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Maryland Tailgating Accident Lawyer
Our Maryland tailgating accident lawyers have been practicing personal injury law in Maryland for the greater part of a century. Our emphasis on client experience ensures prompt communication at all stages of your case. If you have a question about your case, our phones are open 24/7. This allows you to get in touch with your attorney any day of the week.
Per the Maryland Code of Transportation § 21-310(a), “the driver of a motor vehicle may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the other vehicle and of the traffic on and the condition of the highway.” Violation of this statute may have criminal implications. However, in a civil context, it is a rule to apply when pursuing a claim for negligence per se.
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What is Negligence Per Se
The translation from latin means literally “negligence in itself”. The more practical translation is that there is negligence “on its face”. You get negligence on its face when there is a violation of some statute. In the context of tailgating in Maryland, there would have to be a violation of Maryland Code § 21-310(a). Additionally, for a negligence per se claim, a defendant is liable if the statute is designed to protect against the type of harm caused by the negligence. Further, the plaintiff must be someone the statute is designed to protect.
Here, if there is a violation of the statute because Driver B is following Driver A more closely than is reasonable and prudent, and Driver B collides with Driver A via a rear-end accident, then there is likely negligence per se. Negligence per se is most commonly found in violation of traffic statutes. If we can prove that your accident is negligence per se, then we still have to prove causation. This requires proving actual causation as well as legal causation.
What is Tailgating?
While not necessarily a technical legal term, tailgating is a term to refer to aggressive drivers who are not keeping a proper distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them. In addition to being illegal, tailgating is dangerous. It significantly lessens the amount of time a driver has to brake or evade an accident should there be a sudden stop ahead. When you are driving that close to the vehicle in front of you, especially if it is a truck, your visibility is reduced. When driving on a highway such as thebeltway, I-95, or US-40, where there are turns and sudden stops around corners and over hills, every second counts when needing to stop. Our Maryland tailgating accident lawyer always advise maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you.
Tailgating generally occurs when there is an impatient driver who is trying to maneuver around traffic. The problem is, all drivers owe a duty to foreseeable plaintiffs to operate their motor vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner. Of course, this is a vague definition, but it hinges on the surrounding circumstances. So, tailgating while driving under five miles per hour might be ok under the circumstances. However, if you are driving faster than, for example, 20 miles per hour, a jury might find that to be unreasonable. Mind you, these are arbitrary examples. Ultimately, it is up to a fact finder to decide what is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. The fact finder can be a jury or, on occasion, a judge in a bench trial.
Why Speak to a Maryland Tailgating Accident Lawyer
A Maryland tailgating accident lawyer can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. If someone is aggressively tailgating your car while you are driving the speed limit and following the law, you may have a legitimate claim against the tortfeasor. Additionally, the fact that the defendant behaves aggressively and tailgates may only bolster your claim. If it is a rear-end accident, the liability may be clear. However, you still have to prove damages. There is no presumption of damages in a negligence case. For every dollar you wish to recover, you must prove that you suffered harm equating to monetary value.
This is where a Maryland tailgating accident lawyer can help. We will handle the insurance companies so you do not have to. Our client-centric approach simplifies the process. We make it so you only have to focus on getting healthy.
Contact a Maryland Tailgating Accident Lawyer Today
If you have any questions regarding the information above or believe you have a viable claim, call today for a free consultation. Our phones are available 24/7 at (202) 331-7227.
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