Every year, new models of cars boast shiny safety features and additional software mechanisms designed to keep us safer as we navigate the road. Sometimes, however, these safety features are not enough to prevent accidents from taking place. If a safety feature on someone’s vehicle is purposely turned off and that individual negligently causes a Maryland car accident, the individual who negligently causes the accident is still the one who must be held accountable.
According to a recent news report, a major car accident left two people dead and three seriously injured. Local authorities reported that a fully airborne Tesla plowed through a stop sign and into a home. Video footage of the scene of the accident shows the car crashing through the house, where it left a gaping hole in its wake. Officials also noted that the Tesla did not have its autopilot function operating at the time of the crash, which is designed to prevent accidents like this from taking place. The details surrounding the accident remain under investigation.
Following a car accident in Maryland, you may be considering bringing a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for any physical injuries or property damage. To do so, it is crucial that you first understand two significant Maryland car accident laws that could affect the success of your claim.
First, if you are considering pursuing a legal claim after a car accident, time is of the essence. In Maryland, car accident lawsuits must be filed within a three-year statute of limitations. The clock begins from the date that the accident takes place, and any claims filed after this strict deadline are unlikely to be heard by the courts. Although this three-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury claims, wrongful death lawsuits are treated slightly differently in Maryland. If you plan to file a lawsuit on behalf of someone who died following a car accident, the statute of limitations “timer” begins from the date that the person passed away, which may be different from the date that the accident took place.
Second, Maryland adheres to a contributory negligence model when evaluating fault and damages in car accident lawsuits. This means that if you bring a personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault party and the jury finds that you share responsibility for the accident, that you will be barred entirely from receiving monetary damages. You cannot receive compensation even if the jury finds that the at-fault party was mostly responsible for causing the accident and you or your loved one were only partially to blame.
In contrast, most other states adhere to a “comparative negligence” framework, which means you can still receive some monetary compensation as long as you are not more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident. Thus, in Maryland, additional considerations must be made before potential plaintiffs pursue a personal injury or car accident-related lawsuit in civil court to recover damages.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently involved in a Maryland car accident or personal injury incident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and will provide you with the experience, advocacy, and care you need to pursue your lawsuit. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.