Imagine this: you are severely injured in a car accident in Maryland where a drunk driver runs a red light. Your injuries are permanent and cause you to suffer $1,000,000 in damages. This hypothetical drunk driver was 99% at fault for your injuries, but because you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident you are considered 1% at fault for your injuries. Under the doctrine of Contributory Negligence you are now entitled to receive $0 dollars for your injuries. No, that is not a typo; under this scenario you will recover Z-E-R-O American dollars for your injuries.
The doctrine of Contributory Negligence is only still used in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina. This archaic law provides that if you are determined to be even 1% responsible for your injuries – you will be barred from recovering ANY compensation for your injuries. Every other state uses some form of Comparative Negligence. Under the doctrine of Comparative Negligence a Plaintiff may still recover if their own negligence contributed to their injuries. However, their amount of recovery would be reduced in proportion to their own fault.
As unfair as this law may seem, it is the law in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It is because of this unfair law that seeking a competent personal injury attorney to handle your matter becomes even more crucial when it occurs in the DMV area. So if you or a loved one have been injured, contact an attorney at GDH Law today. Our team of attorneys will use their knowledge of Maryland law and the doctrine of Contributory Negligence to fight for your rights. We can be reached online at GDHLawfirm.com or by telephone at (301) 769-6835