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.
Similar car accidents take place regularly across the state. Following such an accident, potential plaintiffs are advised to file their lawsuit as soon as possible. This is because Maryland has a three-year deadline for filing most car accident lawsuits, and cases filed after this statute of limitations are often given little leeway to be heard by the courts. If potential plaintiffs attempt to file their lawsuit after the three-year deadline, Maryland courts typically dismiss the case, unless some rare exception applies and the deadline is extended.
Before deciding to file a case, however, it is best to consult an experienced personal injury or car accident attorney who understands the law and Maryland’s unique legal frameworks governing car accidents and personal injury. For example, Maryland has what many describe as a “plaintiff unfriendly” contributory negligence framework, which bars plaintiffs from financial recovery if they were partially responsible for causing the car accident.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Under the contributory negligence model in Maryland, this means that even if the at-fault party was mostly to blame for causing the accident, if you share part of the blame, you would be barred from receiving money damages. Thus, depending on the circumstances of how your accident took place, it may be unclear whether filing a lawsuit is the most strategic method moving forward.
In addition, it is crucial to understand that the contributory negligence rule not only binds judges and juries when rendering a decision, but it also guides car insurance adjusters when they are evaluating your claim. Claims adjusters often make decisions based on predicted court outcomes, so if it appears a potential plaintiff has contributed to causing the accident, they may also experience challenges during settlement discussions with insurance companies.
Do You Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently injured in a Maryland car accident, contact the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our team of attorneys has collected more than $55 million on behalf of our clients and has represented individuals and their loved ones in all types of car accident and personal injury claims. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team today, contact us at 800-654-1949.