Just a few days ago a 24-year-old male pedestrian was killed when a car lost control, jumped a curb, and crashed into the man. According to a report from the local ABC affiliate, the accident occurred shortly before 7:00 a.m. on the 4800 block of Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville when the woman’s car inexplicably crossed the median, went up over the curb, hit the pedestrian, and then ran into an upholstery shop.
Police are still trying to determine what exactly happened. However, several witnesses reported that there had been a patch of ice at this particular location for about a month. Further investigation discovered that there were two pipe leaks in the area, one discovered January 7th and the other January 9th. Both leaks have since been repaired. The driver has not been cited for any traffic violation.
Civil Liability When Multiple Parties Are At Fault
Not all accidents are caused by just one person’s negligence or mistake. For example, take the case above, both the driver and the party responsible for the operation of the leaking pipes might be responsible for the pedestrian’s death.
In these cases, a plaintiff is not limited to choosing one or the other. In fact, it is generally advisable that a plaintiff name all parties that may be responsible for their injuries. This is due to a legal doctrine called “joint and several liability.” Joint and several liability essentially means that any part found to be at fault for a plaintiff’s injuries is responsible for the full amount due to the plaintiff, even if that defendant is only minimally at fault.
For example, consider the example above: Assume that the jury found in favor of the victim’s family for $1 million. Next, assume that the driver was determined to be 75% at fault and the city was determined to be 25% responsible. Under Maryland tort law, the victim’s family could look to either the driver or the city for 100% of the recover amount. It would then be up to the two defendants to determine how much each owed in a separate court proceeding.
Keep in mind, however, that a plaintiff will not be permitted to double-recover from both parties, meaning that the plaintiff can only recover once, even if both parties can pay the full amount.
What To Do If You Have Been Involved in a Maryland Auto Accident
If you have recently been involved in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to a monetary award to compensate you for your past medical bills, future medical expenses, as well as any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. To find out more about the laws of negligence in Maryland and to discuss the specific facts of your case with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney, contact the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen today. The dedicated lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have the experience you need to recover in your Maryland car accident case. Call 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Judgment in Favor of Defendant in Maryland Contributory Negligence Case, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published December 18, 2013.
Husband Sues Wife’s Employer for Wrongful Death Following Tragic Car Accident, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published November 19, 2013.