What Contributory Negligence Means for Survivors of Maryland Multi-Vehicle “Chain Reaction” Crashes

Car accidents can be confusing and scary for any driver, especially when they are injured and they may not think about how the type of accident and amount of cars involved can impact the compensation they can recover for their injuries. For one thing, it isn’t always clear what the cause of a multi-car crash was or who is at fault for legal and insurance purposes. When a car accident involves multiple cars, in what are often called “chain-reaction” crashes, the difficulties of determining fault increase substantially.

For Maryland drivers, these questions become more important because of the way Maryland law assigns fault in multi-car accident cases. Maryland law looks at the fault of all parties involved in the accident, not just the first car to set off the chain of collisions. That means that in a chain-reaction crash where the second car in the chain was texting instead of watching the road when they were hit and that caused them to hit the third driver instead of swerving, the court might find them partly responsible. Speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with Maryland’s unique law is an important step to protect your legal rights when entering litigation and seeking financial compensation related to injuries from a car accident.

According to one recent news report, there a multi-car crash sent three people to the hospital, leaving two people suffering from serious injuries. The chain-reaction accident started when a car crossed a highway median, entering oncoming traffic and hitting another car head-on, injuring the driver. The struck car then collided with a tractor-trailer, in turn injuring that driver as well. Both of the motorists in the struck vehicles were extracted from their vehicles and brought to the hospital for treatment of severe injuries, while the driver of the car who started the chain reaction was able to walk out of the hospital with only minor injuries.

As these drivers recover from their injuries, they and their families may face mounting medical bills and may seek damages in court from the driver who started the chain-reaction crash. However, recovering damages may not be that simple when multiple drivers are involved because of the way Maryland considers each driver’s role in a multi-driver accident.

Does Maryland Use Contributory Negligence?

Yes, Maryland injury law uses a contributory negligence system in determining fault or legal responsibility, which means that if any of the involved drivers contributed to the injuries of themselves or others in a crash, even if they didn’t initially cause the crash, they may not be able to recover damages. This can be a scary prospect for a victim of a crash who experienced life-altering injuries to know that there is a chance that they won’t receive any financial compensation for an accident that they did not cause. The possibility of not recovering any financial damages in the face of never-ending medical bills or loss of ability to work is a serious concern and a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help address those fears and other legal questions.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you or a loved one are were injured in a Maryland car accident, contact personal injury lawyers Lebowitz & Mzhen. The lawyers at our firm have extensive experience handling a wide range of complex car collision cases, including chain-reaction crashes. You can schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 800-654-1949.

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