Determining liability and the appropriate amount of damages in a Maryland multi-vehicle accident can be a complicated process. In many situations, other motorists will attempt to evade responsibility by blaming each other for causing the accident. This can make it more difficult for those injured in the accident to recover for their injuries. To avoid placing the burden of collecting from each defendant individually, Maryland follows the law of joint and several liability, meaning an accident victim can file a lawsuit for damages against both parties and recover the full amount of damages from any party the jury determines is liable.
Recently, an off-duty Maryland police officer died after he was hit by two vehicles on the Beltway. According to a local news report, the police officer was driving his motorcycle when a sedan lost control and veered into his lane. The driver of the sedan reported that he was trying to pass a slow-moving street sweeper. The police officer was thrown over a barrier and landed in the northbound lane. The police officer was then struck by two additional vehicles. He died from his injuries at the hospital later that evening. It is unclear which parties are at fault for the accident, but initial reports do not indicate that the police officer was responsible for the accident. Maryland State Police are still investigating the crash to determine what parties are at fault.
Maryland car accident victims can recover from multiple parties under the theory of joint and several liability. Joint and several liability allows a victim to recover damages either from each defendant separately or collectively. A typical scenario is when two drivers merge onto the highway and cause an accident or injury to a third driver. In these instances, a judge or jury will determine whether more than one party is responsible for the accident. If it is determined that multiple parties shared responsibility, each defendant will be responsible for all of the damages owed to the plaintiff.
If more than one person is responsible for the accident, a Maryland plaintiff can collect the entire judgment from one defendant if the other culpable party is unable to contribute. The burden is then placed on the defendants to recover from each other. If a plaintiff decides to release one of the defendants from liability, the other defendants are still responsible. However, the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the amount provided by the released parties.
Have You Been Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Maryland motorcycle accident, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The skilled attorneys at our dedicated personal injury law firm have over 20 years of experience handling complex Maryland car accident lawsuits. Maryland car accident laws are harsh, and it is critical that a knowledgable attorney represents you and your interests. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained. Call 610-654-3600 to schedule your free initial consultation today.