It can be crucial to consult a lawyer after a car accident where contributory negligence laws may apply because lawyers and their legal teams can provide insight on the litigation options available to you and what to potentially expect in your case. Contributory negligence laws can be challenging to overcome and put a lot of pressure on plaintiffs to have solid cases, so you want a lawyer who will be honest and straightforward about where your case stands during any stage of the litigation process.
If you are bringing forward a personal injury case about your car accident injuries, you may want to consider getting a legal review on your case to assess whether there is room for the opposing party to place blame on you. If so, a lawyer may be able to guide you on how to fight against these claims and help you collect evidence to support your case.
Maryland’s Personal Injury Cases Are Subject to Contributory Negligence Laws
Car accident claims and lawsuits fall under personal injury law, which means they may be affected by contributory negligence laws. These laws determine whether a plaintiff is able to receive damages after an accident that led to their injury. If a plaintiff is found partially liable for an accident, contributory negligence laws prevent them from collecting compensation.
The American Bar Association (ABA) notes that Maryland is part of a minority of states that still uses the contributory negligence rule, as re-established in Coleman v. Soccer Association of Columbia. The Coleman ruling also mentions criticisms about contributory negligence and how this doctrine is considered harsh by scholars who believe it unfairly allows defendants to be absolved of liability in accidents even if the majority of fault was on them. By this rule, if a plaintiff has even so much as one percent of fault assigned to them, they are not entitled to any compensation.
Therefore, with car accident cases, one of the obstacles plaintiffs should anticipate is being blamed for contributing to the cause of the accident, which can be hard to refute without proper evidence.
Car Accidents May Involve Multiple Parties
Despite the concerns about contributory negligence laws, do not let them discourage you from filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, as other factors may still entitle you to receive compensation. One major aspect to consider about your car accident is whether there might be more than one liable party involved, which does not mean that every liable party had to be physically present at the accident scene.
For example, car accident cases involving commercial drivers could place vicarious liability on the driver’s employer. This situation might apply to cases involving truck drivers or rideshare vehicle drivers, which would place liability on trucking companies or rideshare companies. If vicarious liability applies to your case, your lawyer may investigate further into how the employer might have contributed to the cause of the accident. Some contributory causes might include:
- The employer did not regularly maintain or repair the commercial vehicle.
- The employer did not run a background check on their employees before hiring, neglecting to discover previous driving-related offenses.
- The employer pressured employees to neglect traffic laws and regulations to arrive at their destination on time or save money on business costs.
In other cases, a third party might be liable for your car accident. For example, if the other car experienced a malfunction and then crashed into your vehicle, another liable party may include the mechanic who last worked on the car or the car manufacturing company if the crash occurred because of a defect. In this sense, even if the other driver claims contributory negligence against you, the third parties would not be able to have the same defense. They have strict liability over their services and/or products, which might entitle you to receive compensation from them.
If any of these scenarios apply to your case, your lawyer may give you advice on how to move forward and conduct further investigation to find evidence to support your case.
Get a Free Consultation from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow
If you or someone you care about suffered a severe injury and subsequent losses because of another person’s negligence in Edgewood, you may be able to receive compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Personal injury cases in Maryland abide by contributory negligence laws, but that does not mean plaintiffs do not have a chance to win. A personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow may be able to help you every step of the way as you fight for compensation from the at-fault or liable party.
If you are unfamiliar with personal injury law, then it is crucial that you consult a lawyer after a car accident where contributory negligence laws may apply, as they may provide insight into your case. Call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow for a free consultation with one of our team members. You can reach us at (410) 877-6021. We want to help you fight for the compensation you need.