Have you been injured because of someone else’s negligence?
You might not be entitled to the same compensation in Maryland as you would be in other states. This is due to Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Law.
Under the law, any contribution on your part to your injuries determines your access to damages. Maryland is one of just a few states that apply contributory negligence to situations with an injured individual. Most states use comparative negligence.
What’s the Difference between Comparative Negligence and Contributory Negligence?
In a comparative negligence state, the court assesses each person’s contributions to the accident.
Even if you are partially negligent in causing your injury, you can still collect damages. However, the court reduces those damages by the same percentage for which you were negligent.
For instance, let’s say the court determines you’re 10 percent negligent for your injuries. The court assigns 90 percent liability to the other person involved. And let’s say your damages are $10,000.
In a comparative negligence state, you’d receive $9,000 in damages ($10,000 – 10 percent = $9000).
In a comparative negligence state, you can collect damages as long as you are not the primarily responsible party. This means you must be less than 50 percent responsible for causing your injuries.
Alternatively, in a contributory negligence state like Maryland, a person found 10 percent liable for their injuries would lack standing to bring a claim because they contributed to causing the accident. Even though you are much less responsible than the other individual involved, this is true.
What Does This Mean for Anyone Involved in an Accident in Maryland?
It surprises many people, especially those involved in accidents in comparative negligence states, to learn about the limitations Maryland’s pure contributory negligence law creates. Most people don’t even realize their potential financial liability until they face a legal situation that includes damages.
Have you or a loved one been involved in of the following?
- Auto accident
- Injury on someone else’s property
- Pedestrian accident
Maryland’s contributory negligence law could affect you.
These events can create lasting financial concerns. Often, medical bills after an accident tally in the tens of thousands of dollars or more. Sometimes you need long-term medical care to recover if recovery is possible.
Lacking the ability to recover compensation after an accident can create a huge burden for an individual or family. This is one of the many reasons to contact a personal injury attorney after an accident.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of another person or company, the best thing you can do is talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will assess the unique circumstances of your case and help you determine the best possible course of action.
To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.