Articles Posted in Auto Injury Law and Legislation

When an accident involves multiple parties, things can get complicated fast. As an initial matter, figuring out who was at fault and what percentage of the fault should be allocated to them in the accident may be in dispute. In addition, figuring out how much fault others have, if any, in causing the accident, can often also be a challenge. Sometimes, following an accident, witness testimony may be hazy and people may have conflicting accounts of how the collision took place. Understanding how fault is allocated in an accident involving multiple parties can prepare you for what’s to come.

According to a recent local news report, several were hurt in a multiple-vehicle crash. Local authorities were called to the scene of the accident at around 7:35am, where initial reports showed that the crash involved a Ford truck pulling a trailer and a Kia. Investigators reported that the Ford was attempting to make a turn when it crashed into the Kia. Six people—three adults and three minors—were reportedly injured after the accident and transported to local hospitals for treatment. Among the injured, nearly everyone had serious injuries, with one person needing to be extracted from the wreckage and one minor with serious, life-threatening injuries. The accident resulted in an extended road closure as authorities responded to the crash and the collision remains under investigation.

[sc_fs_faq html=”true” headline=”h3″ img=”” question=”How Is Fault Determined in Maryland Car Accidents?

When an accident takes place and leaves a victim injured or killed, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party for compensation. To successfully bring such a claim, however, you must establish that the at-fault party acted negligently, which caused the accident and subsequent injuries to take place. Understanding how to satisfy this element in a personal injury case is crucial to the success of your claim.

According to a recent news report, the driver of a pickup truck drove his vehicle into a local home, which killed one person and left two injured. Local authorities reported that the pickup truck went off the highway when it crashed into the second floor of the home. The driver of the pickup truck was ejected from the vehicle and was found on the first floor of the home with minor injuries and the passenger of the pickup truck died at the scene. The pickup truck driver was attempting to pass two other cars on the highway at a high rate of speed when he lost control, went airborne, and collided with the home. A woman was in bed on the second floor of the home when the crash took place and was reported to be critically injured and transported to a local hospital for treatment. Local police claim that it appeared alcohol was potentially a factor in the crash, and the accident remains under investigation.

How Can I Prove Another Driver Was At Fault in a Car Accident

In Maryland, proving that the at-fault party was negligent is a crucial part of a successful car accident lawsuit. To make a negligence claim under Maryland law, a potential plaintiff must prove four elements. First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff. Second, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty. Third, the plaintiff must establish that they were actually hurt or injured. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Car accidents happen every day in Maryland by the dozens. While some of these accidents are clearly the fault of one driver, others are a little more complex. For example, a good number of Maryland car accidents are the result of several drivers making a mistake. While this is common, it can also complicate the recovery process for anyone injured in an accident.

Each state is responsible for creating its own rules when it comes to which drivers can recover for their injuries after an accident. Most states rely on a doctrine of law called comparative fault. Under a comparative fault analysis, a driver who is partially at fault can still recover compensation from other at-fault drivers. However, the injured driver will have their total damages award reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, assume that Bill crashed into Joe. Joe suffered $100,000 in damages. At a jury trial, the jury found that Bill was 90 percent responsible for the collision and that Joe was 10 percent at fault. In this case, Joe would recover $90,000, rather than the full $100,000.

In Maryland, the rates and frequency of car accidents have been increasing in recent years. In 2020, 573 people died in motor vehicle accidents, which is a six percent increase from the previous year.

Following a car accident in Maryland, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be considering legal action. Before getting started, however, it is crucial that Maryland drivers and potential plaintiffs alike understand the basics of Maryland car accident laws so that they can best protect themselves in the event of a devastating crash.

According to a recent news report, a 25-year-old man was killed when the car he was a passenger in veered off the road and crashed into a tree. Local authorities stated that the passenger was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and that the driver was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the collision, which took place in the middle of the night.

Car accidents can be confusing and scary for any driver, especially when they are injured and they may not think about how the type of accident and amount of cars involved can impact the compensation they can recover for their injuries. For one thing, it isn’t always clear what the cause of a multi-car crash was or who is at fault for legal and insurance purposes. When a car accident involves multiple cars, in what are often called “chain-reaction” crashes, the difficulties of determining fault increase substantially.

