Negligence occurs when one party fails to prevent an accident or injury that would have otherwise been prevented by a reasonable person. This type of event usually involves car accidents, slip and falls, catastrophic injuries, workplace injuries, or medical malpractice. Regardless of the setting, in order to demonstrate negligence, your attorney must prove:
  1. The defendant failed in his or her duty to provide “reasonable care” for the safety of others; AND
  2. The plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the actions (or inaction) of the negligent defendant; AND
  3. The plaintiff suffered damages (usually associated with monetary value); AND
  4. That there is a link between the defendant’s actions (or inaction) and the plaintiff’s injury. This is referred to as causation or proximate cause. The defendant’s action (or inaction) must be the cause of the injury, not merely related to the injury.

Injuries sustained due to negligence may be physical, financial, or emotional. However, in order to recover for the injuries, the damage cannot be perceived. The injury must have actually occurred, and the damage must be proven in a court of law.

In terms of defenses to negligence lawsuits, Maryland is a state that recognizes contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a legal concept where the victim’s negligence is a contributing factor to their own injuries. With contributory negligence, the victim’s negligence is balanced against the defendant’s negligence in order to determine liability for both parties. With a successful contributory negligence defense, a victim may be prevented from recovering damages, or the damages are reduced in proportion to the victim’s contribution to their injuries. For example, if the damage reward was supposed to be $100,000, but the court determines that the victim was %50 responsible for the accident, then the reward would be reduced to $50,000. To summarize, a victim may be ineligible for financial recovery if he or she is found to be even partly at fault for the accident.

Contributory negligence can significantly impact the outcome of your case. For this reason, you should contact a negligence attorney immediately after an accident occurs. At Cohen|Harris, our Baltimore negligence attorneys are ready and waiting to assist with assessing the strength of your negligence case. Contact us today at 888-585-7979 for a free case evaluation!