Sometimes, when car accidents take place, the fault does not always fall entirely on one party. Although one party may share more of the fault proportionally, this situation often gives rise to complicated issues when personal injury claims are at stake. In some states, like Maryland, if you contributed to causing the accident in any way, it could bar you from receiving compensation. Thus, understanding your rights and discussing the circumstances surrounding your accident with an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial to maximizing the success of your lawsuit.
According to a recent local news report, officers responded to a two-car collision. Based on initial evidence, a Dodge Ram was allegedly speeding when it crashed into the back of a Dodge Caliber. When local authorities arrived on the scene of the accident, the Dodge Ram was attempting to leave the collision site. Police were able to successfully stop the Dodge Ram from leaving, which was occupied by two men and had significant front-end damage. The driver of the Ram was arrested for driving under the influence and transferred to the Maryland State Police department for further investigation.
The second vehicle, the Dodge Caliber, had three people inside. The driver and both passengers were transported to a local hospital for treatment of significant injuries. Local authorities believe that the driver of the Dodge Caliber may have been driving under the influence as well. As charges are pending for both drivers in the accident, the collision remains under investigation.
How Is Fault Determined in a Maryland Car Accident?
In Maryland, fault is assigned under a contributory negligence framework. Under this framework, plaintiffs who contributed to causing their own accident are completely barred from recovering compensation against the other party. This means that even in a case where the other party is 99 percent at fault for causing the car accident, if you are found to be even one percent responsible, you may be unable to recover damages from the collision.
For example, in the case above, although the report indicates that the Dodge Ram was allegedly speeding and the driver was under the influence when it crashed into the Dodge Caliber and caused the resulting injuries, it is also possible that the driver of the Dodge Caliber was partially responsible for the accident. If the driver of the Dodge Caliber was also driving unsafely or was under the influence, a jury could find that they contributed to the severity and cause of the accident. If this is the case, then the driver and passengers of the Dodge Caliber may be barred from recovering compensation from the drivers of the Dodge Ram, even though they were likely proportionally “less responsible” for causing the accident to take place.
Do You Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you love was recently injured in a Maryland car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for the injured and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.