For Maryland drivers, these questions become more important because of the way Maryland law assigns fault in multi-car accident cases. Maryland law looks at the fault of all parties involved in the accident, not just the first car to set off the chain of collisions. That means that in a chain-reaction crash where the second car in the chain was texting instead of watching the road when they were hit and that caused them to hit the third driver instead of swerving, the court might find them partly responsible. Speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with Maryland’s unique law is an important step to protect your legal rights when entering litigation and seeking financial compensation related to injuries from a car accident.

According to one recent news report, there a multi-car crash sent three people to the hospital, leaving two people suffering from serious injuries. The chain-reaction accident started when a car crossed a highway median, entering oncoming traffic and hitting another car head-on, injuring the driver. The struck car then collided with a tractor-trailer, in turn injuring that driver as well. Both of the motorists in the struck vehicles were extracted from their vehicles and brought to the hospital for treatment of severe injuries, while the driver of the car who started the chain reaction was able to walk out of the hospital with only minor injuries.

The Maryland legislature recently introduced a bill “essentially legalizing recreational use” of marijuana in Maryland, as one news source reported. In 2014, Maryland legalized the medical use of marijuana and also decriminalized less than 10 grams of cannabis. Similar bills have been previously introduced in the state, but none have passed. The recently proposed bill would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 years and older. The bill would also allow for the release of individuals incarcerated for marijuana convictions and the expungement of previous records. Proponents say it would increase the state’s tax revenue and promote social justice. However, others claim that the legalization of marijuana would result in an increase in Maryland car accidents and injuries.

According to a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, after marijuana became legal in Washington state, fatal car accidents involving drivers who had recently used marijuana doubled. The organization also reported an increase in insurance claims in Colorado, Oregon, and Nevada after legalization in those states. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have now legalized marijuana for recreational use. Studies have found varying results on the effects of the legalization of marijuana. One study published by the National Institutes of Health found that three years after the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado motor vehicle crash fatality rates were not statistically different from those in similar states without legalization. However, as referenced, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana in Washington state has doubled since legalization. Another study published in the journal BMJ Open in 2019 found that after legalization in Colorado, car accidents increased 10 percent, and increases in alcohol abuse and overdoses that resulted in injury or death increased by 5 percent. The state legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012.

Can Maryland Accident Victims REcover Money from the At-Fault Driver?

Yes, if someone is injured in a Maryland car accident, they may be able to seek compensation. In a Maryland car accident case alleging that a motor vehicle driver was negligent, the plaintiff must prove that the driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the driver’s actions amounted to a breach of the relevant standard of care, that the driver’s negligent actions caused the plaintiff injuries (being both the cause-in-fact and a legally cognizable cause), and that the plaintiff suffered damages. A plaintiff must prove all of the elements in a negligence claim, and the plaintiff has the burden of proving each element by a preponderance of the evidence.

Maryland car accidents can be expensive. Individuals injured in these accidents often notice the costs piling up in the aftermath—medical bills and expenses from the crash itself, follow-up medical treatment required to recover, not to mention repairing damage to the car, and suffering lost wages due to the accident. One of the things that help Maryland residents, specifically low-income residents, pay for everything is Medicaid, a government program that provides health insurance to over one million people in the state. But sometimes, hospitals may refuse to send the bills to insurance providers like Medicaid, and instead may pursue strategies to charge accident victims full price.

The New York Times recently reported on this shocking practice. According to their article, wealthy hospitals have been quietly using century-old hospital lien laws to increase their own revenue at the expense of poor car accident victims. They use what is called a lien, which is a claim on an asset (such as a home) to make sure that someone repays a debt. By refusing to charge insurance providers the discounted price and taking out a lien instead, they can cripple car accident victims financially, right at the time they are struggling the most. One woman involved in a crash owed $12,856 after the hospital pursued a lien, even though Medicaid would have only had to pay $2,500 for her care. The liens cause accident victims to feel as though a cloud is hanging over their recovery. Some go into debt to cover their subsequent bills, all because they are being preyed upon by a wealthy hospital under an old law.

While it’s concerning, to say the least, in many states, it is perfectly legal.

Many Maryland car crashes are not straightforward and some cases involve many parties. Knowing who is to blame is not always clear, which is why so many insurance companies and defendants fight back. Oftentimes, defendants will try to lay blame on the victim in order to relieve themselves of liability. This is an especially useful strategy for defendants in Maryland, because the state follows a law that can be very harsh for car accident victims who are partially at fault.

