Contributory Negligence in Car Accidents
Call our Washington DC car accident lawyers!
If you are in a car accident in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia, your
lawyer will explain to you the concept of contributory negligence. Just
because an accident is mostly the other driver’s fault does not
mean that you will recover. Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are
three of the just six jurisdictions in the United States that recognize
contributory negligence as an absolute defense in an auto accident case.
In other words, even if the other driver is more negligent than you are,
or even 99% negligent in comparison to your 1% negligent, you cannot prevail
in an accident claim.
Negligence is a departure from ordinary care. Examples of negligence include
speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, weaving between lanes
without signaling, or any other careless or reckless act. However, just
because you were negligent does not mean that you are barred from a recovery.
Your negligence in the accident must have been a proximate cause of the accident.
There are any number of circumstances where you may be negligent but your
negligence did not proximately cause the accident. For example, it is
not unusual for clients to have been slightly exceeding the speed limit
at the time of an accident. However, the fact that the client was speeding
in many cases is irrelevant to why the accident occurred. If the client
is traveling at 65 mph instead of 55 mph and a car turns out in front
of him, the accident was going to occur even if the client were traveling
within the posted speed limit.
Even some circumstances that one might think are automatically contributory
negligence are not necessarily so. A pedestrian can be outside of a crosswalk
and not be contributorily negligent. All one has to demonstrate is that
the pedestrian would have been hit regardless of whether they were in
or out of the crosswalk.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
Even if your car accident case comes with a difficult set of facts, do
not despair – our
Washington DC car accident lawyers at Simeone & Miller, LLP may still be able to help. We are prepared
to investigate the facts of your case to determine exactly what caused
your accident. With our help, you may potentially still be able to obtain
a recovery by filing a
personal injury claim.
To speak with a Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC car accident attorney, please
contact us today at (202) 888-0872.