In some cases, who is at fault in a motorcycle accident is not immediately clear and sometimes, multiple parties may be at fault. If someone is injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident and files a claim against a driver or another defendant in court, the person who files the claim (referred to as the plaintiff) must show that the defendant was at fault for the accident. This means showing that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, failed to meet that duty by acting or failing to act, the defendant’s actions were the cause-in-fact and a legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and the plaintiff suffered damages.
Of course, a defendant may try to pin the blame on another cause, such as another driver or the plaintiff. If two or more parties acted negligently and caused the plaintiff’s injuries, courts in Maryland will consider if the defendant’s negligent actions were a “substantial factor” in causing the plaintiff’s injuries and if they are sufficiently related to the defendant’s negligent conduct.
If a defendant blames the plaintiff for the crash, the plaintiff will have to defend against such claims. The state of Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that a plaintiff will not recover compensation if a plaintiff is found to be even partially at fault. Few states in the country follow this doctrine, but Maryland is one of them. The doctrine can lead to very harsh results for some plaintiffs. If a defendant claims contributory negligence as a defense and provides sufficient evidence of the plaintiff’s negligence, a judge or a jury will consider the fault of the plaintiff while also considering the fault of the defendant.