Is Maryland a No-Fault State?

By David M. Schloss

When you experience a car accident because of someone else’s negligent behavior, it goes without saying that you should receive financial compensation for your damages. In the state of Maryland, seeking such compensation starts with understanding if Maryland is a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents.

Maryland crash data shows that there were 108,365 car crashes in the state in 2022. Traffic accidents are unfortunately common, but our team at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP is ready and willing to help Maryland drivers navigate the complexities of fault laws during a personal injury claim.

Is Maryland a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Is Maryland a no fault state?

Maryland is not a no-fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. In a no-fault state, individuals injured in a car accident can receive coverage for their medical bills without the need to determine who caused the crash.

Compensation typically comes from each party’s respective personal injury protection insurance. An individual who sustains particularly severe injuries might choose to sue the other party to pursue further compensation if they can prove fault.

If you suffer injuries in a Maryland car accident, you might feel discouraged upon asking if Maryland is a no-fault state. Without no-fault laws in place, it can sometimes be difficult to receive coverage for medical expenses you incur after an accident. That is why having a personal injury attorney to advocate for you is of the utmost importance.

Is Maryland an At-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Maryland is an at-fault state when it comes to determining compensation in a car accident case. This means if you sustain personal injury or property damage in an accident caused by someone else, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.

However, this requires you and your legal team to present evidence establishing the other party’s fault and proving that your damages were the result of the other party’s negligence.

Keeping in mind that Maryland isn’t a no-fault state, your personal injury lawyers will make a case for determining fault in the accident. This involves looking at photographs or videos of the scene, collecting witness statements, and examining police reports for any indication that the other party acted negligently at the time of the accident.

If it becomes apparent that the other driver disobeyed traffic laws or that they were behaving recklessly, then the matter of fault becomes clearer.

Is Maryland a Contributory Negligence State?

Is Maryland an at fault or contributory negligence state?

In addition to being an at-fault state, Maryland also enforces a contributory negligence rule regarding car accidents.

Under contributory negligence, any driver guilty of negligence at the time of the accident is at fault even if one party acted significantly more irresponsibly than the other. This means you may be unable to recover any compensation if insurance adjusters can prove you contributed to the accident, regardless of how severe your injuries or damages may be.

In a state like Maryland with contributory negligence laws, the importance of working with a reliable personal injury lawyer is undeniable. Without proper legal representation, it can be easy for clever insurance adjusters to take advantage of the situation or turn your own words against you to make it seem as though you contributed to the crash.

What Are My Options After an At-Fault Accident?

After a motor vehicle accident, your top priority is likely to recover as smoothly as possible and make a return to your normal daily life with minimal financial setbacks. Maryland is not a no-fault state, so the process of receiving coverage is not as straightforward as in certain other states. Instead, you have a few options to discuss with your legal team regarding what steps to take next after your accident.

You have the option of filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to receive compensation under their legally required auto policy. If their coverage cannot adequately compensate you for the full extent of your damages, you might consider suing the other party directly and taking the matter to court.

You might even submit a claim with your own auto insurance provider under certain circumstances, such as when the other driver does not have insurance and your only other option is to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage.

Do I Need an Attorney for an At-Fault Accident?

A man calls an attorney after an at-fault accident in Maryland.

The fact that Maryland is not a no-fault state is all the more reason to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Your lawyer can carry the legal burden of a complex fault-based case while you focus on the all-important matter of your recovery. 

The Maryland personal injury attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP can help you by:

  • Investigating the cause of your accident to determine fault
  • Handling paperwork and other administrative tasks
  • Collecting evidence to establish negligence or lack thereof
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Representing you in court if you decide to sue

In a Maryland car accident case, you might be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages that your attorney can help you recover. You deserve compensation for any costs you incur and the pain or suffering you experience as a result of your accident.

Involving an attorney early in the process is important, though, as the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is three years from the date of the incident, after which you can no longer pursue a settlement regardless of fault.

Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys Who Know Maryland Fault Laws

When you understand the difference between no-fault and at-fault car accidents, you might understandably wish that Maryland is a no-fault state. As that is not the case, though, our team at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP is ready to support you at every step of a complex fault-based accident claim and help you secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

We proudly represent injured motorists not only in Maryland but in Virginia and throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area as well. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about what we can do for you.

About the Author
David M. Schloss is an injury attorney and partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. He joined the law firm in 1987 and has earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys in the District of Columbia.