How Does the Contributory Negligence Law Work in Maryland?

side impact accident

Driver negligence is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the state of Maryland. And with the oftentimes serious injuries in the aftermath of a crash, it is no wonder that the state has a strict contributory negligence law when it comes to determining the fault of each party involved. Read on to find out more about this law and how one of the proficient Howard County car accident attorneys at Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates can help you amass the evidence needed to prove that you deserve financial compensation for your injuries.

What is the state of Maryland’s contributory negligence law?

Maryland’s contributory negligence law states that you cannot receive any compensation from the other party’s insurance company if they can prove that you were partially at fault. Specifically, even if the other party was the majority at fault, 51% or more at fault, you will still not receive any financial compensation for your medical bills or lost wages due to your injury.

This contributory negligence law is rare in most other states, as they follow the comparative negligence law. This law has the percentage of your fault alter the amount of recovery you will receive for your damages. For example, if you were found to be 10% at fault and the jury awards $100,000 in damages, your compensation will be reduced by 10%, or $10,000, and, thus, you will receive the remaining $90,000. But under the state of Maryland’s contributory negligence laww, you will receive $0 because you were found to contribute a small percentage to the car accident.

How do I prove I am not the at-fault party in a car accident?

The other party will likely prove your contribution to the accident if there is evidence of you committing a traffic law violation, such as running a red light, turning at a no-turn on red, speeding, or otherwise neglecting traffic signs. Also, you will likely be considered the at-fault party if you hit the other party’s car from behind.

However, you can use the following rules in an attempt to defend your case:

  • Maryland’s Last Clear Chance Doctrine: if you can prove that the other party had a last clear chance to avoid the crash but did not do so, you may not be at fault.
  • Maryland’s seat belt exception: simply not wearing your seat belt cannot be used as the only evidence of a negligence claim.

If applicable to you, do not hesitate in reaching out to one of the talented Howard County auto accident attorneys today.

Contact Our Howard County, Maryland Firm

If you or a family member has sustained serious injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, contact Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates today. We are here to provide you with the steady and effective legal guidance you deserve.

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