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Maryland Contributory Negligence

Scales of justice sitting at front of a classroom for Maryland Contributory NegligenceMaryland contributory negligence applies to the entire state, which means that if you are partially at fault in an accident, you will not be able to recover damages from another party, even if they were entirely at fault. Contributory negligence doesn’t preclude the possibility of recovery entirely though, as long as your actions did not contribute to more than 50% of the fault in the accident. If the court determines that you had between 51% and 100% of the fault in an accident, then your potential recovery may be reduced based on the amount of responsibility attributed to you by the court. If you have experienced this, contact a lawyer at Cohen & Cohen today!

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Maryland law recognizes that some injuries and deaths are caused by more than one person. This is what is called contributory negligence. Contributory negligence means that if you were negligent and your behavior contributed to the injury or death, you cannot collect damages from any other person who was also negligent. In Maryland, you can be found to be partly at fault for causing an injury or death. You can only collect damages from another person’s behavior if it did not contribute to the injury or death. A lawyer will determine whether someone else was also negligent, which would rule out any claim for relief against that party for the same incident.

Maryland’s Laws

Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. In Maryland, a plaintiff’s injuries are not presumed to be a direct result of the defendant’s negligence and can only recover damages if he or she is found to be less than 50% at fault. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence was a contributing cause of his or her injury in order to recover damages. Under Maryland law, this means that if the plaintiff’s own carelessness contributed even in a slight degree to his or her injuries, the defendant may not be held liable for those injuries unless the carelessness was much greater than that of the defendant.

How Do I Know Who Was at Fault?

Every state has a statute of limitations for when you can file a lawsuit. For Maryland contributory negligence, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date that you suffered your injury. The time frame is strict: even if you didn’t realize until after the two-year window had closed that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you won’t be able to sue them. That’s why it’s important to speak with an attorney right away, before the statute of limitations runs out.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Contributory negligence refers to a type of partial fault that is less than 50%. This means that you will be held liable for the other 50% of the blame. When you are trying to collect compensation for an injury, the insurance company for whoever is at fault can ask your lawyer about the proportion of fault.

Your lawyer may have to argue with the other party’s lawyer about what percent each person contributed to their injury. He or she will also have to share any relevant evidence and ensure that both parties’ medical records are in order so as not to delay settlement negotiations. The state courts that hear these cases don’t make decisions based on a strict interpretation of liability laws, but rather they use common sense and fairness in addition to looking at different laws and statutes.

An attorney from Cohen & Cohen can represent your Maryland contributory negligence case to help you get the compensation you deserve; contact an attorney today!

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