was trapped in her vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. In addition to local troopers, fire and emergency medical services also responded to the accident, and the crash remains under investigation.

In Maryland, when an accident results in the death of another because the at-fault party conducted themselves in a negligent or reckless matter, you may have grounds to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed for financial compensation. In this way, personal injury cases are separate from criminal cases, where a conviction results in jail time or fines owed to the state by the responsible party.

Recently, a major Maryland car accident made headlines when a two-year-old girl, a passenger in one of the cars, was thrown from her vehicle into the Assawoman Bay. According to The Baltimore Sun, the accident happened on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month. The cause of the multi-vehicle accident is still unclear, but witnesses report that on Route 90 in Ocean City, a pickup truck seemed to lose control before it spun, hit a concrete barrier, and flipped over a guardrail. The truck hit a BMW, which propelled it towards another car. The car swerved, and the BMW then crashed into another vehicle.

One of the drivers got out of his car to check on the driver of the BMW, and then ran over to help a man trying to get out of the pickup truck hanging off the side of the bridge. Once he was freed, he pointed to the water toward a car seat and a toddler floating on her back, kicking, before she rolled over and was face-down in the water. At that point, the driver of the car jumped into the water to save the toddler, who spit up a lot of water. A boat came and picked him and the girl up, and she was flown to Baltimore hospital. Seven other people associated with the crash were also treated at the hospital, but fortunately, no one was killed.

This unbelievable story made headlines, and at a press conference, the rescuer was publicly thanked, and the Ocean City Mayor commented on how fortunate it was that everyone survived. However, although the media attention will soon fade, the long-term impacts of these crashes can last months if not years. Even when the injuries do not seem too serious at the time, many individuals involved in Maryland car accidents find themselves sore and dealing with pain long after the crash occurs. Some individuals may find themselves needing physical therapy or to visit a chiropractor to deal with the impacts.

A tragic Maryland car accident last month resulted in the death of a 2-year-old boy and left an infant and two adults seriously injured. According to the Maryland State Police, the crash happened around 2:30 PM one afternoon in Waldorf, Maryland on Route 5 (Leonardtown Road) near Pika Road. The toddler’s mother, a 21-year-old woman, was driving a 2017 Hyundai Elantra when the crash happened. Although it’s not clear exactly what happened, her vehicle crashed into a 2018 Ford F-250 truck in what was described as a “nearly head-on” collision. After the crash, the 2-year-old was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead shortly thereafter. His mother and 2-month-old brother were also taken to the hospital with injuries, along with the driver of the other vehicle. Information on the extent of the injuries of those individuals has not been released. The crash is still under investigation since the cause remains unknown. Police did report that they are investigating what role, if any, the children’s car seats may have played in causing the death or injuries.

In the aftermath of such a tragic accident, families can face some significant financial costs whilst also mourning their loved one. There are medical bills and funeral and burial costs. Affected individuals may end up having to miss some work, causing them lost wages. The financial stress that fatal Maryland car accidents cause can be incredibly difficult for families to deal with, especially as they mourn the loss of a loved one.

While there is, unfortunately, nothing that can undo the accident or the damage it caused, Maryland law allows those injured in these accidents—or those who lost loved ones—to recover financially through a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits can provide financial compensation for all damages actually suffered, helping the family at least not worry about finances while they mourn. These lawsuits can be brought against another driver who was at fault and caused the accident—a driver who ran a red light, for example, or was texting while driving and swerved into the other lane.

A recent Maryland car accident, occurring in Gaithersburg, Maryland, left one person dead and others injured, highlighting how dangerous car accidents can be. According to a local news article covering the accident, the crash occurred early one Sunday morning, before 6 AM, along Clopper Road at the intersection with Orchard Hills Drive. The initial investigation of the accident showed that a 29-year-old man was driving a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu west on Clopper Road when, for unknown reasons, he crossed the center line of the road and hit the driver of a 2018 Nissan Sentra traveling east. Unfortunately, the driver of the Chevrolet Malibu died at the scene of the crash, and the other driver, a 27-year-old woman, was taken to a local hospital with injuries. Although the details are not known now, the news report noted that another passenger from one of the vehicles suffered traumatic injuries and that a firefighter was injured at the scene as well.

