What Every Marylander Needs to Know About Auto Accident Liability

To break it down at its most basic level, “liability” means that you are responsible for negligence in causing an automobile accident. If you are liable for an accident, that means you completely or mostly caused the collision. Often, the liable driver, pedestrian, or passenger will have broken a rule of the road, such as running a red light, tailgating another car, or not yielding to oncoming traffic when merging lanes.

Car Insurance Requirements

Before you’re legally allowed to get behind the wheel of a car in Maryland, there are minimum liability requirements you must meet with your insurance coverage. They are as follows: 

 

  • Coverage that provides for at least $30,000 that covers costs for bodily injury or death for one person involved in an accident.
  • At least $60,000 to cover bodily injury and/or death for everyone involved in an auto accident if there were multiple passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.
  • A minimum of $15,000 per accident that provides for costs of property damage.

 

Maryland Is an At-Fault State

The state of Maryland follows the traditional “at-fault” liability system, which means the person who caused the accident is responsible for doling out money to injured parties and damaged property. This sounds simple and straight-forward, but as we explain next, Maryland’s unique laws make receiving payments after a car accident somewhat tricky.

Contributory Negligence

States are either contributory or comparative negligence states. Maryland is one of a handful of states that, unfortunately, follow the contributory negligence rule when determining payouts after an accident. This means if you contributed in the smallest possible way to an auto accident, then you do not have a claim against the other driver or pedestrian who caused the accident. 

Alternatively, comparative negligence, which most states follow, awards damages proportionate to the amount in which each driver was negligent in an accident. 

Filing a Civil Lawsuit

The statute of limitations in the state of Maryland for filing a civil lawsuit after an automobile accident is three years after the incident. Three years is the standard statute of limitations for all personal injury cases in Maryland. However, if an auto accident results in someone’s death, the survivors of the deceased have three years after the date of death to file a wrongful death suit.

Contact Us Today

Unfortunately, Maryland’s laws on accident liability can make for a complicated and confusing process when you’re trying to get needed compensation for your injuries and property damage. Talk to an experienced attorney who will get you the money you deserve or make sure your personal finances aren’t targeted in the event of an accident you caused. Contact us today!

Written by Law Office of Jack R. Sturgill

Jack R. Sturgill, the Owner and CEO of Jack’s Law, has practiced civil litigation for over 40 years. As an experienced litigator and real estate, estate planning, and estate administration law attorney in Maryland, he focuses his practice on legal matters pertaining to real estate, land use, eminent domain and condemnation, business and corporate law, estate planning, estate administration, personal injury, and administrative law.