The Standard of Care in Maryland Winter Car Accidents

Can You Still Be Liable Even if You Were Traveling Below the Speed Limit?

The Standard of Care in Maryland Winter Car AccidentsIt’s winter in Maryland and that often means snow or ice on the roads. You may choose to drive more defensively, to lower your speed and to give yourself more room to stop. But can you be held liable for personal injuries caused in a motor vehicle accident because you couldn’t stop, even though you were traveling below the posted speed limit? As a general rule, the answer is yes.

Personal Injury Claims in Maryland

In Maryland, as in all states, a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries and losses suffered in an accident is based on a legal theory of negligence. To determine whether or not you were “negligent,” a jury will look at your actions—the speed you were traveling or the amount of space you allowed between you and the car in front of you, for instance—and determine whether, under the circumstances, you were acting as a “reasonable person” would have acted, in the same situation. Whether or not your actions were in compliance with the laws may be evidence that your behavior was “reasonable,” but won’t be controlling. If the jury determines that, under the existing conditions (with snow or ice on the road), a “reasonable person” would have driven at a slower speed or stayed farther behind other vehicles, you may be found responsible.

Proven Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, brings more than three decades of experience to victims of personal injury in Baltimore and across the state. Highly regarded by his colleagues in the legal profession for his courtroom prowess, Attorney Smith has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. He carries the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Results-Oriented Baltimore County Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured because of the careless or wrongful acts of another person, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Recovering Damages after a Motor Vehicle Accident

Proving Who Caused the Accident

Recovering Damages after a Motor Vehicle AccidentWhen you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident because of the carelessness or wrongful act of another person, you have a right to seek compensation for any injuries or losses resulting from the accident. In most instances, if you need to go to court to get a fair resolution, you’ll be filing a lawsuit based on a legal claim of negligence. To successfully establish negligence, you must show that:

  • The defendant (person from whom you seek a monetary award) breached the duty of care, i.e., did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused the accident
  • That you sustained actual losses as a consequence of the accident

Establishing the Cause of the Accident

To show cause, you must provide evidence in court that demonstrates a link between the defendant’s act (or failure to act) and the accident that led to your losses. Under the laws of personal injury, as they have evolved in Maryland, there are two different types of cause that must be shown:

  • Actual, or “but for” causation—You must first show that, had the defendant not breached the duty of care, or had the defendant acted as a reasonable person, the accident would not have occurred
  • Proximate cause—This requirement is a little more complex, but the essence of it is that you must show that the accident (and the consequences of the accident) were reasonably foreseeable as a result of the breach of care. If there are unusual circumstances or intervening events that could not reasonably be foreseen that caused the accident, there may not be liability.

Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively represented personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than three decades. Long respected by his colleagues in the legal profession for his skills in the courtroom, Attorney Smith is AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been lauded as a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. He has received the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), and carries a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Results-Oriented Baltimore County Car Wreck Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured because of the careless or wrongful acts of another person, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Determining Liability for Winter Auto Accidents in Maryland

Does the Standard of Care Change in Snowy or Icy Weather?

Determining Liability for Winter Auto Accidents in MarylandWinter’s almost here, and in Maryland, that means snow and ice, as well as fogged up windows, often a contributing factor in a motor vehicle accident. When driving in winter weather, are motorists required to take additional precautions to prevent accident and injury? Well, sort of…

The Standard of Care in Motor Vehicle Accidents

As a general rule, when you have been injured in an auto accident, you’ll seek compensation based on allegations of negligence by another person. To prove negligence, you must first show that the other driver failed to use reasonable care, and that the failure to do so caused the accident and injuries. That standard is based on what an “average person of ordinary prudence” would do under the same circumstances. Whether the other person’s actions met the standard of care will be determined by the jury.

Accordingly, the standard remains the same—that of a reasonable person—but it takes the specific circumstances at the time of the accident into account. The question posed to the jury, then, would be “what would a reasonable person do while driving under the same weather conditions?” Some scenarios under which a jury might find liability include:

  • A failure to remove snow or ice from a vehicle before taking it on the road (unlike many other states, there is no law in Maryland that requires such removal)
  • Failure to maintain a sufficient distance from other vehicles to allow time and room to safely apply the brakes
  • Operating a vehicle at an unsafe speed under the circumstances
  • Failure to take road conditions into consideration when making a turn, leading to loss of control

Proven Baltimore County Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully represented personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout the state for more than three decades, including clients who have suffered injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Highly regarded as a trial lawyer by other Maryland lawyers, he has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been honored as a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. He has earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), and holds a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Results-Oriented Baltimore County Car Wreck Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

What Types of Damages Are Available after a Car Accident?

