When you are involved in an accident, understanding all the factors that can influence the outcome of your lawsuit is vital to preparing to the best of your abilities. One such rule all drivers must understand is whether their state follows contributory or comparative negligence laws. This can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Keep reading to discover the difference between these two laws, and why you need an experienced Maryland auto accident attorney to fight for you.
Contributory vs. Comparative Negligence: What Are the Differences?
Unfortunately, many people think auto accident cases are as simple as determining who crashed into who and ordering that driver to pay the damages. This is far from the truth due to comparative and contributory negligence. These statutes make it so an injured party who played a role in the accident may collect reduced damages or be barred from receiving any compensation at all.
Most states follow comparative negligence, which reduces the damages a victim can collect based on their percentage at fault in the involvement. There are three kinds of comparative negligence:
- Pure Comparative Negligence: Regardless of how much fault a driver contributes to an accident, they can still receive reduced damages. For example, if a driver is found 99% liable for the collision, they can still collect 1% of the compensation they are awarded.
- Modified 50%: If a driver is found to be 50% or more responsible for the collision, they are barred from collecting damages.
- Modified 51%: Like the modified 50% rule, if a driver is found 51% or more liable, they cannot receive compensation for their injuries.
It is important to note that in both Modified statutes, as long as the driver is not 50% or 51% responsible, they can still collect damages. This means if a driver is found 25% liable, they will collect damages reduced by their percentage of fault, which in this case, is 25%.
Unfortunately, Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which can make it more challenging for car accident victims to receive the compensation they deserve. This is because if an injured party is found to have contributed to the accident in any way, even if they are 1% at fault, they are barred from collecting any damages.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured in an Accident In Maryland?
If injured in a collision in Maryland, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, failure to do so makes it easier for the other party and their attorney to prove you were slightly at fault for the accident, and you will not receive the compensation you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help prove that you were not responsible for the injuries sustained. Contact us today to learn more about how our competent and dedicated legal team can help you.