Understanding Maryland Shared Fault Rules

When a Maryland car accident occurs, it’s not always clear who was at fault. Sometimes, in more simple collisions, it’s obvious who the at-fault party is, and they may be 100 percent at fault. In many accidents, however, this is not always the case. Determining who is truly at fault in a car accident is crucial because it can affect how much compensation you receive if you decide to file a claim either through insurance or in a personal injury lawsuit.

According to a recent local news report, one driver has died, and another has been hospitalized following a collision at an intersection in Prince George’s County. Police said the accident occurred around 12:15pm when both drivers were going eastbound. One driver rear-ended the other while going through the intersection. The driver of the struck vehicle was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other driver was reportedly being treated for serious injuries at the hospital. Local authorities are still working to determine the circumstances that led up to the crash, and the accident remains under investigation.

Following a major car accident, it is not unheard of to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against who you perceive to be the at-fault party in the collision, only to hear that they are now claiming that you share some fault for what took place. In some states, the amount of fault that you are responsible for may impact your claim more than others. Unfortunately, in Maryland, it can often be a crucial factor in your case.

How Does Maryland Assign Fault in a Car Accident?

Maryland, like other states, has its own laws governing fault in car accident claims. In Maryland, if the injured party has in any way contributed to the accident taking place or shares any amount of fault for the incident that led to their injuries, they may be unable to collect any compensation at all. Maryland follows a legal framework known as contributory negligence, which means that if the injured party contributed at all to their injuries, they are barred from collecting from the at-fault party.

For example, if you are rear-ended at a stoplight and subsequently suffer from significant injuries, you may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who hit you. At some point, however, it is also discovered that when the accident took place, you also were texting and not paying attention to when the stoplight turned green, which potentially may have been part of the cause of the accident.

If you are found to be 10 percent at fault, and the other driver is 90 percent at fault when your estimated damages are $10,000, you will be barred from collecting any money from the other driver. This is because the contributory negligence rule requires that even though the at-fault party was primarily responsible for the accident, your damages are zeroed out because your own negligence also played a role in causing the crash.

Do You Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?

If you or someone you know was recently injured in a Maryland car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and will provide you with the support and legal expertise you need to proceed with confidence. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.

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