If I Was Injured In a Maryland Car Accident, Who Do I Sue?
You sue the driver of the at-fault vehicle and the owner of that vehicle, and possibly the employer of the at-fault driver.
A serious automobile accident, or serious injury of another type for that matter, can often leave the participants injured, out of work and in financial distress. Those inured rightly sense that someone or somebody is responsible for those mounting medical bills, lost, wages and is responsible for compensating the injured person for their emotional and physical distress and discomfort. However, the rules governing who a legal claim is actually brought against can be confusing.
You don’t sue the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
It’s a common misconception. Although clearly negotiations take place with the insurance company, and ultimately settlement funds come from an insurance company, the proper party in any lawsuit is the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident -not their insurance company.
You sue the owner of the at-fault vehicle.
Under Maryland law and owner of a vehicle is presumptively responsible for the conduct of the driver. Moreover an insurance policy will cover a driver only if he or she had the owner’s permission to drive the vehicle.
You sue the employer of the at-fault driver if the accident occurred while that individual was acting within the scope and course of their employment.
Under Maryland law an employer is responsible for the negligence of its employees committed while they are at work that injures another individual. Depending on the unique circumstances of your personal injury claim, there might be other proper parties or other proper defendants. If your claim is for uninsured motorist benefits, the proper defendant is your own insurance company. If the at-fault individual was working for a government entity, then perhaps the proper party is the state, or municipality or a division thereof, As Attorney Eric T. Kirk will tell you.
The filing of a suit against the correct parties is obviously a mandatory first step in any personal injury recovery. If you have sustained a serious personal injury you may well find good this event will consume a substantial portion of your time and energy for a potentially significant length of time. I represented those for whom a serious personal injury was a pivotal and defining moment in their lives, forever changing what came after. The choices and decisions such an individual makes -and making the right decision- under these circumstances is a vital importance. In these instances my standard advice is to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.
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