Determining who is at fault in a serious or fatal accident is not always as easy as it may seem. In many cases, there are several parties involved, each with their own role in the accident. In some cases, the injured party may also be partially at fault for the accident. Each of these considerations is relevant in determining what, if anything, the injured party is entitled to receive from the negligent party or parties.
Generally speaking, Washington, D.C. employs the doctrine of joint and several liability. This means that all wrongdoers can be held responsible for the total amount of damages suffered by the plaintiff. This favors plaintiffs because it allows for an injured party to receive full compensation from any one of several liable parties involved.
However, Washington, D.C. also uses the strict doctrine of contributory negligence, which acts to prevent an injured party from recovering at all if they are even the slightest bit at fault. This means that if a person is determined by a judge or jury to be just 5% at fault, they may be prevented from recovering a penny for their damages, no matter how serious.
Young Man Dies in Maryland Bicycle Accident
Earlier this month, a teen died when he fell off his bicycle and was hit by a car. According to one local news report covering the tragic accident, the collision occurred in Gaithersburg, Maryland, at around 2:30 in the afternoon.
Evidently, the young man was riding his bike on the sidewalk when he struck a sign that had been placed on the sidewalk by a business. The sign had fallen down and obstructed part of the travel lane. After striking the sign, the boy fell off his bike and into the road, where he was hit by a passing motorist. He was pronounced dead at the scene by responding emergency workers.
This tragic bicycle accident is a good example of a situation that could present several issues if a case was filed by the family of the bicyclist against the business that placed the sign in the road and the passing motorist. At this point in time, the accident is still under investigation, so it is too early to tell how a case may play out, but the example is illustrative nonetheless.
Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. accident, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for the injuries you have endured, but there are certainly barriers standing between your potential award and you. The skilled advocates at the Maryland and Washington, D.C. personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience helping their injured clients pursue the compensation they deserve. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Hot Air Balloon Operator Not Entitled to Immunity under Recreational Use Statute, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, April 15 2016
Motions for Summary Judgment in Washington, D.C. Courts, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2016