In a society where millions of people drive on our roads every day, car accidents are inevitable. Determining who is at fault for each of these collisions is a critical step in the process of resolving an accident. So how do we sort out the fault for these accidents in order to determine who is responsible for damages?
There is no formula prescribing rules for fault. While some regions do this, particularly in Canada under their Fault Determination Rules, determining fault in the United States is largely a negotiated process, involving communication between drivers, insurance agencies, and attorneys. In fact, this is one of the reasons that hiring an experienced auto accident lawyer is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t get stuck with an unreasonable portion of the fault after you’ve been in an accident.
This is an especially important distinction in Maryland, which is one of only four states that still use what is called a contributory negligence system to determine fault in personal injury cases such as a car accident. Unlike the comparative negligence system used in most states, which attributes a percentage of fault to each driver and then distributes financial liability according to this percentage, the contributory negligence system is an all or nothing standard. What this means is that if you are determined to have contributed to the accident in any way, you are barred from recovering anything from any other parties involved.
Each car accident is unique and requires careful analysis to determine who was at fault, and therefore who is financially responsible. Make sure you hire an experienced auto accident or personal injury attorney to avoid being barred from recovery under Maryland’s strict fault rules.
If you have been in a car accident in the Rockville or Gaithersburg would like to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney, call Sussman & Simcox, Attorneys at Law at (301) 840-0404. We’ll give you a fair and honest assessment of your case, and let you make the decisions that follow. Call us today to learn how we can help.
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