Jurisdictions that have comparative negligence laws permit a plaintiff to recover even though they caused or contributed to their accident. In the District of Columbia , Maryland Virginia, if you caused or contributed to the occurrence of the incident and the injuries which resulted to any degree, you cannot recover. In a comparative negligence state, the jury would be permitted to compare the carelessness of each party and issue based on the comparative fault of the parties. For instance, if you were a pedestrian walking outside of the crosswalk and struck by an inattentive driver and the jury concluded you were 50% at fault, you would be awarded 50% of the total jury verdict. The state of Maryland Legislature has been considered adopting comparative negligence but has not done so to date. In the opinion of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., comparative negligence is a much more fair way of compensating an individual for injuries sustained. It is unfair to an often severely injured individual for an error in judgment that minimally contributed to the accident and injuries sustained. The plaintiff should be permitted to recover to the extent of his innocence and the defendant would only be required to pay that amount equal to the degree of their fault. A more fair system cannot be devised.
by Ira Sherman, Esq.