What Compensation Can You Get When You’ve Been Hurt?

What Types of Damages Are Available after a Car Accident?A motor vehicle accident can have a significant financial impact, leading to lost wages, substantial medical bills and property damage/loss. Those types of damages are typically referred to as “economic” damages, because they’re more tangible and easier to calculate.

There are other types of compensation that are available after a car accident, what are known as “non-economic” damages, such as:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life—the inability to do the things that were a meaningful or significant part of your life before the accident, including routine activities of daily life
  • Loss of companionship or consortium—the inability to have a close or intimate relationship with others because of your injuries
  • Physical pain and suffering—The actual physical response to your injuries

Because non-economic damages are not tied to specific financial losses, there are a number of ways that juries can calculate them:

  • Using a reasonableness standard—the court may instruct the jury to award damages they consider to be reasonable under the circumstances
  • Using a “multiplier”—the court may instruct the jury to determine economic damages and then multiply them by a factor, typically between 1 and 10. For example, the jury may determine total economic damages to be $100,000 and use a factor of 3 to award $300,000 in non-economic damages.

Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has fought for the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for over 30 years, including people who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents. Well-esteemed as a trial lawyer by his colleagues in the legal profession, Attorney Smith has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. He has also received the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), and has a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Results-Oriented Baltimore County Car Wreck Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Can You Still Seek Compensation for Your Losses?

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?When you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident, your first thought, after receiving medical attention, is likely to be that you need to contact your auto insurance provider. That may not be in your best interests, though. In fact, you’ll likely benefit most if you immediately retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Here’s why.

Your insurance company maximizes its profits by minimizing the amount it pays out on claims. Accordingly, the company has an incentive to offer you less than you deserve; delay payment in the hope that you’ll accept less than you’re entitled to; or simply deny your claim. When you work directly with insurance adjustors, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. The adjustors do this all the time and are good at making it seem like the amount they are offering is a good deal.

An experienced lawyer, on the other hand, knows when you’re being offered full and fair compensation for your losses. Your attorney has an incentive to maximize your recovery, as his or her compensation is directly tied to what you receive. Make your first call to an experienced lawyer, who can then be your intermediary with insurance companies, working to get the benefits you need and to which you are entitled.

Proven Baltimore County Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has consistently obtained positive results for personal injury victims in the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s also AV-rated by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The American Lawyer magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer, and he’s also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). A proven trial lawyer with a longstanding reputation for success in the courtroom, he has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Results-Oriented Frederick County, Maryland, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Injured While Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Can You Still Seek Compensation for Your Losses?

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesIn Maryland, as in most states, seat belts must be used by drivers and front-seat passengers when a vehicle is in motion on the roadway. What if you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, but you weren’t wearing a seat belt as required by law. Can you still recover compensation for your losses? In Maryland, the answer is a clear “yes.”

In many other states, the failure to wear a seat belt can be introduced as evidence of the injured person’s own negligence and can reduce the amount of damages awarded or prevent recovery of any damages at all. In Maryland, however, state law holds that the “failure to use a seat belt cannot be used as evidence of negligence,” cannot be used as evidence to limit liability, and cannot be used to reduce or diminish recovery for damages. In fact, defense attorneys may not introduce evidence of failure to wear a seat belt in any civil action for person injury, wrongful death, or property damage. Any such evidence is inadmissible pursuant to Maryland Code, Transportation §22-412.3.

Proven Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s long been AV-rated by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been honored as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A highly experienced trial lawyer with a widespread reputation for success in the courtroom, he’s received the AVVO Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Results-Oriented Frederick County, Maryland, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

Did You Contribute to Causing Your Injuries?

Can You Still Get Compensation When You’re Partially Responsible?

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesMost accidents have multiple causes. Suppose you’re hit by another driver who runs a red light, but your injuries are worse because you weren’t wearing a seat belt. When your own carelessness contributes to losses you suffer, can you still recover damages? In Maryland, the answer is yes, unless you are found to be fully at fault for your injuries.

Maryland follows the legal principle of “comparative negligence.” Under the concept of comparative negligence, a court will first determine the total amount of losses and then establish the extent to which you contributed to causing them (stated as a percentage of liability). The total damage award is reduced by the percentage of your liability. For example, if you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident and your total losses are $500,000, but you’re held 10% at fault for your injuries, your damage award will be reduced by 10%, or $50,000.

