Rear End Accidents and Liability in Maryland
Rear end accidents are one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents. Although some people consider them minor fender benders, they can result in expensive medical costs and car repair bills. No matter how much you try to be careful while behind the wheel, you are always at risk of another driver behind you being careless and running into you. If you suffer damages or injuries in a rear-end collision, you need to know what Maryland laws say about liability for these accidents. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses and an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options.
Liability Basics in Maryland
In Maryland, drivers can be held liable for a rear end collision if they failed to follow traffic safety laws and the driver of the other car was not negligent. Negligence occurs when the driver of the vehicle has the duty to be careful but doesn’t follow through on that duty. All drivers are obligated to drive safely and follow the laws and failure to do so may result in negligence and consequently liability.
The state of Maryland also follows a standard of contributory negligence. This means that if a person contributed in any way to an accident, they cannot recover damages from the other party involved. If both of the drivers involved in the accident were negligent under Maryland law, they must recover damages from their own insurance company first. However, one driver is often solely responsible for a rear end accident.
Overview of Maryland Traffic Laws
In Maryland, a driver is required to keep a reasonably safe distance away from the car in front of them. There isn’t an exact distance stated by the law, but drivers are required to pay attention to the traffic and road conditions and determine what the safe following distance is. If a driver follows behind another vehicle too closely, also called tailgating, and hits the rear end of the car in front of them, they will be liable for the accident if the other driver was not driving negligently and was following traffic laws.
Maryland laws also require drivers to signal, at minimum, 200 feet before stopping their vehicle. If a driver makes a sudden stop without signaling and the car behind them rear ends them, the first driver will be held liable for the accident as long as the second driver was maintaining a reasonably safe distance. If the lead car failed to give proper signal and the second car was following behind too closely, then both drivers may be considered negligent and be found liable for the accident.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered damages and injuries in a rear end car collision that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The La Plata & Waldorf car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. can review your accident and help you understand your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.