Articles Posted in Ambulance Accidents

In cases where more than one party is at fault, some plaintiffs may be barred from recovery altogether. The laws concerning the effect of the plaintiff’s negligence vary depending on the jurisdiction. The law that applies in Maryland truck accident cases is the doctrine of contributory negligence, which is a particularly harsh law for Maryland personal injury plaintiffs.

Contributory negligence comes from the common law, and has been the law in Maryland since 1847. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if the plaintiff is found even partially at fault for the damages, the plaintiff is barred from recovery. Many have criticized the doctrine of contributory negligence, as it leads to harsh consequences and what many consider unfair results. Few states still follow the contributory negligence doctrine.

The General Assembly of Maryland has so far rejected the adoption of comparative negligence, which could replace the contributory negligence doctrine. Under the general comparative fault doctrine, or “pure comparative negligence,” the fault of both the plaintiff and the defendant are considered, but comparative fault only reduces the award by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover even if the plaintiff is found mostly at fault. Under some comparative fault doctrines, a plaintiff can recover as long as the plaintiff is found 50% or less at fault. This is generally referred to as “modified comparative negligence.”

Earlier this month in Wachapreague, Virginia, one man was killed as he was being transported to the hospital in an ambulance when the vehicle he was being transported in struck a bus. According to one local news source, the ambulance had its lights and sirens on when the accident occurred.

Evidently, the 38-year-old driver of the ambulance failed to obey a traffic signal and entered the intersection without checking if it was clear, striking a transit bus. After the collision, the ambulance lost control and rolled several times before coming to a rest.

The 60-year-old man being transported in the back of the ambulance died from the injuries he sustained in the accident. There were no passengers on the bus, and the bus driver was uninjured. The driver of the ambulance and two emergency responders who were also in the ambulance suffered minor injuries but are expected to make a full recovery.

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