I recently heard the term “comparative negligence” but don’t understand what it means in regard to my motorcycle accident case. Does this term apply to my injury claims in Maryland?
The term “comparative negligence” refers to situations where the plaintiff, or the person filing the claim, plays some role in causing the accident and injuries to occur. An example of this scenario could be if you were riding your motorcycle and approached an intersection to turn right. Maybe you only paused at the light, without fully stopping, before turning. However, the motorist who hit your motorcycle was driving while impaired, and out of control at the time. You may still have grounds to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, but the amount you could collect might be decreased because your own negligent actions.
Washington, D.C, Virginia, and Maryland are among the only five states/areas in the country that do not use “comparative negligence” law when dealing with tort (personal injury) cases. Here, the law centers on something called “contributory negligence.” What this means is that if plaintiffs/claimants contributed to their accident and injuries in any way, they may not be able to collect damages at all. So, in the above example, because you failed to fully stop at the intersection before turning right, you may not be able to file a suit against the person who hit you and caused your injuries.
Do You Need Skilled, Legal Guidance?
Don’t make any assumptions about your motorcycle accident case without speaking to an attorney first. What may seem like an obvious cause or negligent act may not actually be one. Letting a trained, experienced attorney look at the fine details of your motorcycle accident case can help you understand and assert your full legal rights.
At Lewis & Tompkins, we handle a multitude of motorcycle accident claims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area, and choose to tackle the most difficult of cases. Call us today at 202-296-0666 to discuss your case and your options.