Maryland’s Contributory Negligence RuleJanuary 2, 2019
If you have been involved in a car accident, and the other driver was at fault, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver, and seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, in the state of Maryland, if you are partly responsible for causing the crash, it is unlikely that you will recover any compensation.
This is what is known as contributory negligence, which states that the victim loses the right to compensation if he or she is even partly at fault for the accident. An experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer can explain your rights, including possible exceptions to the rule.
Proof of Fault
In order to collect compensation in a personal injury case, you must be able to prove that the other motorist was at fault. To do this, it is important that you take certain steps immediately following the accident. Such steps include calling the police, taking pictures of the scene of the accident, and obtaining statements from witnesses who may have seen the accident.
In addition, avoid apologizing to the other driver, even if you are trying to be nice, as this can be used against you by the other party’s insurance company.
If you have been injured, it is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention and secure copies of your medical records. If the other driver was at fault, this information will help prove it.
However, Maryland has very strict contributory negligence laws, which state that you will be prohibited from receiving compensation if the at-fault insurance company is able to prove that you were partly to blame for the accident.
While many believe that this law is unfairly harsh towards victims, until there are legislative changes to the rule, car accident victims who are even slightly to blame may be denied compensation.
Exceptions to the Rule
It is possible for you to recover damages, even if you are partly to blame, if one of the following applies:
- Last Clear Chance Doctrine: Contributory negligence rules do not apply if the person responsible for causing the accident had an opportunity to avoid it but failed to act.
- Intentional Acts: The at-fault party will not be exempt from the rule if he or she intentionally caused the accident.
- Maryland’s Seat Belt Law: Maryland law requires the use of seatbelts. However, if a driver was not wearing his or her seat belt at the time of the accident, it may not be considered evidence of contributory negligence.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Clients with Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have been injured in a car accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling various types of car accident cases, including those involving contributory negligence. Our dedicated legal team will examine the details of your case and determine who is responsible for causing the accident. We will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.