According to the Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 42,939 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021. Fatal accidents may involve anywhere from a single vehicle to multiple vehicles caught in a chain-reaction crash. When a person loses a loved one in a car accident, they may decide to hold the responsible driver accountable for the deep emotional and financial harm resulting from the crash. In the event of a fatal accident, a Maryland personal injury attorney can help you understand your options and pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
As a news article recently reported, two people died and three others suffered injuries following a six-vehicle crash in Maryland. The accident occurred on I-81 when the driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe hit struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that had begun to brake. The crash then caused three other tractor-trailers and a pickup truck to collide. When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they found five people trapped in their vehicles. The Chevrolet driver and a passenger both sadly died from their injuries. Two other passengers in the Chevrolet and one tractor-trailer driver were transported to the hospital for their injuries.
Can You Sue an Employer for Their Driver’s Negligence?
If a tractor-trailer driver’s negligence led to a fatal accident, you may be able to sue the driver’s employer under a theory of vicarious liability. To hold an employer vicariously liable for an employee’s actions, a Maryland plaintiff must prove that the employee was working to further the employer’s business at the time of the accident. Plaintiffs must also show that the employee was working in their designated workspace, such as a planned travel route, and within their designated shift, such as completing a delivery at a certain time. If a plaintiff meets these requirements, they have shown that the employee acted within the scope of their employment during the accident, which is key to showing vicarious liability.
Can You Recover Damages in Maryland Accidents if You Were Partially At Fault?
Maryland is one of few states with a strict contributory negligence scheme. Under this system, Maryland plaintiffs cannot share any degree of fault for their accident. Even if plaintiffs are only 1% at fault for the accident that caused their injuries, they cannot recover any damages against the responsible driver. In a wrongful death lawsuit, contributory negligence may bar a deceased victim’s loved ones from recovering damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death actions allow the deceased’s loved ones to bring a lawsuit that the deceased could have brought had they survived. Therefore, if the deceased was at fault for the accident, Maryland’s strict contributory negligence rules could bar the deceased’s loved ones from recovering damages against the responsible driver. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can help you understand Maryland’s contributory negligence laws and develop an argument that your loved one was not at fault for a fatal accident.
Do You Need a Maryland Fatal Accident Attorney?
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal Maryland car accident, you may have a claim for damages. To learn more about your options, contact The Schupak Law Firm today. Our attorneys understand the emotional and financial toll that a fatal accident can take on your family. Through our dedicated representation, we will work with you at every stage of your case to recover damages on your behalf. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 240-833-3914.