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Why Maryland drivers need to be extra cautious after a wreck

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Auto Accidents |

Car accidents happen everywhere, all the time – but where you have a car accident can actually have a tremendous impact on your ability to secure fair compensation for your losses.

Every car accident claim rests on the idea that fault for the wreck has to be assigned somewhere, and that means looking to see who was negligent and how much that negligence contributed to the crash and the injuries suffered. 

In most states, victims can recover at least partial compensation for their injuries and losses even if they were partially at fault – but Maryland does things differently.

Contributory negligence is the rule 

Only a tiny handful of states use this rule, but it says that an accident victim’s failure to exercise reasonable care in any way that contributes to their injuries is a bar to recovery. In effect, even if the other person is 99% at fault for the wreck because they were speeding and blew through a red light, you could still be denied fair compensation for being 1% at fault in some way.

That means you can bet that the other party’s insurance company is looking for (and listening for) anything that might point to liability on your part for the wreck or your injuries. Anything you say to the insurance company that could potentially be twisted around to sound like an admission of fault can be used to deny your claim. For example:

  • “I moved forward just as my light turned green,” could be twisted to imply “You jumped the light without checking to see if the intersection was clear.”
  • “I didn’t even see that other car coming,” could be turned into “You failed to look before you moved forward or were distracted.”

The only exception is that the law holds that not using a seatbelt is not contributory negligence.

When you’ve been hurt in a wreck, you need to protect your interests. Working with an attorney from the state makes it easier to avoid mistakes that would be fatal to your claim.

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