Annapolis Accident Lawyer
Tips from an Annapolis MD Accident Attorney
Most accidents involve non-intentional conduct or negligence of a party. In general, negligence cannot be presumed from the mere happening of an accident. Rather, a victim must prove a duty and a breach of that duty to make one party responsible.
The common law now found in cases applied by judges in Maryland requires that every driver exercise ordinary, reasonable care. In addition, statutes impose may specific duties upon drivers and pedestrians. Violation of a statute is evidence of negligence.
The defendant in a negligence action may produce evidence in support of various defenses. Common defenses include the existence of an emergency, called the Sudden Emergency Doctrine, an unavoidable or inevitable accidence, contributory negligence, or assumption of the risk.
Other basis of liability include the last clear chance doctrine. In those circumstances, the driver is said to have the last clear opportunity to avoid a situation that will likely result in injury to a person and fails to avoid the situation.
If an employer has authorized an employee to use a vehicle in carrying out his or her duties, the employer may be held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
In many motor vehicle accident cases, where there is personal injury or death, the analysis focuses on right of ways issues and the duties at uncontrolled intersections. The attorney will examine the question of who is the favored driver.
Apart from personal vehicles and pedestrians, accident cases on the roadway can involve motorcycles, buses, bicycles and rental cars. Evidence of speeding or excessive speed can play a part in imposing liability. Evidence of speed does not have to be in the form of eyewitness testimony. Skidmarks can be studied with the help of an expert or accident reconstructionist who is trained to estimate the speed of a vehicle.
An attorney experienced in the preparation and trial of accident cases is vital to obtaining an understanding of the merits of a claim. An attorney can help with the personal injury claim in terms of the ways evidence can be preserved at the onset and advise you of the do's and don'ts from the start. For a discussion of this topic, see the Article on Personal Injury Law on the website.