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Contributory Negligence and Maryland Car Accidents

Law Office of Kari Holm Fawcett

Did you know that Maryland state law can have a huge impact on the result of a personal injury case after a car accident? Maryland is one of only a handful of states to recognize contributory negligence laws in cases of personal injury. For car accidents, the law applies to situations in which a person is even the tiniest bit responsible for causing the accident.

In most states, the law revolves around a 50/50 or similar split of responsibility of both parties when determining fault. However, under contributory negligence law, a person can be affected if they are found to be even the smallest percent responsible for causing the car accident. This means, for example, that if a person is even as much as 1 percent responsible for causing the car accident (and its resulting injuries) that person could be totally barred from recovering damages or the damages may be reduced to reflect her role in the resulting injury.

Contributory negligence is most often brought up as a counter-claim against a personal injury suit. That is, a person will cite contributory negligence on behalf of the plaintiff since Maryland is what’s known as a contributory negligence state. For those who have been injured in a car accident, contributory negligence law can have a huge impact on the outcome. If the injured is even the smallest amount responsible for causing the accident, it’s possible their damages could reflect that.

Each car accident is different and will require specific strategy in cases in which a personal injury suit is brought. Knowing and understanding how the law will affect your personal injury case is just one piece of the puzzle. One much act in a way that protects their best interests when involved in a personal injury base. Being ready for that counter-argument is a great way to ensure a favorable outcome.

Source:, “Contributor and Comparative Negligence,” Accessed July 10, 2017