Fault determination is a crucial factor in claiming compensation for car crash losses. Therefore, knowing who is at fault in a car crash is essential. However, if you aren’t sure whether you are responsible for a collision, a Baltimore car accident attorney will examine the facts and help you determine liability.
Fault determination isn’t just about knowing who to blame, and sometimes, both drivers could share responsibility. In many states, including Maryland, the degree of fault matters. Therefore, following an accident, you should also be interested in how much fault you share.
So, how is fault in a car crash determined? Is there a system to accurately determine how much blame the parties share in a car accident? What does the law say about car accident fault in Baltimore? What are the types of car accidents?
This article provides answers to these questions.
Types of Car Accidents
The type of car accident plays a part in fault determination. So, before we visit the process of determining who is at fault in a car crash, let’s discuss the kinds of accidents in Baltimore.
A vehicle rollover occurs when it takes a sharp turn at high speed. Other driver behaviors or weather conditions can also trigger it. This type of accident can cause severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, or death. A victim of a vehicle rollover can sue the defaulting driver.
This accident is simply a car colliding with another vehicle moving in an opposite direction. A head-on collision can be due to distracted driving, speed, or disobeying traffic laws.
Sometimes a negligent driver can hit another driver’s vehicle or a pedestrian and flee the accident scene. This can result in severe injuries to the victim. As a result, a hit-and-run driver faces both criminal and civil penalties.
If another car crashes into the back of your vehicle, then a rear-end collision occurs. Rear-end accidents most times are caused by distracted driving or failure to keep a reasonable distance from the car in front. A victim of this type of accident can suffer a painful neck injury due to the head’s forceful forward and backward thrust.
A side-impact collision occurs when the side of a car collides with the side, perhaps when one vehicle is trying to merge into another lane. As a result of minimal safety measures on the interior side of the victim’s car, the injury sustained can be dangerous.
A Baltimore Car Accident Attorney Explains How to Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Crash
At least one of the drivers involved is at fault in a car crash. Drivers could be negligent or outrightly disobey traffic laws and regulations. There are systems for determining liability to ensure that a driver at fault takes responsibility. Let’s see what helps determine fault in a car crash.
No-Doubt Liability Situations
We begin here because these are the accident situations where the at-fault driver is easy to identify. A popular scenario is during a rear-end collision. In such collisions, except there are unique and unusual circumstances around it, the driver behind is deemed at fault in a car crash.
Special considerations may apply in special situations, like when the driver who was hit has faulty brake lights. These considerations may cause the compensation to reduce.
In rear-end accidents, the reason the other driver stopped their car is largely inconsequential. Therefore, insurance adjusters responsible for determining fault in a car crash will not have a hard time.
Another type of car accident where the no-doubt liability also applies is the side-impact car accident. In a side-impact collision, the driver who turns is almost always the culprit. Except in rare circumstances, the oncoming driver always has the right of way.
After a car accident, some of the first responders are the police. If necessary, the police officers will help any victim in need. However, the primary duty of the police in an accident is to write a report.
The police report is the official account of what transpired in a crash. Therefore, the police report is quite weighty in the eyes of the law. Thus officers must meticulously follow the laid down fact-finding process before concluding.
This process involves interviewing the eyewitnesses, examining the accident scene, and inspecting the wreckage. Your Baltimore car accident attorney or the insurance company can obtain the accident report for analysis and determining fault in a car crash
The traffic laws of every state are pretty clear on what road actions are allowed. Your lawyer knows Maryland traffic laws and is in the best position to interpret the provisions of the law regarding the accident.
Where Does Maryland Law Stand in Fault Laws?
Maryland is an at-fault state. This means that you can sue another driver based on fault in a car crash. Also, the law requires drivers to carry an auto liability insurance policy. As a result, you can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer. In addition, you can commence a personal injury lawsuit if your claim gets denied or you get a low settlement offer.
What Are the Car Accident Liability Laws?
Generally, there are two liability laws regarding faults for a car crash. We discuss the below.
Comparative Fault System
Just as the name suggests, the comparative fault system compares parties involved in an accident. States who use this system are concerned with who is more to blame for an accident. The comparative fault system has two variations:
- Pure comparative fault system, and
- The modified comparative fault system.
If a state is a pure comparative negligence state, both drivers can pursue claims equivalent to the degree of fault of the other driver. For example, a driver who is 30% at fault in a car crash can file compensation claims against the other driver to receive a settlement equivalent to 70%.
Under modified comparative negligence, only the less at-fault driver is entitled to compensation. A driver only needs to be less than 50% at fault to claim settlement.
Contributory Fault System
There is also the contributory negligence system, and it applies in Baltimore, Mayland. As little as 1% of fault disqualifies a driver from receiving compensation from the other party.
Even an injured party won’t be eligible for compensation if they are at fault in a car crash. Therefore you must prove you had no fault in the collision.
Absolving yourself from the slightest degree of responsibility is an arduous task. But if you have an experienced and skillful lawyer, you stand a better chance of getting paid.
Is a Baltimore Car Accident Attorney From Pinder Plotkin, LLC, Handling Your Case?
If you have suffered a loss in a Baltimore car accident, your choice of injury attorneys in Baltimore is crucial to your chances of compensation. Pinder Plotkin, LLC, has the track record and experience to handle your case. Plus, we know just how much you need to get compensated. So, give us a call right now.