Pedestrian Killed By Car On Baltimore-Washington Parkway
A woman was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit by a car in the early-morning hours on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Police stated that the accident occurred around 4:30 a.m. in the northbound parkway, near the route 202 exit. Police said that the driver remained at the scene after the accident. They did not say whether the driver has or will be charged for the death. Police kept the northbound lanes shut down for several hours while they recreated the scene and tried to determine the cause.
Pure Contributory Negligence in Maryland
Maryland is one of only four states in the nation that adheres to pure contributory negligence laws. In some accidents, one party is at fault, but many times, both parties did something to contribute to the accident, even if only slightly. Most states practice comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence laws, you can still recover for an injury caused by someone else’s negligence that you contributed to negligently as well, provided the other person or party was at least 50% responsible for the accident. The total damages will then be reduced by a percentage proportionate to the percentage of fault you were found to have contributed to the accident. However, in a pure contributory negligence jurisdiction, like Maryland, if you are found to have contributed negligently in any way to your own injury, you cannot recover anything at all. This means that if the negligent party can prove that you are even 1% at fault for the accident, you are not entitled to any recovery under Maryland law. For instance, if a store had wet floors, but mitigated the risk by putting up a “wet floors” sign, and evidence is introduced that a customer who slipped and fell ignored the sign and was running in the space, they would likely be found to have contributed negligently to their own injury by failing to be adequately aware of their surroundings, and would therefore be unable to recover under Maryland law.
This also means that a pedestrian hit while crossing the road may be completely blocked from recovery if they did not cross at the designated crosswalk. For this reason, vehicle accident cases in Maryland can be very complex and high-stakes to litigate. It is critical to have experienced legal representation on your side, to zealously advocate for you and ensure that your interests are protected so that you and your loved ones can get the compensation you deserve.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you have been involved in or injured as a result of a vehicle accident in Maryland, you may be feeling overwhelmed and even hopeless about what options are actually available to you. Pure contributory negligence is a highly controversial law and can feel to many people like a dead end. However, there are a number of ways a lawyer can help. An experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer will know how to present the strongest possible version of your case, as well as how to prepare for any arguments the defense raises to try and avoid accountability. Additionally, there are some exceptions to pure contributory negligence. For instance, failing to wear a seatbelt or properly use a child restraint cannot be used against you for the purposes of contributory negligence. A lawyer will be able to evaluate the circumstances of your particular case in order to determine the best course of action to move forward and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a vehicle accident that was not your fault, you do not have to navigate this process alone. The experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP are here to help. Schedule your free consultation today to find out how.