Accidents like this show how Maryland car accidents can have a range of negative outcomes. Individuals may be seriously injured—perhaps even suffering broken bones or internal bleeding—and require emergency medical attention. Even in less serious cases, car accidents can cause pain and soreness days or weeks later. And of course, in the worst cases, Maryland car accidents can be fatal, leading to the death of drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Clearly, Maryland car accidents can have severe negative impacts. But what some people do not realize is that the state law allows for individuals to seek financial compensation when they suffer in these accidents. Personal injury lawsuits, filed against a defendant responsible for the accident in some way, can provide injured car accident victims with monetary damages to cover medical bills, lost wages, funeral and burial costs, and more.

To be successful in these personal injury lawsuits, a plaintiff generally must prove four things. First, that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Generally, this duty of care is just to be reasonably careful while driving and follow safety rules. Second, that the defendant breached that duty. Usually, this is proved by showing that the defendant was being careless—maybe texting while driving, ignoring traffic signs, or blowing through red lights. Third, that this breach actually caused the accident. And fourth, that the plaintiff suffered real damages as a result—either injuries or death. If these four things can be proved, a plaintiff can generally recover. But proving them may be more difficult than one expects, and many accident victims choose to work with a personal injury attorney through the process rather than going it alone.

When a Maryland car accident occurs, one of the first questions everyone has is “what happened?” Did a car malfunction? Did a tire suddenly blow out, were some taillights not working, or did the emergency brakes fail to work? Perhaps there was debris in the road or an animal that caused one vehicle to swerve. Or, there may have been a driver error—a distracted or intoxicated driver, for instance. There are many possible causes of Maryland car accidents. But one that often is not thought of is road rage—when drivers act aggressively and perhaps recklessly while on the road.

Road rage may take a few different forms. A driver may actually yell at others, make angry gestures, or honk repeatedly when they feel frustrated on the road. They may start tailgating other cars, aggressively trying to get them to drive faster. Cutting off other cars and trying to block them from changing lanes are both road rage behaviors, and in some intense situations, an angry driver may even hit another car on purpose. Understandably, road rage can lead to serious Maryland car accidents, injuring or even killing others.

For example, a recent Maryland crash is thought to have possibly been caused by road rage. And, unfortunately, it led to the death of a 21-year-old girl. According to a news report covering this accident, the crash occurred around 1 AM one morning over Easter weekend on I-95 North near exit 52 for Russell Street. Three cars were involved in the crash. The victim was driving a red Honda Civic, and there was also a white truck and a white car. Officials believe that road rage may have caused the crash—they think that something happened between the victim’s car and the white truck, which caused her to spin out onto the highway. Since she was then sideways in her Honda Civic on the highway, the white car hit her directly in the driver’s door. Unfortunately, she did not survive this accident. Her family is of course grieving this tragic loss.

Insurance companies play a crucial role in ensuring that Maryland car victims are not left destitute after a disastrous accident. Although insurance companies boast the benefits of their policies, their interests lie in preserving their financial standing. As such, many insurance companies engage in bad faith practices to avoid paying out rightful claims to policyholders. When this occurs, injury victims should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Many car insurance disputes stem from an insurance company’s wrongful denial or failure to adequately settle a claim. Car insurance companies may offer several types of coverage to policyholders. This includes bodily injury protection, property damage liability coverage, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage, and personal injury protection. Before purchasing vehicle insurance, consumers should consult with multiple insurance companies, ask for price quotes, and ask about deductibles and discounts. However, most importantly, motorists should review their policy and fully understand the terms before purchasing the policy.

