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Why determining fault is crucial after a car accident in Maryland

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | motor vehicle accidents, personal injury |

The liability for a motor vehicular accident is contingent on the concept of fault, especially in a state like Maryland that operates under the rule of contributory negligence. According to the rule, a person cannot recover compensation if they had any degree of fault in the accident.

Determining and proving fault is the cornerstone of any personal injury claim in Maryland. However, to do that, you would need to establish that the negligence or wrongful actions of the at-fault driver directly caused the accident.

How to prove a driver’s negligence caused a car accident

In the context of a car accident, negligence is the failure of a driver to operate their motor vehicle with the same reasonable care any driver in the same situation would. To prove that the driver’s negligence caused you to suffer damages, you must be able to establish the following:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care: A duty of care means the driver should drive in a manner that does not put other road users at unnecessary risk. They should obey traffic laws and focus on the road. They should not be doing things other than driving while operating their car.
  • The driver breached their duty of care: If the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, driving recklessly or doing anything that prevents them from driving reasonably, that is a breach of duty.
  • Causation: This is the most important of all the elements because only through causation can you establish a direct link between the driver’s breach of duty and the accident. You must be able to prove that the accident was completely avoidable if the driver did not breach their duty.
  • You sustained damages because of the accident: The purpose of your personal injury claim is to recover damages that you suffered as a result of the accident. Therefore, you must prove the existence of such damages.

Providing evidence to support your personal injury claim will be challenging. Police reports, witness testimonies, video footage, pictures and thorough investigation could be instrumental in determining fault and liability. Furthermore, a medical record will be invaluable when connecting your injuries to the accident.

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