If you are injured in a car accident, it may be challenging to determine fault. When blame is not apparent, comparative negligence and contributory negligence come into play. Essentially, states follow one of these rules to determine whether a plaintiff can recover monetary compensation for their damages if they contributed in any way to the accident that caused their injuries. Many people wonder whether Maryland is a comparative or contributory negligence state. Keep reading to learn which doctrine Maryland applies in car accident cases and how a qualified St. Mary’s County Car Accident Lawyer can help you understand your legal options moving forward.
How does comparative negligence work?
Unlike many states, Maryland is not a comparative negligence state. Instead, it is a contributory negligence state. If a state follows a comparative negligence rule, depending on whether it is pure comparative negligence or a modified comparative negligence state, it reflects the amount motorists can recover if they are partially at fault for an accident. Essentially, states that follow a pure comparative negligence rule allow motorists to recover monetary compensation for their damages despite being partially at fault for the collision. However, their award is reduced by their fault degree. For instance, if you are found 25% at fault for an accident, your award will be reduced by 25% to reflect your degree of fault. Modified comparative negligence is similar to the pure comparative negligence rule. However, if you are more than half at fault for an accident you cannot recover monetary compensation for your damages. If you are 50% or more responsible for a crash, you will not receive any financial compensation for your losses. However, if you are less than half at fault, you can recover compensation.
How does contributory negligence work?
As mentioned above, Maryland is a contributory negligence state. In a contributory negligence state, if you are partially responsible for a collision, you cannot recover monetary compensation for your damages. For instance, if you are found even just 1% at fault and the negligent party is 99% at fault for the collision, you cannot recover financial compensation for your losses. When you file a personal injury claim against a negligent party, when the trial commences, the jury will be asked to determine fault. If you are found even just 1% at fault for the crash, it could diminish your ability to recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, it is in your immediate interest to retain the legal services of an experienced St. Mary’s County car accident lawyer. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek monetary compensation for their damages. Contact us today so we can help you establish liability to maximize your chances of recovering financial compensation for your losses.