Proving that a negligent driver caused a plaintiff’s injuries can be difficult in some car accident cases, as illustrated in a September 26, 2017 case before the Court of Special Appeals. It can help, however, to hire a dedicated Maryland car accident attorney to ensure that the facts are presented persuasively to a jury. The plaintiff in the case brought a negligence claim against the driver who rear-ended her vehicle as they were both merging onto a traffic circle. After a jury found the defendant was not negligent, the plaintiff appealed.
At the time of the accident, the defendant was driving behind the plaintiff in the same direction as they approached a traffic circle in the middle of three lanes. The plaintiff stopped her vehicle, as did the defendant. The defendant testified that she saw the plaintiff started to accelerate, which prompted her to accelerate into the circle. The defendant checked her blind spot to check traffic, and in that brief interval, their vehicles collided. The plaintiff, however, testified that she had been at a complete stop for some time when the defendant rear-ended her.
In Maryland, every driver must exercise the degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise under similar circumstances. In a rear-end collision, the question of whether the following driver neglected to use care is ordinarily for the jury to decide. Only in exceptional cases, in which it is clear that reasonable minds would not differ with regard to the facts, will the court disturb a jury verdict on the question of negligence. The question on appeal, therefore, is whether there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the defendant was not negligent.