Maryland is an “at fault” state for determining who is liable for harm caused in a car accident. This means that the entity or individual who is determined to have been negligent and caused the accident is the individual who is responsible.
If an at-fault party has acted negligently, this means that the party has failed to take reasonable measures to protect others and prevent injury. Some examples of negligence in the context of a car accident include:
- Failing to obey traffic laws–this can include speeding, failing to stop at a light, driving under the influence
- Driving while distracted or drowsy–this can include texting or falling asleep at the wheel
- Failing to maintain control over the vehicle–this can include following too closely, swerving in and out of lanes or stopping suddenly
- Failing to maintain the vehicle properly–this can include failing to ensure that the brakes function properly or failing to maintain proper tire pressure
All of these examples can lead to a car accident and may be indications that the driver is at fault.
In order to prove that a driver was negligent and caused your accident, we must show that the four elements of a negligence case are presented.
- Duty of Care–all drivers on Maryland roadways have the duty to follow the rules of the road and not operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner. Drivers should not operate their vehicles in a manner that could be harmful to others.
- Breach of Duty of Care–if a driver fails to uphold the duty to follow the rules and operate their vehicle safely, that driver has breached the duty of care.
- Causation–in order to file a lawsuit, it must be shown that the other driver’s breach of the duty of care or negligent actions were a direct cause of the accident and any injuries involved.
- Damages–in order to receive compensation in a car accident, you must be able to calculate damages sustained because of your injuries. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Because Maryland follows the pure contributory negligence rule, determining fault is an essential part of putting together your personal injury case. Under the pure contributory negligence rule, if the injured party is even a little bit at fault for an accident, even 1% at fault, that party is barred from receiving any compensation for injuries.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Determining and proving fault in a car accident case can be a complicated matter so you’ll need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 844-632-7274 for a free consultation.