After a car accident, people often look to insurance for help. Drivers without insurance to cover them may file lawsuits against the other drivers in their collision.
While you can file a lawsuit after a car accident if you do not have insurance, you may run into trouble if you are contributorily negligent. Under Maryland laws, if a driver shares the slightest bit of blame for the accident, they are barred from recovery. Insurance companies often follow the same negligence laws of the states they operate in, and a third-party claim is likely to be denied. If you can sue, you must have enough evidence to show the other driver is at fault for the accident. An attorney can help you defend yourself against accusations of contributory negligence.
If you were in a car accident but did not have insurance, our Maryland car accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit to get compensation for your damages. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free initial case review.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Maryland Without Insurance
After a car accident, you might have several legal options available, including filing a lawsuit. Although all drivers must carry insurance in Maryland, not having insurance does not preclude you from filing a lawsuit. Our Baltimore auto accident lawyers can help with that lawsuit. Keep in mind, however, that you might face legal penalties for driving without insurance.
Your lawsuit begins with a complaint filed in court. the complaint is a formal legal document that contains details about the accident, information about you and the other driver, and the reasons why you believe the other driver is liable for the crash. A complaint must be sufficiently detailed and supported by some articulable evidence.
Your lawsuit might come after you file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance. Maryland is an at-fault state, and injured drivers file claims with the other driver’s insurance for coverage. If your claims are denied or the insurance company offers an unsatisfactory settlement, our team can help you begin a lawsuit.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Maryland Car Accident If I Am at Fault?
A key aspect of any car accident case is fault. You must prove the other driver is at fault for the accident to get compensation. While you can still file a lawsuit if you share some of the blame for the accident, you are less likely to succeed.
Maryland is one of only a handful of states that follows a pure contributory negligence rule. This rule was originally adopted in the 1847 case Irwin v. Sprigg and has yet to change. Under a rule of pure contributory negligence, plaintiffs who share fault for their own injuries are barred from recovering anything. This is a very harsh rule, as it bars recovery for plaintiffs even if they are 1% responsible for the accident.
Although there have been numerous attempts to change this rule, the courts seem unwilling to do so. the courts have indicated that they believe this issue is best left to the Maryland legislature. Unfortunately, the legislature is also uninterested in changing things.
Remember, the pure contributory negligence rule bars plaintiffs from recovering any damages if they are found even slightly negligent, but it does not prevent them from filing the case. the question of negligence is one decided by the judge or jury in a trial.
What Do I Need to File a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Maryland?
If you want to file a lawsuit for a car accident in Maryland, you need evidence. Strong cases are built on a plethora of solid evidence. Our Potomac car accident lawyers can help you collect the evidence you need to hold the defendant liable.
Ideally, drivers should take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the crash. These photos can help preserve the scene after law enforcement cleans it up. If you could not take any pictures, your statements about the crash can be used as evidence.
We can also help you check the area for traffic or security cameras. If one of these cameras happened to catch your accident on video, we can ask for the video and present it as evidence in court.
Witnesses who saw the accident may be extremely important to your case. Accident reports from law enforcement often contain information from witnesses who spoke to the police. However, drivers who do not have insurance might be less likely to report their accident in the first place, so this evidence might not be available, making it harder to prove your case.
To help establish damages, we need records of your injuries and medical treatment after the crash. If you have not seen a doctor, you should do so immediately. the sooner you get treated, the more accurate your records will be.
How Having No Insurance Affects Contributory Negligence in a Maryland Car Accident Lawsuit
If you file a lawsuit, you must be prepared to defend yourself against contributory negligence claims from the defendant. Our Ocean City car accident attorneys can help you do this. Exactly how you should defend yourself will depend on the types of accusations thrown at you. However, there are some general points you should consider.
Did you follow all the traffic laws when your accident happened? Speeding violations or failing to obey traffic signs might seem insignificant, but the defendant might claim they contributed to the accident, and you might not be allowed to recover damages.
While driving without insurance is a violation of the law, it is not one that could actually contribute to causing an accident. Ultimately, that fact should be irrelevant to the legal questions at hand in your case and might not even be allowed in as evidence.
Call Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys for Help
If you were in a car accident in Maryland, you can file a lawsuit whether or not you have insurance. Our Pasadena car accident lawyers can help you get your case started. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.