An accident caused by someone else can become a personal injury claim when the individual was injured in the accident. A personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed against the wrongful party for causing the accident. The injured victim of the accident, called the plaintiff, sues for damages. Damages include things like lost wages, medical bills and property damage. It is vital to contact a personal injury lawyer reisterstown md when filing a lawsuit because of the defenses the wrongful party can raise. One defense is called contributory negligence.
What is Contributory Negligence in a Maryland Personal Injury Claim?
Contributory negligence refers to a plaintiff contributing to the accident that injured them. For example, the plaintiff and defendant were driving. The defendant was speeding at the time they hit the plaintiff. However, the defendant claims at the time that the plaintiff contributed to the accident when the failed to stop at a stop sign.
Maryland personal injury law does not “reward” plaintiffs for not doing the right thing in an accident. Thus, the injured individual is barred from receiving any compensation if they contributed to the accident even slightly. For example, if a jury found the plaintiff 1 percent at fault for their accident, they can’t receive any money for damages. This means they must pay their medical bills and other bills on their own.
Why is Maryland so Harsh towards Plaintiff?
Besides the fact that plaintiffsshouldn’t be rewarded in damages for accident they caused, Maryland has the Last Clear Chance Doctrine. The Last Clear Chance Doctrine is where an injured victim has the responsibility to avoid danger. This is the type of danger that they aren’t able to prevent from happening to them. However, their inaction or actions can’t make it worse.
The Basis of Last Clear Chance Doctrine
The plaintiff has a legal duty to prevent harm from happening to them by contributing to an accident. This means the plaintiff had one last chance to avoid being injured in an accident that did not cause. They could have used this last chance to avoid being injured by acting with reasonable care in the moments before the accident. For example, in the auto accident mentioned above, the injured driver had one last chance to avoid injury by stopping at the stop sign. Thus, a jury may find that the injured driver did not take advantage of their one last chance to avoid injury.
Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer Immediately for Assistance
A personal injury lawsuit is very complicated for a person injured in an accident that’s not their fault. It is important to understand legal rights to sue the wrongful party, and what can happen if the victim of an accident may have contributed to the accident too. It’s also important to determine if the defendant is using the defense to stop the lawsuit. Contact a personal injury lawyer in reisterstown to understand more and how to fight a contributory defense challenge.