If a Maryland plaintiff is found to be even partially at fault for an accident, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation from any other parties. This doctrine, known as contributory negligence, is no longer followed by the majority of states, but Maryland is among the few states that continue to apply it. The state legislature has continued to uphold the doctrine despite much criticism of the doctrine. The majority of states in the United States follow a version of comparative negligence. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, a plaintiff may still recover some compensation even if the plaintiff is partially at fault, though some limit the plaintiff’s fault to 50% or less.

If a case goes to trial, a jury (or judge, in some cases) will consider the plaintiff’s fault while it is considering the defendant’s fault and decide whether the plaintiff is partially at fault. However, the defendant must provide evidence of the plaintiff’s negligence and has the burden to prove each element of a negligence claim to show that the plaintiff acted negligently. In addition, a court will only provide a jury instruction and allow the jury to consider the plaintiff’s fault if the defendant sufficiently establishes that the plaintiff was negligent. And just as any defendant, the plaintiff can defend against claims that the plaintiff acted negligently by submitting arguments and evidence in their defense.

Although some cases go to trial, many Maryland car accident cases are decided by the court based on the evidence and pleadings. After the evidence has been submitted, a party can file a motion for summary judgment to have the court rule on the issues in the case. Under Maryland law, summary judgment may be granted if there is no genuine issue regarding any material fact, and the party seeking summary judgment is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court will view the case in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and drawing any reasonable inferences from the facts against the moving party. There has to be evidence from which a jury could find in the non-moving party’s favor to deny summary judgment. The party seeking summary judgment is responsible for clearly identifying deficiencies in the case that show the absence of a genuine issue of fact.

In a recent case before a state supreme court, the court considered whether the plaintiff was entitled to judgment as a matter of law based on the evidence in a two-vehicle car accident case. In that case, the plaintiff was approaching an intersection where he intended to turn left. The defendant had also stopped at the intersection, and after he entered the intersection, he struck the driver side of the plaintiff’s vehicle as both vehicles were making left turns. The plaintiff sued the defendant for damages. Both parties and their spouses testified at the trial and presented two different accounts of the crash. The jury found the defendant was not negligent, and the plaintiff appealed the decision.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued in part that the judge should have found he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because he claimed the defendant violated the right-of-way. The court disagreed. The court explained that the jury heard two versions of the accident. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was negligent for failing to yield the right-of-way and that the defendant accelerated quickly and failed to perceive the vehicle because the sun blocked his vision. On the other hand, the defendant claimed that he approached carefully and proceeding slowly before colliding with the plaintiff, who had entered his lane of travel. Therefore, even if the jury found that the defendant violated the right-of-way, it could still find that he acted reasonably under the circumstances. Thus, the court upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant.

Proving damages is an essential part of any Maryland car accident case. In addition to establishing a defendant’s liability, the plaintiff has the burden to prove their damages. Generally, damages must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that it is more likely than not to be true. The plaintiff must prove that the injury and damages were proximately caused by the wrongful acts of the defendant. This means that the damages cannot be based on speculation or conjecture. Some future expenses or losses, which may be recoverable in some cases, such as lost wages and lost earning capacity, can be difficult to establish. However, they are ways of proving these damages.

A recent case provides an example of a plaintiff’s failure to sufficiently prove damages for future medical expenses. In that case, the plaintiff filed suit against another driver after he suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff was stopped in a left-hand turn lane when he was rear-ended by the defendant driver. The plaintiff’s SUV suffered significant damage, but the plaintiff did not initially seek medical treatment. However, the plaintiff’s back began hurting later that day, and he went to a local hospital, where he was prescribed pain medication and was told to follow up with his primary care physician. He saw his primary care physician and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed him with an L3-4 level disk herniation. The surgeon recommended initial treatment of steroid epidural injections, and saw him a few more times, until he told the plaintiff that he could follow up if it was necessary.

At trial, the defendant admitted she was at fault for the accident, and a jury awarded the plaintiff $25,000 in damages and $100,000 for future medical expenses. The defendant argued that the future damages award was not supported by the evidence and the trial court agreed, vacating the future damages award. The plaintiff appealed the decision.

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