Baltimore, MD asked in Insurance Defense for Maryland

Q: My fiance hit an illegally parked/disabled vehicle which was not marked in any way as disabled. Is it 100% his fault?

My fiance was traveling down a busy 4 lane (2 each way) street. He rear-ended a disabled vehicle which was illegally parked on the street, fully blocking the right lane. The vehicle didn't display any hazard lights, flares, red flags, etc, despite having been in that location for 5 hours. Is this accident 100% his fault, even though the other person failed to follow the law and didn't display any hazard sign saying his vehicle was disabled?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The insurance companies will sort out who is at fault. Maryland is a contributory negligence state which means that if both parties are at fault, neither party can recover from the other.

Based upon your description of the facts, there is no question that your fiance was negligent. The issue is whether the other car was negligent for failing to put its hazards on and for stopping in the traveled roadway.

If your fiance has collision coverage, he should make a claim against his own insurance company. He should tell his insurance company what happened and encourage them to deny the claim of the other driver. Having said that, do not be surprised if they pay the claim.

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