Suing Multiple Defendants in Maryland Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When an accident involves multiple vehicles, determining fault can be unclear. The accident may also have more than one cause with more than one responsible driver. When a person suffers injuries in a multi-vehicle accident, they may sue more than one defendant for their harm. Maryland multi-vehicle accident victims should be aware of the state’s rules for recovery against multiple defendants.
For example, a three-car crash injured ten people in Columbia, Maryland. The accident occurred as a car was entering Route 29 south when the driver lost control, striking two other cars. As a result of the crash, ten people were transported to the hospital. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
How Does Maryland Determine Fault Among Multiple Defendants?
To apportion fault among multiple defendants, Maryland follows a system of joint and several liability. Under this theory of recovery, a plaintiff can recover the entire damages award from a single defendant regardless of fault. For example, a defendant who is only 30% at fault may be liable for 100% in damages if the other defendants are insolvent, meaning they cannot pay. However, that same defendant can then sue the other defendants to recover their share of the award. For example, the defendant could sue another defendant for 70% of the total damages amount. Joint and several liability ensures plaintiffs can recover the full damages they deserve even if one defendant is insolvent.

Can Maryland Plaintiffs Recover Damages If They Were at Fault?
Maryland is one of the few states in the country that follows a contributory negligence system. Under this theory of liability, plaintiffs cannot recover damages if they were at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. Even if a plaintiff is only 1% at fault, they will recover nothing. Maryland is an outlier from the majority of states, which follow a modified comparative negligence system. Under modified comparative negligence, plaintiffs can recover so long as they were less than 50% at fault for the accident. That said, at-fault plaintiffs in these states would receive a reduction in damages based on their degree of fault. For example, if a plaintiff receives a $100,000 damages award but is 10% responsible for the accident, that plaintiff will receive $90,000 in damages. Because of Maryland’s strict contributory negligence system, defendants will often argue the plaintiff’s negligence caused their accident. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney will help develop the strongest possible argument that you were not at fault.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Multi-Vehicle Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a Maryland car accident, the Schupak Law Firm is here to help. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys possess decades of combined experience assisting Maryland accident victims. We have provided diligent representation in cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and nursing home neglect. We can evaluate your case and help recover the damages you and your family deserve. For a free initial consultation, call our office at 240-833-3914.
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