How Does Fault Work In A Maryland Rear End Collision?
Rear end collisions are among the most frequently occurring type of traffic accidents, with some studies showing that they comprise around one-third of all crashes. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT) reports that there are approximately 115,555 total motor vehicle accidents in the state every year, causing 530 deaths and injuries to more than 49,000 people. Based on the data, this means almost 38,200 of all crashes statewide are rear-enders.
When you think about fault in a rear end accident, you probably assume that the following driver is to blame. This may be true in many situations, but liability in any traffic crash can be complicated. The key to success with your claim is retaining a Baltimore rear end collision attorney who will develop a strategy for obtaining a favorable outcome. An overview of how fault works with rear-impact accidents is also useful as a guide.
Liability for Rear End Accidents: Most traffic collisions in Maryland fall under the theory of liability known as negligence, which requires a victim to prove four essential elements:
- The other motorist had a duty to exercise reasonable care when driving.
- That person breached this legal duty through unsafe misconduct.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
- The victim suffered losses as a result of being hurt.
Though it is not an element of proof, there is one more requirement: You must file a lawsuit in court within 3 years after the crash under Maryland’s statute of limitations.
How Negligence Causes Rear-Enders: With rear end collisions, the focus is on elements #2 and #3 above. A motorist may breach the duty of care by speeding, failing to yield right of way, or following too closely, leading them to strike the vehicle ahead.
Still, the driver in the lead vehicle could also be negligent. That person could be liable for a rear end collision by:
- Making sudden, unnecessary stops;
- Changing lanes into the path of another vehicle;
- Pulling out of a parallel parking space into traffic;
- Not making repairs to brake lights; or,
- Driving at night without any lights.
Damages in Rear End Crashes: If you have sufficient proof of the four elements described above, you could qualify to recover compensation for your losses. In Maryland, monetary damages are intended to make the victim whole and as if the accident never happened. You may be eligible for:
- Costs of medical treatment;
- Lost income, if you missed work after a rear end crash;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Losses that impact your personal relationships; and,
- Other effects on your quality of life.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Maryland Rear End Collision Lawyer
People make assumptions about fault in rear-enders, but you can see that liability is more complicated than automatically laying blame on the following driver. For more information about your rights, please contact Furman | Honick Law. You can call 410-844-6000 or go online to schedule a no-cost case analysis at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore, MD.