What Happens if Nobody Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Do not assume nobody is at fault in a car accident. The majority of accidents are caused by human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), so it is likely that one or more involved parties contributed to the crash. Determining fault will likely be difficult for the average citizen. Police officers, lawyers, and accident investigators can all help to establish fault.

Maryland Is a Fault State

Most states have either fault or no-fault insurance. No-fault insurance pays for your claim no matter who caused the accident. Maryland is a fault state, meaning that the at-fault party and their insurance must pay for your injuries and damages. In other words, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damage. This is why establishing fault is so important.

Holding the Other Driver Liable

Anyone injured in the accident has to file an insurance claim and prove fault in order to gain compensation. This process can make it difficult to gain compensation in a reasonable amount of time after the accident occurs. A lawyer can investigate to determine who should be held responsible.

Establishing the Other Party’s Negligence

To hold the other party liable, you must establish the following:
  • The other party had a duty to drive safely.
  • The other party breached that duty (e.g., the driver was texting behind the wheel).
  • The other party’s breach caused your accident and injuries.
  • You sustained damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
To establish fault in complex cases, an attorney may decide to work with an accident reconstruction expert who will determine exactly how the accident happened.

You May Be Able to Turn to Your Own Insurance Policy

While it is not required to have personal injury protection (PIP) in Maryland, all insurance companies are required to offer it, as stated by the Maryland Insurance Administration. PIP can come into play if nobody is at fault in a car accident. Depending on the type of coverage selected, you could be entitled to compensation that covers:
  • Medical expenses you have up to three years after the accident
  • 85% of wages you lost due to the accident
PIP is a way for you to get funds after a car accident without waiting for the investigation to determine fault.

Contributory Negligence

Maryland is one of four states that has contributory negligence. If you are found to have contributed to the car accident in any way, even one percent, you are unable to gain any compensation for your damages. This is why it is important not to take any blame for the car accident. It could be used against you to prevent you from gaining any compensation. If an insurance company is aware of any partial negligence you may have in the car accident, they could refuse to pay for your damages. An Edgewood car accident lawyer can speak to the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you say nothing to take the blame for the car accident. If you are being blamed for part of the car accident, a lawyer can also protect you if the case goes to court. They can provide evidence to prove you were not at fault to help get you compensation for your damages.

Contact a Car Accident Law Firm Today

It can be difficult to determine what happens if nobody is at fault in a car accident, especially in an at-fault state like Maryland. When you are in a car accident, and nobody is considered at-fault, panic can set in quickly. However, before giving up and accepting defeat, you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer to determine what other options you could potentially have available to you. Our team at the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can help you by reviewing your insurance policy, investigating the car accident, and walking you through every step along the way. If you need medical help, we can recommend highly qualified, trusted medical providers that even our team would see if we were injured. Reach out to us today at (410) 777-8960 for your free consultation. You are not just limited to reaching us by phone and email, as you can text us for 24/7 communication. We handle your case on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you do not pay us any attorney’s fees unless and until you win your case.