What is the Maryland Rule of Contributory Negligence?
In Maryland, “Contributory Negligence” simply means that if a person is found to have contributed in any way to causing their own injury, they may be barred from receiving compensation from another party who may also be at fault.
This is a bit wordy, so let’s see some real-world examples of what this means.
Examples of Contributory Negligence in Maryland
Imagine this hypothetical scenario. Bob is a construction worker working for The Building Corporation. Bob is also a functioning alcoholic who tends to drink on the construction site.
One day, while Bob is on site, he slips and falls off improperly secured scaffolding and injures his back.
Bob believes that he is entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries and plans to sue The Building Corporation.
However, it comes to light that Bob was frequently intoxicated while on the job. Since it is reasonable that Bob may have been intoxicated at the time of the incident, it is likely the judge would not side with him due to contributory negligence.
Essentially, since both Bob and The Building Corporation are at fault, no one is awarded any sort of compensation. This is contributory negligence.
In recent years there have been a few court cases dealing with contributory negligence; one case in Maryland is Coleman v. Soccer Ass’n of Columbia. The case involves a 20-year-old plaintiff who was injured while volunteering to help younger soccer players, and the question is whether the court should follow the majority of the rest of the country and change its stance on contributory negligence.
The jury found the plaintiff was contributorily negligent, but the court’s decision on this issue is still pending. A 2018 update on the case states that the plaintiff did not win, but the dissenting judges predicted the eventual demise of this unjust law. The article also mentions that in a separate case, the defendant’s admission of contributory negligence should be included in answer to the complaint to avoid any issues during the trial.
Strict Application of Contributory Negligence in Maryland
It’s important to note that Maryland is one of a few states that still follow this strict doctrine of contributory negligence. In most states, the rule has been modified or abolished, allowing injured parties to recover damages even if they were partially at fault.
However, in Maryland, even if the defendant was 99% at fault, if the injured person was 1% at fault, they may be barred from receiving any compensation.
How a Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help
As a law firm, it’s our job to understand the intricacies of this doctrine and build a strong case that demonstrates how our client was not contributorily negligent.
We work closely with our clients to gather all the necessary evidence, including eyewitness testimony, medical records, and expert opinions, to build a compelling argument.
It may also be possible to argue that the doctrine of contributory negligence should not apply due to special circumstances, such as a lack of knowledge or because the person was acting under duress. Our experienced legal team will thoroughly review the details of your case to determine if there are any arguments that can be made to overcome the doctrine of contributory negligence.
Compassionate and Knowledgeable Legal Representation
Need representation for a personal injury case in Maryland? The rule of contributory negligence can be a challenge, but with the right legal representation, you may still be able to recover damages.
Albers & Associates is committed to providing the knowledgeable and compassionate representation you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our experienced personal injury attorneys.The post The Maryland Rule Of Contributory Negligence: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Albers and Associates.