Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

Many Maryland drivers are aware of the need to be defensive drivers. No matter how safe someone drives themselves, they are always subject to the unsafe driving of others on the road.

Take, for example, a recent auto accident that occurred in the early morning hours in Maryland after a vehicle crossed the center line of the road and started driving into oncoming traffic. The vehicle struck another car in a head-on collision, which left a passenger of one of the vehicles dead. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to the hospital, although both were said to have non-life threatening injuries.

Police still have not yet uncovered what caused the car collision. They are looking into whether alcohol or seat belt usage could have played a part in the accident, however.

Needless to say, the cause of the accident will be very important, not only for police as they wrap up their investigation, but for injured parties who might seek compensation against the other party at fault. Injured parties in a car accident can bring a cause of action against the other driver for negligence, which is another way of saying the other driver did not exercise the amount of care he or she was required to on the road.

Each negligence case will differ, however, and these different facts can play a big part in determining the amount of compensation an injured person may receive in a lawsuit. For instance, if a person does not wear a seat belt at the time of the accident, that might be said to be negligence itself. This does not necessarily mean the person cannot recover compensation if he or she was hurt in that accident, but it can reduce the amount of compensation that might otherwise be available.

Indeed, some states reduce compensation for damages where individuals were not buckled up in an accident, although other states do not. Accordingly, it is essential that individuals meet with a qualified attorney to learn what the law is of their state on these issues, and how it might affect a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Montgomery County Police investigate fatal accident," Dec. 28, 2013

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