Understanding Contributory Negligence in Maryland Car Accident Claims

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The state of Maryland is one of only a handful of states that follows the system of pure contributory negligence when it comes to recovering compensation for injuries suffered in a car accident. What is the doctrine of pure contributory negligence? Under pure contributory negligence, an injured party can recover damages only if they are not in any way at fault in the cause of a car accident. Practically speaking, this means if the court determines you were only 1% at fault in causing a car crash, you wouldn’t be eligible to recover damages for your injuries.

Insurance Companies and the Doctrine of Pure Contributory Negligence in Car Accident Claims

You can bet insurance companies are aware of the doctrine of pure contributory negligence and what it means for claims related to car accidents. That’s why insurers retain a team of accident investigators, accident reconstructionists, and medical experts. If they can gather and present evidence that you contributed to what happened, they can greatly reduce or avoid paying a claim altogether. But how often can the doctrine of pure contributory negligence affect the outcome of a car accident claim?

Well, imagine you’re driving in inclement weather. Suddenly, the car in front of you spins out or slams on the brakes and you rear-end them. You’re not at fault, right? It was the snow or ice and the bad driving on the part of the person you hit. Well, if after measuring skid marks and analyzing the damage done to your car and the one you hit, it’s likely the insurer will argue you were driving too fast or too close, given the weather conditions. Alternatively, if you were the car rear-ended, investigators will argue you contributed to the accident for similar reasons.

Other Strategies for Reducing Claims in Car Accidents

Car insurance companies won’t stop at investigating the nature or cause of an accident. In order to strengthen their case, they’ll want to talk to you, the injured person, as soon as possible after the crash. Here, an insurance agent will feign concern or interest in your condition in the hopes of gaining your confidence so that you’ll open up and answer questions that hopefully show you were negligent in some way. For example, you might be asked what you remember, if you saw brake lights, how fast you were going, if you were on your cell phone, etc.

Car Accident Lawyer Howard County MD

Jonathan Scott Smith is a top-rated car accident lawyer, with over 30 years of courtroom experience. As you can see by his background, Mr. Smith is an experienced, respected, and credentialed trial attorney. He has successfully handled car crash and car accident cases for over three decades. He fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in car accident and other cases — has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Protect Yourself – Contact Car Accident Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact Columbia, Maryland car accident attorney or call 410-740-0101 to learn how we can protect you. We understand how insurance companies work and the different methods they use to reduce or avoid paying car accident claims.

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  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101