A bill has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly during the 2011 Session to entrench the affirmative defense of contributory negligence in Maryland.
In general terms, contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured person which falls below the standard of care to which the injured person is required to conform and which is a legally contributing cause of his injuries. A person’s contributory negligence bars his recovery from the other person(s) whose negligence substantially caused the harm, even if his contributory negligence was only 1%.
Comparative negligence weighs the negligence of the injured person against the negligence of the other person(s) whose negligence was a cause of the injury, which may allow the injured person to recover monetary damages even if he was partially at fault for his own injuries.
Maryland is one of only five jurisdictions in the United States that retains the doctrine of contributory negligence (the other jurisdictions are Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia). Forty-six states follow the doctrine of comparative negligence.
House Bill 1129, which is entitled Maryland Contributory Negligence Act and was introduced as an emergency bill, would require that contributory negligence remain as an affirmative defense in Maryland, thereby precluding any recovery by an injured person if his negligence, no matter how small, was a contributing factor in causing his injuries.
If you believe that you may have a Maryland medical malpractice claim, you should seek competent legal advice from a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer. We can help you find a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to answer your medical malpractice questions. Contact us at www.medicalmalpracticelawyers.com or call us toll free at 800-295-3959.