A person who is injured in an auto accident may be able to recover damages against the negligent driver who caused the collision. Negligence on the part of the injured driver is not necessarily a bar to recovering damages. In a February 26, 2021 negligence case, the Court of Appeals of Maryland considered the effect of the plaintiff’s alleged negligence with respect to a multi-vehicle collision.
The plaintiff in the case was driving on a three-lane boulevard in rush hour traffic when her mini-van overheated and stalled in the right lane. The road did not have any shoulder onto which she could move the van. The driver of the car behind the plaintiff’s van attempted to move into the middle lane just as a pick-up truck from the far left lane merged into the same middle lane. The truck collided with the car, causing the car to be propelled into the plaintiff’s stalled mini-van.
The plaintiff filed a personal injury action against the drivers of the car and the truck, alleging negligence. The defendants, in turn, claimed that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent in causing the accident. The circuit court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that the plaintiff had been negligent. The plaintiff then appealed the decision.