People throughout Howard County enjoy the joy and convenience their cars provide. From driving to work, to dropping the kids off at school, or running errands, people often use their vehicles daily. With all of those cars on the road, along with trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles, accidents sometimes occur. Often, someone involved in a collision walks away unharmed. However, some unlucky victims suffer severe or life-altering injuries. Sometimes car crashes are fatal.
Our Howard County, MD car accident lawyers have represented people hurt in car accidents for over three decades. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that was not your fault, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to determine if you have a personal injury claim.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Howard County
Sometimes a car crash is simply an unavoidable accident. Unfortunately, many times a car accident is the direct result of the reckless conduct of another motorist.
The number one cause of car accidents is distracted driving. When a motorist diverts their attention from driving, they endanger other people on the road. Driving safely requires focus and concentration. Any activity that hinders a driver’s focus, such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio, increases the risk of an accident.
After distracted driving, the most common contributing factor to car accidents in Howard County is drivers operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a motorist’s physical or mental abilities are impaired, they are unable to make sound decisions and their reflexes are compromised.
Another common cause of car accidents is reckless driving. Reckless driving encompasses many different behaviors, including tailgating and ignoring posted traffic signs or signals. One of the most dangerous forms of reckless driving is driving at an excessive speed. When a motorist is traveling well above the posted speed limit, their ability to react to changing road conditions is severely reduced. Also, accidents that are caused by speeding often result in catastrophic injuries or death.
Sometimes accidents occur when all motorists are focused and driving safely. Poorly maintained roads or construction debris on a highway might cause a cautious driver to crash. If you are involved in a car accident, call our Howard County lawyer to help ascertain who or what is responsible for your injuries.
Types of Injuries Resulting from Car Crashes in Howard County, MD
Many times, a person involved in a car crash will walk away with no injuries or a couple of small cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky and they might suffer a devastating injury. Our law firm has represented people with a variety of injuries, including the following.
- Head and neck injuries
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord and nerve injuries
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Permanent Paralysis
- Wrongful Death
Proving Liability and Negligence in Howard County Car Accidents
Determining fault in some car crashes can be challenging. Car accidents often happen quickly, with conflicting eyewitness accounts. A successful personal injury lawsuit requires a skilled attorney. Our Howard County car accident lawyers have decades of experience gathering and putting evidence together. By using police reports, medical records, witness accounts, and expert opinions, our attorneys will work to establish the four necessary elements to prove negligence.
Duty of Care
We must show that the motorist had an obligation not to expose the injured party to an unreasonable risk of harm. In Maryland, a driver has a responsibility to operate their vehicle safely, without unreasonably endangering others.
Breach of Duty
For a personal injury claim to be successful, we must show that the driver breached their duty of care. Meaning the defendant’s conduct created an unreasonable risk. Sometimes this is easy to demonstrate. For example, if a driver is traveling 90 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 45, they are almost clearly not operating their vehicle safely. The standard usually imposed is what would a prudent driver do under similar circumstances. Our attorneys will thoroughly examine all the evidence related to your accident to help determine a breach of duty. While a police report is not conclusive evidence of fault, it is often helpful in establishing reckless conduct.
The next necessary element to prove is causation. After establishing that the conduct breached the duty of care, our lawyer will have to prove that the defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of your injury. Causation can be a complicated legal question. However, if your injuries were a direct result of the collision, then it is likely that this element is present.
The final element is actual damages. Any injury you suffered must result in a quantifiable loss, either economic or non-economic. Economic damages are typically easy to show, such as medical expenses or loss of income. While more challenging, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium are also available in a personal injury lawsuit.
Contributory Negligence and Car Accidents in Howard County
Unfortunately for people hurt in car crashes, Maryland follows the “contributory negligence” doctrine. Under this doctrine, if a driver contributed to a car crash, they are prohibited from collecting compensation from any other motorist involved in the litigation. For example, if you are involved in a three-car accident, and the jury finds that one driver was 50% at fault, the second driver was 45%, and you were 5% at fault, then you will not be able to hold the other two motorists liable for your damages. It is crucial to have our knowledgeable attorney at your side, preparing to counter any allegations the defense might use to shift the blame.
Call Our Howard County, MD Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, the resulting medical expenses and possible loss of wages could be a devastating financial strain. Our Howard County, MD car accident lawyers will tirelessly work to see your rights are professionally represented. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.