How Contributory Negligence Comes Into Play in Personal Injury Cases
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Before doing so, however, it is important to familiarize yourself with some of the key tenets of this legal sector, including contributory negligence. In this guide, we examine personal injury law, contributory negligence, and how the two are related. We also provide context on these legal matters and their relevance in the state of Maryland (MD).
What is a personal injury case?
Personal injury law (sometimes referred to as tort law) gives an injured party the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit and seek compensation for losses resulting from the incident. The purpose of this type of law is to aid in the healing of the injured person, both physically and emotionally. The aim of the damage is to make the injured party “whole” again after suffering from the negligent or willful behavior of another.
Personal injury law is often complex and difficult to navigate for a layperson; This often leads people to seek out a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the system.
Personal Injury Law in Maryland
Personal injury remains a widespread problem in Maryland. In 2016, Maryland private and public sector employers reported a total of 65,500 cases of non-fatal accidents at work and occupational diseases. The number corresponds to an incidence rate of 3.3 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees. Of these cases, 18,600 were serious enough that the worker took time off to recover from his injury or illness.
What is contributory negligence?
Negligence refers to a plaintiff’s failure to take the necessary steps to ensure his or her safety. The plaintiff is the party bringing a lawsuit against another party (the defendant). Negligence is widely used by defense lawyers, who tend to claim that the plaintiff’s actions increased the likelihood of the accident occurring. As a result, a claim for indirect negligence can significantly affect a plaintiff’s ability to maximize their personal injury claim by affecting the amount of compensation a plaintiff will receive (if any).
Contributing Negligence in Maryland
Negligence in MD was first mentioned in 1847 in an as Irwin v. Sprigg introduced known case. However, it wasn’t upheld until 2013 in the Coleman v Soccer Association of Columbia case. During one of his training sessions, soccer player James Kyle Coleman kicked a soccer ball into the net. When he was about to get the ball, he jumped and grabbed the crossbar of the net. However, the goal posts were not properly attached to the ground. As a result, Mr. Coleman fell on his back before the weight of the crossbar fell on his face, seriously injuring him. He suffered multiple facial fractures and even had to undergo surgery. He sued the organization, but they argued that he was shown contributory negligence. The judgment found both parties to be partially negligent; its partial acceptance of the objection of contributory negligence means it can still be used in courts in Maryland today.
There are several complexities in the area of personal injury law and contributory negligence. Likewise, the two principles can overlap significantly depending on the details of the case. By educating yourself about both concepts, you will be better prepared to avoid contributory negligence from becoming an obstacle in your own personal injury litigation.