According to a July 2017 report on CBS Baltimore, two men died after a vehicle allegedly traveled the wrong way on a Maryland highway. One vehicle was traveling north in southbound lanes and hit the other vehicle head-on. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the accident scene, and there were no passengers in either vehicle. At the time of the report, the car accident was still under investigation.
It is not clear if the family of the driver traveling in the correct lane will sue the at-fault driver’s estate. A personal injury claim can be filed any time a driver operates a motor vehicle in a negligent way and harms another driver, pedestrian, or passenger.
Negligence in a Baltimore Car Accident
For an accident victim to file a personal injury claim in Baltimore, the other party must be at fault for the accident. Typically, negligence involves a driver failing to operate a motor vehicle in a way that a reasonable person would in the same and/or similar circumstances. A reasonable person would obey traffic laws and not cause an accident with injuries.
For instance, a driver must operate a motor vehicle in the correct lane. If he or she fails to do so, it is a violation of traffic laws. A driver is negligent when he or she operates a motor vehicle in the wrong lane and hits another vehicle.
Contributory Negligence Defense
An accident victim, or plaintiff, in a personal injury lawsuit can claim that the at-fault driver was negligent. That same at-fault driver can claim that the accident victim was to blame for the accident by using the contributory negligence defense.
Contributory negligence is the defense claiming that the plaintiff was at least 1% at fault for the accident. If a plaintiff is responsible for causing the accident, he or she will not receive damages. Damages refers to the compensation an accident victim can receive to pay for accident-related expenses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
For instance, a plaintiff was traveling southbound and driving while distracted. Maybe he was looking at his cell phone at the time of the crash. The at-fault driver was following behind him in the same lane. The plaintiff noticed a red light too late. He stopped, but the defendant was driving too closely behind him and hit his vehicle. The defendant hit the plaintiff’s car, but maybe he or she would not have if the plaintiff had noticed the stoplight earlier and braked more gradually.
If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was at least 1% liable for the accident, he or she may be off the hook for damages.
Contact Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA for Help with Your Car Accident in Baltimore
You have the right to sue to obtain damages owed to you. Contact us immediately if you have been injured in a car accident.