According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vast majority of motor vehicle accidents (94 percent to 96 percent) are caused by human error. Generally, human error behind the wheel occurs when a driver acts negligently or recklessly, in violation of the law. Some of the most common forms of driver negligence are:
- Failing to adhere to posted speed limits or failing to drive at a reasonable rate of speed based on weather and road conditions.
- Failing to safely merge or change lanes
- Following too closely behind another vehicle
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection
- Driving under the influence
- Texting or using a cell phone while driving or engaging in other distracted driving behaviors
Recovering damages from a negligent driver
If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver for damages. For your claim to be successful, you will need to show:
- The negligent driver owed a duty to operate his or her vehicle safely
- The negligent driver breached a duty by operating his or her vehicle in an unsafe manner.
- The negligence of the driver caused the accident and your injuries.
- You suffered injuries and/or damages as a result of the accident.
What if I am partially responsible for my own accident?
Under Maryland’s contributory negligence laws, drivers who are partially at-fault for their own accidents cannot recover damages following an accident. However, in many other states, comparative negligence laws allow drivers to recover a portion of awarded damages based on the percentage of fault apportioned to them. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you recover the damages you are entitled to after an accident.