A car accident can leave you confused, hurt and devastated. Once you get your bearings together and the gravity of the accident hits home, you may start wondering how you will pay for your medical bills and fix your car.
Pursuing a personal injury claim is the best course of action if you are hurt in an accident that is attributable to someone else’s unlawful actions. However, to win the damages you may be entitled to, you have to prove that the other party acted negligently.
So how is liability determined in a Maryland car accident?
For starters, Maryland is an at-fault state as far as car accident claims go. Basically, this means that after the accident, each driver’s insurance company will carry out its own investigation and make payments based on who they believe to be at fault. In other words, it is the insurance company that will determine fault.
Maryland’s contributory negligence statute
Maryland is one of the few states that apply a contributory negligence statute. And this can have a huge impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim. Under contributory negligence law, your damages will be impacted by your role in the accident. Thus, even if it is established that you were 1 percent responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries, you can be totally barred from recovering any damages or, your compensation may be reduced based on the role you played in the accident.
Contributory negligence usually comes up as a counter-claim during a personal injury claim. In other words, the defendant may cite contributory negligence when they believe the plaintiff had some role in the accident.
Proving fault in a car accident is key to litigating your case and holding the negligent party liable. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights and interests during your Maryland car accident lawsuit.