After a car accident, many injury victims may wonder what they need to do to win a lawsuit against the other driver. You will have to show that the other driver was at fault in order to succeed. Many types of evidence may be used to prove fault in Maryland.
One type of evidence that you might use is the damage to your vehicle. Car damage can be used to show critical elements of a case, such as where the cars collided and how fast they were moving at the time of the accident. However, damage to the vehicle by itself is typically not enough evidence alone to win your case. You will likely also need witness testimony and medical records to prove how the accident occurred and the harms you sustained as a result.
Leave the evidence gathering to the experienced Maryland car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. We can help you with your case at each stage, from valuing your claim all the way through representing you on your day in court. To get started with a free case assessment, call our offices at (410) 694-7291.
How Fault Works in a Maryland Car Accident Lawsuit
In Maryland, a car accident injury victim must prove that another driver or party was responsible for causing the accident that injured them in order to win a lawsuit. A driver is responsible, or “at fault,” for the accident if their negligent or reckless behavior caused the victim harm. There are two pieces to this requirement: you must show that the driver behaved negligently or recklessly and that this behavior caused both the accident and the injuries.
You can show that the other driver was negligent or reckless when they failed to obey the rules of the road while driving. These rules include actual traffic laws, such as speed limits and stop signs, as well as responsible driving practices that are commonly understood. An example of one such responsible driving practice is leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you so that you can avoid a rear-end collision if traffic patterns change.
How Can You Use Car Damage to Prove Fault for an Accident in Maryland?
You may be able to use the damage to your car to help show liability for the purposes of a lawsuit. Assessing the damage to a vehicle after a car accident may provide detail about how an accident occurred.
For instance, if there is damage to the front bumper of one vehicle and the rear bumper of another, a court may infer that there was a rear-end collision. In most cases, the driver of the rear car in a rear-end collision is the at-fault party. Remember that one of the responsibilities of drivers is to leave enough of a gap between them and the vehicle in front of them to slow down and avoid an accident.
You can also use vehicle damage to estimate the speed at which the vehicles were traveling when the accident occurred. If the other driver was traveling at higher speeds, the crash will cause more damage. Typically, injury plaintiffs will use expert witness testimony to analyze damage for this kind of information. Your expert witness can explain to the court and a jury what the vehicle damage in your case implies. Your Baltimore car accident attorney will help you find an expert witness who can help you prevail in your case for compensation.
Is Car Damage Enough to Win an Accident Lawsuit in Maryland?
As we have mentioned, you may be able to use your vehicle damage to prove fault in your car accident. However, this is not the only evidence that you will need in order to succeed in your case.
Vehicle damage may not tell the whole story of what happened. You may be able to use damage to show that the collision occurred and how the vehicles made contact, but not why they made contact. For instance, if one car T-bones another in an intersection, the damage to either vehicle will not show which driver had the right of way or whose light was green.
Additionally, Maryland is one of four states (plus D.C.) that uses contributory negligence in determining fault. This rule prevents car accident victims from recovering if they are found to have contributed to the accident or their injuries through their own negligence. For instance, the rear driver in a rear-end collision is typically at fault, but if the forward driver stopped suddenly without using a turn signal or wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, a court could deny the forward driver’s recovery based on their own contributory negligence.
What Other Evidence Should You Have for Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Maryland?
You should attempt to get eyewitness testimony and video and photos of the accident scene to help supplement your argument. You should also be sure to call 911 at the scene of the accident so that the dispatcher may send police officers to file an official accident report for your case. If you left the scene of the accident without the police filing a report, you can file your own report within 10 days of the accident. Your Ocean City car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence that will give you the best chance of success in your accident injury lawsuit.
You will also need evidence of your injuries to recover for your medical bills and pain and suffering caused by the accident. This is why you should always visit an emergency room immediately after any car accident, even if you believe you aren’t injured. If you discover your injuries too late, the other side may argue that the accident was not the cause of your injuries.
We Can Help You Determine Fault After Your Maryland Car Accident
Not sure whom to sue for damages? Concerned about whether you will be able to win at court? Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today to receive a free initial case assessment from our Pasadena car accident lawyers.