On paper, a car accident between two people is probably the fault of one of the drivers. When it comes to Maryland law, however, determining liability is often much more complex than that, and it has some very serious implications with regards to making an insurance claim or recovering any type of compensation for injuries that were suffered. With this in mind, having a good understanding of Maryland auto accident liability is very important.
Pure Contributory Negligence
One of the most important things to know about Maryland is that it is one of just a few states that are known as ‘Pure Contributory Negligence' states. This simply means that in order to recover compensation for injuries from another party or another party's insurance company after a car accident, the accident must be 100% the fault of the other party. If the court determines that you were even 1% at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover any damages from the other party or their insurance company. This is an extraordinarily high standard that must be met, which is why it is so important to handle an accident case correctly.
Given this high requirement, it is important to be able to provide the court with as much evidence as possible that the other party was at fault for an accident. You can be confident that their insurance company will be analyzing every detail of the accident in an attempt to find even something small that you did wrong, which is why it is important to have an attorney who will work just as hard on your behalf. Some things you can do to help establish liability after an accident include:
- Take Pictures – As soon as you know everyone is safe, make sure to take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can and as quickly as you can.
- Write Down Your Memories – Write down everything you can remember about the accident, including what led up to it, what caused it, and what happened after it was over.
- Get Accident Reports – Request the police incident number from the officer, and then get a copy of the report as soon as it is available.
- Get Contact Information – Request contact information from the other party, as well as from every potential witness to the accident. The more information you can get, the better.
- Contact an Attorney – Call an attorney immediately so they can start working on the case while the facts are still fresh.
Don't Do It on Your Own
Whenever attempting to prove the liability of another party for an accident, you will be fighting against a team of lawyers from the insurance company. Your best bet is to have an experienced attorney fighting for you, too. The Tyra Law Firm has experience battling insurance companies, and we will fight aggressively for your rights. Please contact us as soon as possible after an accident so we can start working on crafting an effective case for you.