Understanding Contributory NegligenceMarch 6, 2019
Pursuing an injury claim after being injured in a car accident can be a complicated process if you are filing a claim in the state of Maryland. Maryland is one of only four states, plus the District of Columbia, that uses contributory negligence when determining damages in personal injury cases.
In a contributory negligence state, if you were at least partially responsible for the accident, you may be ineligible to collect damages. An experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer with a comprehensive understanding of Maryland law can guide you through the claims process and determine whether you are eligible to receive damages.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you plan to pursue a personal injury claim, your car accident lawyer will need to know whether you were in any way responsible for the accident. Even if you believe that your actions did not cause the accident, the other party’s legal team will try to prevent you from collecting compensatory damages.
If you were truly not in any way at fault, it is important that you provide sufficient evidence that will help prove that the other party was indeed negligent, and that you are eligible to collect damages.
Exceptions to Contributory Negligence Law
In some situations, contributory negligence may not automatically disqualify an individual from collecting compensation, even if they were partially at fault. For example, if a design defect or a manufacturing defect was largely responsible for the accident, contributory negligence cannot be used as a line of defense.
If your injuries were the result of a product liability issue, a car accident lawyer will be able to build a case against the manufacturing company, or the car company.
Contributory negligence is also not applicable if you and the other passengers in your vehicle were not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. Your legal team will also be able to anticipate any potential legal action that the other party may take against you.
Contributory Negligence Goes On
For years, legal experts in Maryland have debated over the need for the contributory negligence law. Attorneys argue that the law is outdated, and most other states in the country have gotten rid of it. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals continues to uphold the law.
In fact, as the majority of the judges on the Court of Appeals let the state’s General Assembly decide on the matter, they appear to have no desire to change it either. Since businesses tend to support the law, contributory negligence eliminates costly payouts in cases where the plaintiff’s negligence can be proven.
As a result, it keeps insurance costs down. Unfortunately, this does not help injured victims who may have had only a small role in causing the accident.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Fair Compensation for Car Accident Victims
If you have been injured in a car accident in Maryland, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and determine whether you are eligible for damages based on the details of your case. We will ensure that your rights are protected and will not stop fighting for you until we have secured the financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential 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.