Maryland Court Discusses Pleading Standards in Car Accident Cases

People hurt in car accidents will often seek damages from the parties they deem responsible for their losses. Some people may be reluctant to hire an attorney, though, and for a variety of reasons, will proceed with their claims pro se. As demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Maryland court in a case arising out of a collision, however, non-attorneys typically lack knowledge of the procedural rules, which can be fatal to their claims. If you were hurt in a car crash, it is smart to contact a Maryland car accident attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

The Relevant History

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a complaint, pro se, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division. The complaint asserted that the defendant drove an unsafe vehicle that subsequently caused a collision with the plaintiff and that due to the crash, the plaintiff suffered extensive damages. The plaintiff sought punitive damages on the grounds that the defendant knew the vehicle was unsafe prior to the accident. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, arguing that the plaintiff failed to assert a claim that would entitle him to relief. Upon review, the Court granted the defendant’s motion.

Pleading Requirements in Car Accident Cases Filed in Federal Court

The pleading standards established by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the Rules) only require a party to set forth a plain and short statement of their claim that shows they are entitled to relief. The Rules dictate, though, that if a complaint does not set forth a claim for which relief may be granted, it should be dismissed. As such, a motion to dismiss requires an analysis of the sufficiency of a complaint.

To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must assert adequate facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible. Claims are plausible when they contain sufficient factual content to allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant committed the alleged misconduct.

In assessing the sufficiency of a complaint, the courts accept factual allegations within the complaint as true and views them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. In the subject case, the plaintiff’s claim was comprised of two sentences and was devoid of factual information regarding how the accident occurred or how the defendant was at fault. As such, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Discuss Your Collision with a Seasoned Maryland Car Accident Attorney

Car crashes can cause significant injuries, and while parties hurt in collisions are often owed damages, they may inadvertently waive their right to compensation if they attempt to pursue claims without the assistance of an attorney. If you were harmed in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Maryland car accident lawyer as soon as possible.  The seasoned Maryland attorneys of Foran & Foran, P.A. can advise you of your rights and help you pursue the full extent of damages recoverable under the law. We have an office in Greenbelt, and we frequently represent parties in car accident cases in cities in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. You can reach us by using our online form or calling us at (301) 441-2022 to set up a confidential and free meeting.



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