One of the most pressing questions in the aftermath of every Maryland auto accident is who is at fault. Whether or not there was an injury involved, the driver at fault can face a variety of consequences from the other party involved, the insurance company and even the police. Those are just some of the reasons why determining fault is so vital in Maryland auto accidents.
Who Determines Fault in a Maryland Auto Accident?
In general, there are 4 key people involved in determining fault: police officers, insurance claims adjusters, a jury or judge and your attorney. The police officers that arrive at the scene of the accident will develop an opinion about what occurred. If there isn’t much property damage and nobody is injured, the officer will probably not complete a formal report. Instead, the police officer will make a form with basic information on who the drivers were, license numbers and insurance information. If a full formal report has been completed, that will often include the officer’s opinion of who caused the accident and other observations from the scene.
Claims adjusters will also develop a conclusion as to who was at fault for the Maryland auto accident after talking to their own insured driver. Today, many adjusters have additional evidence in the form of photos and videos from the crash scene. Your attorney will also have an informed and important opinion on who is at fault. Experienced auto and personal injury attorneys have evaluated hundreds of accidents, so they can discern with a practiced eye.
Finally, the judge or jury during a formal trial can also ultimately decide who caused the car collision. Judges and jurors have access to a range of evidence, as well as arguments from the lawyers of both parties.
What Matters in Maryland?
In Maryland, there are 3 possible determinations after an accident: you caused the accident, you didn’t cause the accident or you contributed to the accident. What factors are brought into consideration?
- Police report
- Statements from involved parties and witnesses
- Statements from involved police officers
- Photos and videos from the scene
- Surveillance or dash cam footage
- Opinion from a car damage appraisal professional
- Legal principles
- The rules of the road
When You Need an Experienced Maryland Auto Accident Lawyer, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP
If you want guidance throughout your personal injury claim in the aftermath of an auto accident, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs and ensure you receive what you are entitled to. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.