By: Matthew Tievsky
Any lawsuit in Maryland regarding an auto accident comes down to the question
of "negligence": Did the Defendant fail to act as a reasonable
person would? This can mean changing lanes without looking, failing to
stop at a stop sign, rear-ending a slowing car, or running a red light,
What constitutes "negligence" for drivers is generally a matter
of common sense. However, Maryland also has many laws on the books that
dictate how people are supposed to drive on the road. (These are found
in Title 21 of the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code.) Violating
these laws is a criminal act, and can land a person in traffic court.
Breaking the traffic laws also
can lead to a finding of liability in a personal injury lawsuit, but does
not have to.
Many states outside Maryland adopt the rule of "negligence
per se," which means that if a defendant breaks a law and as a result hurts
someone, then the defendant is automatically liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Maryland does not follow this rule, however. If a defendant breaks a traffic law in Maryland, this can be introduced
to the jury as
evidence that the defendant was negligent, but the jury can decide that for some
reason the defendant's actions did not rise to the level of negligence.
If you have been hurt in an auto accident by another driver, and you have
questions about whether the driver's actions rise to the level of
negligence, you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.