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Personal Injury Back

The Defenses You May Encounter in Your Car Accident Case

| November 30, 2020

Even when it is obvious that the other party was at fault in causing your accident, you still have to prove your case. As part of this process, the other party has the opportunity to raise legal defenses to your claim. This can sometimes come as a shock to accident victims, especially when those defenses could prohibit them from receiving any compensation whatsoever. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a Laurel car accident lawyer can evaluate your case and determine whether you may be able to pursue a claim. 

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence refers to when the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed in some way to causing the accident. Here are some examples of cases that may include contributory negligence: 

  • One driver ran a red light and collides with a motorcycle, but the motorcyclist was speeding. 
  • A bus driver makes an illegal lane change and crashes into another car, but the other driver could have avoided the accident if they weren’t driving while texting. 
  • A truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel and gets into a head-on collision with another driver, but the other driver was intoxicated.  

Each of these cases involves negligence on both sides of the accident. In the state of Maryland, contributory negligence is an absolute bar to recovery. In other words, you will not be able to recover any compensation if your own negligence somehow contributed to the accident. This rule applies no matter how minimally your actions contributed to the accident – one of the reasons why most states no longer follow this rule. That said, a Laurel car accident lawyer may be able to help you overcome this defense.

Assumption of Risk

When a person is aware of a specific hazard and understands the potential risks, they are said to have assumed the risk of injury if they proceed despite the danger. Similar to contributory negligence, the assumption of risk doctrine bars victims from recovering compensation if the other party can prove that they were aware of and appreciated the risk inherent in the situation. 

Statute of Limitations

In the state of Maryland, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file by that time, you will lose all of your rights to compensation, no matter how strong your claim may be. Three years may seem like a long time, but it passes by faster than you think. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove your case. This is why we recommend that you contact a Laurel car accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. 

Contact Laurel Car Accident Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles Today

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need a lawyer who knows how to get you the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Laurel car accident lawyer Thomas E. Pyles has been helping accident victims across the state of Maryland for over 25 years. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to discuss your case today.