Proving Liability After an Auto Accident
Maryland is among a very small number of states that do not allow an injury victim to recover compensation if they share any of the blame for their injuries. This concept is called “contributory negligence,” and it is a dying policy that most states have long rejected. However, for the time being, it’s the law of the land here in Maryland. So, if you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, it’s extremely important to prove that the other party was 100% to blame for causing the crash.
At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A., we have a wide range of experience helping injury victims recover compensation. As a small general practice firm, we can help with most issues that may come up along the way. Give us a call to learn more. Consultations are free for auto accident victims.
How is Liability Determined in a Car Accident?
Liability is really nothing more than another way of saying “negligence.” In order for you to succeed in getting a jury to award you money for your injuries, you must show that the at-fault individual acted negligently or in some careless or even reckless fashion. True mistakes or innocent accidents are not compensable. So, what does it take to show that the other driver was negligent? In general, you must prove these elements:
Duty – Did the other driver owe you a legal duty to use care and caution? When it comes to car accidents, there is a legal presumption that all drivers owe each other a basic obligation to use reasonable care and caution when driving. So, yes, there will usually be a clear duty.
Breach – Did the other driver breach (or violate) their duty in some way? This is the key distinction when proving negligence or liability. Are you able to show that the other driver did something that violated their obligations? Examples may be:
- Running a red light
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while drowsy
- Texting behind the wheel
- Not paying attention to the road
Causation – But proving the other driver at fault for causing the crash is not enough on its own. You must also show that the collision was the direct cause of your injuries. After all, if you broke your arm two weeks earlier, you certainly cannot claim the car accident caused that injury. You may be able to argue it aggravated the problem, but that’s a different issue.
Damages – Finally, even if you prove the other person caused your injuries in the crash, you’ll still need to demonstrate the extent of the damage caused. This is how the actual case value is determined.
Evidence of Liability
Assuming all of the above elements are present in your case, proving liability is often a matter of finding the evidence. This can include all sorts of things, including:
- Witness statements
- Video evidence
- Traffic camera evidence
- Police reports
- EMS reports
- A thorough scene inspection
- Other driver’s guilty plea to a traffic ticket
If you’ve been hurt in a Maryland car accident, trust the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. to help you collect the monetary compensation you deserve. We won’t charge you an upfront fee, and we will only take one if we are able to get you compensated for your injuries. So give us a call today.