According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, 563 people have died in a Maryland car accident in 2023. Fatal Maryland car accidents can have a number of causes, from driver carelessness to inclement weather to a faulty vehicle part. If a driver’s carelessness leads to a person’s death, the deceased person’s loved ones may bring a lawsuit against the driver for damages. However, issues can arise when multiple drivers share responsibility for the crash.
As a recent news article reported, a fatal Maryland car accident claimed the lives of four people. According to Maryland state troopers, the accident occurred when a Saturn struck the rear of a Chevrolet attempting a left turn in the westbound lane. Due to the impact of the crash, the Chevrolet entered the eastbound lane, where it was struck by a Ford. As a result of the collision, the Chevrolet drivers and three passengers died from their injuries.
Can You Sue Multiple Defendants After a Fatal Maryland Car Accident?
Maryland allows a deceased victim’s loved ones to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against more than one defendant. If an accident involved multiple vehicles, more than one person may be responsible for the victim’s injuries. When a plaintiff names multiple defendants, Maryland follows a joint and several liability theory of recovery. Under joint and several liability, each defendant is responsible for the entire damages award regardless of fault. If Defendant 1 is only 20% at fault but Defendant 2 cannot pay their share of the damages, Defendant 1 may have to pay 100% of the damages award. However, Defendant 1 can then sue the other defendants to recover their share of liability. In joint and several liability states like Maryland, the defendants have the burden to collect payment for the plaintiff’s damages award.
Can You Recover Damages If You Were at Fault for an Accident?
Maryland is one of the few states in which you cannot recover any damages if you were at fault for an accident. Even if the plaintiff was only 1% responsible for the accident that caused their injuries, the law bars the plaintiff from receiving damages. Unlike Maryland, the majority of states follow a comparative negligence system, which allows the plaintiff to recover a portion of damages if they were less than 51% at fault for the accident. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can help you develop a strong argument that you were not at fault for your injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a Maryland car accident, contact the Schupak Law Firm for immediate assistance. The attorneys at our firm possess a wealth of experience representing clients in Maryland personal injury lawsuits. We have assisted Maryland accident victims in lawsuits stemming from car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and slip and fall accidents. Through our skilled and dedicated representation, we will fight to recover the maximum compensation available. For a free initial consultation, give us a call today at 240-833-3914.