Insurance disputes often arise because of an unclear or ambiguous term in the policy. This can present injury victims and their loved ones with significant issues while trying to medically and financially heal from an accident. Generally ambiguous terms are liberally construed against an insurer. However, the result of this analysis may still lead to unfavorable results for a plaintiff. For example, a court recently issued an opinion in a case stemming from a dispute between the family of a woman killed in a car accident and an insurance company. The woman died from injuries in a car accident with an employee driving a vehicle for a not-for-profit corporation.

If a victim is injured in a Maryland motor vehicle accident, there may be a question of where a defendant can be sued. Jurisdiction refers to the ability of a court to hear and make a decision about a case. Some courts are limited to hearing certain types of cases and courts can only hear a case if a party has sufficient contacts with the place where the court is located. Personal jurisdiction specifically refers to a court’s power to exercise jurisdiction over the party being sued. Generally, a defendant must have sufficient contacts in the state for a court to exercise jurisdiction over the defendant.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision in a case considering personal jurisdiction after two personal injury lawsuits were filed against Ford after car accidents in Montana and Minnesota. In one case, the tread separated from a rear tire, killing the driver in the crash. In the other case, a passenger’s airbag failed to deploy in a crash, causing the passenger serious brain damage. The victims were residents of their respective states and in each case, the state exercised jurisdiction in the products liability cases. Ford argued that the state courts did not have jurisdiction because the company had not designed, manufactured, or sold the particular vehicles involved in the accident in the states.

Ford is incorporated in Delaware and has its headquarters in Michigan. It markets sells, and services its products throughout the United States and abroad and encourages its vehicles to be resold. The U.S. Supreme Court held that a state court may exercise specific jurisdiction where the defendant purposely availed itself “of the privilege of conducting activities” within the state and the claims “arise out of or relate to the defendant’s contacts” with the state. The Court further held that Ford did not have to sell the car or design and manufacture the vehicle in the state for specific jurisdiction. The Court held that in these cases, Ford purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities in each state. Ford advertised and marketed its vehicles in the states and fostered ongoing connections to owners of Ford vehicles. It reasoned that cultivating a market for a product in a state and the product malfunctioning there was sufficient for personal jurisdiction, and thus, the cases could continue against Ford in those states. The Supreme Court’s decision means that a Maryland car accident victim may be able to sue a manufacturer in a product liability suit in Maryland even if the car was not designed, manufactured, or sold in the state.

Most people never expect that they will get into a head-on Maryland car accident. These accidents—where the front ends of two vehicles collide—are always shocking and can be incredibly dangerous. By following the basic rules of the road and driving in the proper direction and in the correct lanes, most drivers can avoid these collisions. But sometimes, circumstances outside of the driver’s control occur, and they find themselves hit head-on by another car. In many circumstances, because these accidents involve hitting vehicles close to the driver’s and passenger’s seats, these accidents can be fatal or result in life-changing injuries.

Take for example a recent fatal crash on I-95 implicating four vehicles, and killing three people. The crash was caused when one vehicle went to great lengths to avoid the police during a police chase. According to a local news article, a Dodger sedan, traveling north on the interstate, reached speeds as high as 80 miles per hour when state troopers tried to pull the vehicle over. However, the driver of the Dodge sped away, and police eventually ended their pursuit due to the significant traffic on the interstate. The Dodge continued north, and ultimately entered the Express Lanes only open to southbound traffic by breaking through three lighted Express Lanes gates. While in the Express Lanes, the Dodge hit a pickup truck head-on, causing it to flip over the guardrail. Two other cars then crashed into the Dodge, which caught on fire.

In the aftermath of this tragic accident, three people were reported dead. The driver of the Dodge was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, a 26-year-old woman, died after being ejected from the car. Additionally, a 61-year-old man driving one of the other vehicles involved in the accident also died at the scene. Other drivers and passengers involved suffered injuries, with one being transported to the hospital for treatment. The aftermath of the crash was so intense that portions of the interstate were shut down for almost seven hours, causing major traffic delays.

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