Earlier this month in Gaithersburg, a bicyclist was killed when he was struck by a sanitation truck that was pulling into a parking lot. According to one local news report, the bicyclist was riding on the 12100 block of Darnestown Road heading east when the accident occurred.
Evidently, the driver of a sanitation truck was heading westbound on Darnestown Road when he attempted to make a left turn into a parking lot. As he completed the left turn, he struck the bicyclist, fatally injuring him. At the time he attempted to make the turn, the truck driver had a green light. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers.
Police are currently investigating the cause of the accident to see if the bicyclist was at fault or whether it was the truck driver’s negligence that caused the accident. Depending on the result of their investigation, the truck driver may face charges for his role in the accident.
Shared Fault Accidents in Maryland
In most jurisdictions across the country, the fact that an accident was caused by the combination of several factors won’t defeat an accident victim’s claim against one of the other parties involved. However, in Maryland, the laws are a little different and can act to prevent an accident victim from recovering in some cases.
Maryland subscribes to the legal doctrine of “contributory negligence,” which prevents any accident victim who is found to be at all at fault from recovering for his or her injuries. This means that an accident victim who is found to be just 5% at fault for the accident cannot recover for his or her injuries from any other party involved.
Other jurisdictions operate under a “comparative fault” doctrine. Under comparative fault, an accident victim is still permitted to recover even if he or she is found to be partly at fault. However, the plaintiff’s total award amount will be reduced by his or her percentage of responsibility.
Recovering Under a Contributory Negligence System
In order for a Maryland plaintiff to recover for injuries, it is necessary to establish that he or she was free of fault. Therefore, the involvement of a dedicated personal injury attorney will become critical to the success of most cases.
Defendants in personal injury actions know that they can escape liability by shifting just a small portion of the blame onto the accident victim. A personal injury attorney can help an accident victim prevent a defendant from shifting blame in order to escape liability.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries or losses. To learn more about the laws in Maryland that allow for the innocent victims of truck accidents to recover, contact one of the skilled personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Contact us through our website, or call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Truck Driver’s Negligent Driving Causes Serious Accident in Hagerstown, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 2, 2014.
Williamsport Bicyclist Injured When Hit By Dump Truck, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 10, 2014.