It is often not immediately clear who was responsible for a car accident. That’s why so many crashes result in litigation and lengthy insurance battles. If an injured person is partially at fault for an accident, their ability to get compensation depends heavily on the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. In Maryland, individuals cannot recover damages if they are even slightly at fault for their injuries. That’s because this state follows a contributory negligence doctrine.
Most other states practice some variation of a comparative negligence system. This allows injured people to get compensation even if they share some of the blame. In most of these states, they can only recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault. However, some states are even more lenient, and a plaintiff can get some amount of compensation even if they’re mostly to blame.
However, if your accident took place in Maryland, you’ll have to deal with the harshest system. Even if your case doesn’t go to court, the insurance company is likely to deny your claim if they can find a reason to blame you for what happened. That’s why it’s so important to hire a Maryland car accident attorney. If you were not in any way at fault for the accident, they will help you to prove that the other driver was totally responsible. In some cases, there may actually be a third party who can be held liable.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case
Given all the possibilities, your lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case. If necessary, they will draw on accident reconstruction professionals to prove what happened. While most accidents are due to the actions of drivers, this isn’t always the case. Road conditions, mechanical problems, and poor signage are just three of the things that can contribute to a crash. Sometimes, this may lead an attorney to recommend that you seek damages from more than one individual or entity.
Evidence that someone else was responsible for a crash can come in the form of:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police reports
- Accident scene photos
- Toxicology reports
- Surveillance video
- Dashcam footage
- Phone records
In serious crashes, lots of technical details could come into play and it could be some time before everything is sorted out. It’s possible that the other party could continually deny liability and force you to go all the way to trial to seek compensation. Given how expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable a trial can be, all the parties involved usually want to avoid them. However, sometimes they provide the only route for getting the damages you deserve. Your attorney will assess your case and advise you accordingly.
Beware the Insurance Adjuster
Insurance companies always want to pay as little as possible. If it’s an option, they would rather pay nothing at all. Maryland’s system makes it easier for them to deny your claim entirely. That’s why you should not speak to an insurance adjuster without first talking to an experienced attorney.
It may seem like the adjuster is being friendly or trying to help you. However, they’re really waiting for you to say something they can use against you. They want you to reveal something that indicates that you had even the tiniest role to play in the accident. Since even just one percent of responsibility can bar you from getting compensation, you need to be very careful. Even a comment that seems innocent could cause you to lose out.
Get Help from Pinder Plotkin LLC Today
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you shouldn’t leave the outcome of your case to chance. You need to act promptly and protect your right to compensation. A major part of this is hiring a Maryland car accident lawyer to represent you. Given how high the stakes are in Maryland, legal representation is a must. At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we’ll gather the facts surrounding your case, make sense of the evidence, and present a strong claim.
If we need to go all the way to trial to you what you deserve, we will do so. However, rest assured that we’re also skilled negotiators. Instead of trying to handle your case alone, focus on your recovery, and let us do the work. Contact us today to book a free consultation and let us review your case. We’ll provide the sound advice and representation you deserve.