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Who Is Liable in a Rear-End Accident?

By Dianne Freed on January 23, 2019

car accident lawyer in MarylandRear-end accidents, or “fender benders,” are some of the most common types of car accidents, and these crashes can result in expensive car repair and medical bills. No matter how careful you are on the road, you still run the risk of another driver being careless and hitting your car from behind. If you have been in a rear-end collision, the following may be some helpful information about who is liable under Maryland law and how you could seek compensation for your losses. For more detailed information about your specific situation and accident, call a Maryland car accident lawyer at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, today.

The Basics of Liability in Maryland

In Maryland, a driver is liable for causing a rear-end collision if that driver did not follow traffic safety laws and the other driver was not negligent. Negligence happens when a person has a duty to be careful and does not follow through with that duty. All drivers on the road have a duty to drive safely and to follow traffic laws, and a failure to do this equals negligence on the part of a driver.

Maryland law also follows the contributory negligence standard. Contributory negligence means that if someone contributed to an accident, even slightly, they cannot recover any damages from the other party. If both drivers were negligent when an accident occurred, they are both at fault under Maryland law, and they must recover from their own respective insurance companies. However, in many cases, one driver is solely responsible for a rear-end accident.

In Maryland, drivers must always keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of them. There is no exact distance named in the law, but drivers have to pay attention to the road and traffic conditions to determine a safe following distance behind the car in front of them. A driver that follows another car too closely, otherwise known as “tailgating,” and rear-ends that car is liable for the accident if the other driver was following traffic laws and not driving negligently.

On the other hand, Maryland law also requires all drivers to signal 200 feet before stopping a car.

If a driver stops suddenly without signaling in time and is rear-ended by a second car, the first driver is liable for the accident if the second driver was keeping a reasonable distance. If the lead car did not signal in time and the second car was following too closely behind, then both drivers are negligent and liable for the accident.

Call Alpert Schreyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered injuries in a rear-end collision, you could be entitled to financial compensation for vehicle damages, medical bills, lost income, or pain and suffering. It can be difficult to determine who is at fault for a rear-end accident and an experienced personal injury attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. If you have any questions about your accident, call Alpert Schreyer, LLC, and schedule a free case evaluation with a Maryland personal injury attorney at (844) 632-7274. You can also contact us online.

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Date published: 09/06/2018
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