July 20, 2020

How Is Fault Determined in a Maryland Auto Accident?

man on phone after a car accident

While some car accidents can be attributed to a single driver's actions, some instances may be unclear as to who is at fault. In this post, we focus on how fault gets determined in Maryland auto accidents, as well as some of the state's unique legal considerations. Specifically, we outline its contributory negligence laws, which state that the victim forfeits any right to compensation if they are found to be even partially at fault for a car accident resulting in injuries and damages.

Who Determines Fault in a Maryland Auto Accident?

Similar to other injury cases, several individuals contribute to determining who is at fault by collecting information and evidence. They include:

  • Police officers
  • Insurance claims adjusters
  • The local court system (jury or judge)
  • An attorney

How Maryland Auto Accident Laws Differ from Other States

Maryland practices at-fault car insurance, meaning that when a driver causes a car accident, they will be responsible for paying for any resulting damages and medical bills. The state is one of four in the United States to implement such laws.

For recourse in the event of getting into an accident and believing the other party is responsible, an individual can:

  • File a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company;
  • File a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver; or,
  • File a claim with your insurance policy if the at-fault driver does not have insurance
    • Before taking this action, make sure to check with your insurance company to see if your plan covers "Uninsured Motorists Claims."

That said, pursuing these actions may expose you to being investigated for contributory negligence.

How Does Contributory Negligence Work in Maryland?

Mentioned above, contributory negligence requires a suing party providing unequivocal evidence that the at-fault party is solely responsible for damages and must pay for them entirely.

If the at-fault insurance company, however, can prove that an individual bears any responsibility for the accident, they will likely be barred from receiving any compensation.

How We Can Help

As you can see, seeking compensation for damages stemming from a car accident in Maryland can be difficult.

Working with an experienced lawyer like Shultz Legal can help make this situation better and you gain the following benefits:

  • Extensive knowledge of and experience with the legal system and the ins and outs of Maryland car accident law and real-life cases
  • A tailored approach to match the uniqueness of your situation and its needs