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Will contributory negligence laws affect your car accident case?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2018 | Injuries

After a car accident, you may need immediate medical attention because of the injuries you suffered. Doctors and other medical staff may ask you numerous questions that you need to answer truthfully in order to help them diagnose and treat your injuries. Of course, these individuals are not the only ones who will need answers.

You may ask yourself many questions, and police officers may also need answers to determine exactly how the accident happened. In particular, you and they may want to know who to consider at fault for the incident. If another person is considered at fault for the injury-causing accident, you may have reason to seek compensation for damages.

Types of negligence

However, before authorities will immediately blame the entire accident on the other driver, they will need to review all of the details. In some cases, the details may indicate that you and the other driver both contributed to the incident taking place.

In many states, the term “comparative negligence” comes into play. This term means that authorities will determine what percentage of fault you hold and what percent of fault the other driver holds. After understanding those percentages, you would then have the ability to seek compensation based on the other driver’s percentage of fault. However, comparative negligence laws do not apply in Maryland.

Instead, accidents in Maryland adhere to contributory negligence laws. This means that if you have any percentage of fault whatsoever in the accident, you cannot seek compensation for resulting damages. Authorities would have to consider the other driver involved 100 percent responsible for the incident in order for you to recoup damages.

Police reports

Police reports will play significant roles in determining fault in accidents. These reports will also tend to settle any discrepancies between your version of what happened and the other driver’s version when it comes to what insurance companies will believe. Still, the information you provide to police will affect their reports. You should certainly provide the correct information as well as you remember and not lie about any aspects of the situation. However, you should avoid admitting fault.

Police officers and insurance companies have resources for reviewing the information and evidence provided, which will likely go far beyond your word or the word of the other driver, and they can come to conclusions regarding who was at fault.

Seeking compensation

If another driver was at fault for your injuries, you may want to consider your legal options. Even if you are uncertain whether authorities may consider you partially responsible, it may be in your best interests to discuss state negligence laws with an attorney. This legal professional could help you better understand how such laws could impact your case.

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