Results-Oriented Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully represented personal injury victims in metropolitan Baltimore and across Maryland for more than 30 years. He’s a Maryland Super Lawyer and consistently AV-rated by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney with a long reputation for getting positive results for clients, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Results-Oriented Frederick County, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been hurt in Maryland because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

No-Contact Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland

Can You Recover for Losses When There’s No Collision?

No-Contact Motor Vehicle Accidents in MarylandAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one in every six motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving. A distracted motorist may drift into your lane or turn in front of you unexpectedly. In your efforts to avoid an accident, you might lose control of your vehicle or collide with something on the side of the road. Can you still pursue compensation from a motorist who forces you off the road, even when there’s no contact?

As a general rule, a valid claim for damages does not require that your vehicle impacts that of another driver. In such cases, a lawsuit typically is based on the legal premise of negligence. To establish negligence, you must prove three things:

  • The defendant (the person from whom you are seeking compensation) failed to act reasonably—Note that there is no set rule regarding what is considered to be reasonable. The jury makes that determination on a case-by-case basis;
  • Their failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • As a result of the accident, you sustained actual losses—You can’t recover for losses that are covered by insurance.

In a no-contact accident claim, then, the court will first look to the behavior of the defendant. Was he speeding? Was he using a handheld device or otherwise distracted?

Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has protected the rights of personal injury victims in the Baltimore metro area and throughout the state of Maryland for more than three decades. He’s consistently been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, and he has been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A proven trial attorney known for getting positive results, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), and a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Proven Frederick County Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you have been hurt in a car accident in Maryland, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Third-Party Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can You Sue Someone Other Than the At-Fault Driver?

Third-Party Liability for Motor Vehicle AccidentsWhen another driver acts carelessly or negligently and causes a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to bring legal action against that person to recover compensation for your losses. But motor vehicle accidents often have multiple causes. In many situations, you can seek damages from third parties, in addition to suing the person who was driving the other car. How does that work?

To recover damages under a legal theory of negligence, you must show that a person failed to act reasonably; that the failure to do so caused an accident; and that you suffered actual losses as a result. Here are a few examples of potential third-party liability for a motor vehicle accident:

  • A bar, restaurant, or private party host serves alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk—Ifthat person causes a car wreck while intoxicated, the person and/or business serving the alcohol may be liable.
  • The owner of a vehicle allows another person to drive their car, knowing that that person is inexperienced or has a history of reckless driving—The vehicle owner may have liability in the event of an accident.
  • An employer requires an employee to drive while on the job—The employer may be liable if that employee causes a car accident.
  • A city fails to properly maintain roads—The city may be liable if poor road conditions contribute to an accident.
  • A car or car-part manufacturer fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a vehicle or part, such as brakes or tires—The manufacturer may have a legal responsibility when a defective product contributes to an accident.

Experienced Prince George’s County Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought aggressively for personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout the state for more than 30 years. A skilled and experienced trial attorney known for his consistent record of obtaining positive results for clients, Scott Smith received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible) and has a perfect 10.0 “Superb” rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Ellicott City Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Do You Have to Remove Snow and Ice from Your Car in Maryland?

Can You Be Liable for a Motor Vehicle Accident If Your Visibility Is Impaired?

A lot of people do it in the winter in Baltimore and across Maryland—there’s a little snow or accumulation of ice on your windshield, maybe the windows are frosted up, but you’re in a hurry… running late. So you head out on the roads with snow on the hood or windshield, or peering through a small section of window that you’ve scraped clean. What happens if you cause an accident because you can’t see another motorist?

There is no law in Maryland requiring that you take the time to clean snow or ice from your vehicle or ensure that your windows are fully defrosted. But that only means you won’t face criminal charges or get a traffic citation if you cause an accident. In a civil lawsuit based on the accident, the injured party may have little difficulty showing that your failure to clean the car was negligent. The standard for determining negligence is what a reasonable person would do. If a reasonable person would have cleaned snow and ice off the car, you can be held liable for failing to do so.

Results-oriented Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has protected the rights of personal injury victims in and around the greater Baltimore area for more than 30 years. He is a skilled and experienced litigator with the proven ability to obtain positive results at trial.

As a testament to his reputation for successful advocacy, attorney Smith has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). AVVO also has awarded him a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator, and he is AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s a Maryland Super Lawyer and also was recognized as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Baltimore, MD Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt because of the wrongful act of another person, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101