Car accidents happen far too often, and the first and most pressing concern after an accident is the well-being of those involved. Anyone needing medical attention should be cared for promptly, and other issues should be left for later. At some point, the conversation will turn to liability, and determining who is at fault for the accident. When it comes to rear-end accidents in the state of Maryland, who bears the responsibility? We’d like to discuss that question below.
Plenty of Possibilities
The first thing to understand about liability in Maryland auto accidents is that it is never as simple as you might think at first. For instance, you might have been told by someone in the past that the person who hits another car from behind is always the guilty party in a rear-end accident. It’s certainly possible that the driver in the rear vehicle will be at fault, but that is not assumed or guaranteed. Ultimately, it is the person who causes the accident who is liable for damages that result, and that could be anyone involved in the accident, depending on circumstances.
Obeying the Laws
It might sound obvious, but it’s important to consider which driver was obeying the rules of the road when the accident occurred. If one driver was driving lawfully and the other driver was being reckless in some manner, determining which driver is liable will be pretty simple and straightforward. All drivers are required to operate their vehicles safely and follow the rules of the road. Failing to do so makes you negligent and can cause you to be liable for an accident.
Safe Driving Distance
One of the many rules of the road that must be followed is safe driving distance. There isn’t a number attached to this law, as the definition of safe driving distance can vary based on road and weather conditions. Driving a certain distance behind the car in front of you might be safe at one speed, or on one day, but it could be dangerous at a higher speed or in ugly weather. Many rear-end accidents are caused by a driver who is following too close behind the car in front. When that happens, it is the car behind that will be liable, so long as the car in front was driving lawfully.
Determining negligence in an auto accident doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Sometimes, both parties are deemed to be at fault, and both are seen as liable for the crash. This is why the follow-up investigation is so important after an accident has taken place. The various pieces of evidence will be gathered from the scene, as well as statements taken from those involved, so a realistic determination can be made with regard to what happened. Depending on what is determined through that investigation, one driver may be held liable, or both may be found at fault. For more information, or for assistance with your Maryland traffic accident case, contact Attorney Arthur Crum today.