Establishing fault after a Maryland car accident is critical to recovering damages for an injury victim’s losses. Under Maryland’s strict negligence laws, accident victims face the burden of establishing the other party’s fault, but they must also refute any claims of contributory negligence. Meeting this high threshold requires a significant amount of evidence in conjunction with a compelling argument.
While Maryland law does not require accident victims to report every accident to the police, police reports are a crucial piece of evidence. Moreover, certain circumstances mandate a police report. These situations involve incidents where:
- A driver or passenger is hurt;
- A driver is impaired;
- Any vehicle needs towing;
- A driver refuses to provide identifying information;
- A driver does not have a license; or
- A driver flees the scene of the accident.
It is essential that accident victims err on the side of contacting police because while the evidence is not dispositive, it is helpful to a claim. Claimants can use a police report indicating fault to bolster their claims for recovery.
For instance, recently, Maryland news reports described a harrowing accident involving a head-on collision. An SUV driver carrying two passengers left a two-land road and entered a one-lane underpass where it collided head-on into a minivan. The minivan’s six occupants, including three small children, suffered minor injuries in the collision. The SUV driver and his front-seat passenger suffered severe injuries, and the backseat passenger died at the accident scene. In Maryland, a vehicle traveling in an underpass maintains the right-of-way, and the approaching driver must yield and make sure the underpass is clear. In this case, police investigators noted that the SUV driver was “at-fault” for the accident citing Maryland’s law.
While this case is an example of where police indicated fault, many reports do not include this information. Further, accident victims might need to include additional information to meet their burden.
Should I Get a Police Report Following a Maryland Car Accident?
Yes, police reports are essential for when a claim proceeds to trial, but they are also vital to settlement negotiations and insurance claims. Insurance adjusters will use evidence or lack thereof when making claim decisions. In addition to police reports, a personal injury attorney can use their skills, resources, and tools to gather, preserve, and present additional evidence.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Maryland car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The lawyers on our team thoroughly review each case and give clients the time and attention they deserve. We provide individualized and strategic representation for an array of matters. Our firm handles Maryland car accident cases, premises liability lawsuits, products liability claims, and medical malpractice lawsuits. We have a history of successfully representing clients in their complex claims and securing the compensation they deserve. We have a comprehensive understanding of the strict evidentiary and substantive laws that impact our clients. Contact 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial interview with an attorney on our team. Calling is free, and we will never bill you for our services unless we can recover money damages in your case.