Schlachman, Belsky & Weiner, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

No two people are alike in all respects. Baltimore residents have many qualities and characteristics that set each other apart and that make it necessary for each person to be treated as an individual.

The same is true when it comes to litigation, as each case is different from the next. As a result, the result in one case may not necessary hold true in another, as minor differences in the facts or the law involved can make a world of difference from one case to the next.

For example, even if another motorist acted in the same negligent way in two different cases, such as by running a red light, the award of damages to those injured in an auto accident can vary widely between the two cases. Even when setting aside the differences in medical expenses and lost wages that could account for some of the discrepancy, the award of compensation given to one person may be far less if that person is found to have also been negligent during the crash.

The concept of contributory or comparative negligence is a doctrine that looks at whether the injured plaintiff was also negligent in the accident that caused his or her injuries. If the injured person was negligent, the award of damages may be reduced to reflect the percentage fault the person had in the crash. For example, if the injured party was 20 percent at fault, the damages may be reduced by 20 percent.

Once again, each case will differ in terms of these determinations. The important thing is for injured parties to understand the law that applies to their case and how they can best show they were not negligent in the crash that caused their injuries. By doing so, individuals can maximize the compensation they will recover in the lawsuit.

Source: Department of Legislative Services, "Negligence systems: Contributory negligence, comparative fault, and joint and several liability," accessed on Aug. 2, 2015

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