Under Maryland’s contributory negligence law, only those accident victims who are completely free of fault are able to recover for their injuries. This strict law, which is not applied by the majority of states, precludes many Maryland motorcycle accident victims from recovering for the injuries they’ve sustained. Thus, in a motorcycle accident case against an allegedly negligent driver, the focus is not just on the defendant’s conduct, but also on the plaintiff’s.
Of course, some motorcycle accidents cannot be avoided by even the most attentive and skilled riders. Thus, an accident victim cannot be faulted for failing to avoid an imminent collision caused by another’s negligence; otherwise, no Maryland motorcycle accident would ever be able to recover for their injuries. Courts will usually look to the plaintiff’s conduct leading up to the accident to determine whether the plaintiff bears any responsibility in bringing about the accident.
Courts may also consider a plaintiff’s failure to mitigate damages. For example, if a plaintiff is injured in an accident and is told that she needs a certain surgery but does not get the surgery, the defendant may not be liable for the injuries caused by the plaintiff’s failure to get the required surgery. In other words, a plaintiff’s post-accident conduct can also be relevant to the availability of damages.