Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case discussing the concept of foreseeability. Essentially, in order to establish that a defendant owed a plaintiff a duty of care in a Maryland car accident case, the plaintiff must be able to establish that their injury was a foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct.
In this case, the court concluded that the unusual and aggressive behavior of a third party was not foreseeable to the defendant, and thus it dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was visiting a food truck that leased space in a parking lot that was owned by the defendant. When the plaintiff pulled into the parking lot, he noticed that the lot was entirely full of cars parked in varying directions. He opted to back out of the lot and find parking elsewhere for fear of not being able to find a spot or not being able to exit once they were finished eating.
As the plaintiff was backing out of the lot, he lightly bumped another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle got out of the car and became very upset. The plaintiff remained calm, apologized, and asked to exchange information with the other driver. However, the other driver refused, got back in the car, put it in reverse, ran over the plaintiff, and then sped away. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, who owned the parking lot.
The Court’s Decision
The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that he did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care to protect against the type of injury he sustained. The court explained that, although it was foreseeable that someone could get struck by a car while on the defendant’s property, the other driver’s aggressive actions were not foreseeable. The court explained that the accident that injured the plaintiff was not a foreseeable result of the defendant’s acts of paving, leasing, and operating the lot. In other words, the court required more of a connection between the alleged act of negligence and the accident that caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Duties Owed by Maryland Drivers
The case discussed above is unique in that it involved a car accident with a non-driver named as a defendant. In most cases in which a driver is named as a defendant, courts will find that a duty is owed to the plaintiff. This is because in Maryland, all drivers owe a duty of care to those with whom they share the road.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing victims and their families in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated Maryland injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Court Affirms Defense Verdict in Car Accident Case, Despite Defendant’s Admission, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 2, 2018.
Court Determines Insurance Adjuster May Have Obtained Favorable Settlement Through Undue Influence, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 19, 2018.