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Waldorf, Maryland Auto Accident Lawyers: How Do I Prove My Auto Accident Case?

In Maryland, to prove your case in an auto accident you must prove that the other driver or other at-fault party was negligent. “Negligence” has a legal meaning under Maryland law and involves providing evidence sufficient to prove the four legal elements of negligence in Maryland. These elements are: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.

In this article, the highly respected and proven Waldorf, Maryland auto accident attorneys at the Law Office of Robert Castro discuss the four elements of negligence and also discuss some of the specific types of admissible evidence that can be used to prove each element. Proving your case in a Waldorf, Maryland car accident is legally complicated. It is not wise to try to “go it alone.” Our number is (301) 870-1200.

Duty and breach of duty

The two elements of duty and breach of duty are often proven together. The duties that are owed by drivers on Maryland roads are well known. The three most common duties cited in Maryland car accident cases are:

  • The duty of care — this means being careful and watchful for others on the road
  • The duty to obey traffic laws, rules and regulations — regulations are included to cover big rig trucks, for example, which must comply with extensive regulations about loading cargo, speed, turning, etc.
  • The duty to maintain a vehicle in a safe manner — for example, keep the brakes in good repair and have proper tires

Generally speaking, if a victim can show — with sufficient evidence — that the other driver was not being careful and/or violated some traffic law or regulation or was driving an unsafe vehicle, the victim has proven the first two elements of negligence.


Causation has a couple of parts. First, the first two elements — duty and breach — must be “linked up” to the cause of the accident. If it is shown that the other driver ran a red light, that must be shown to be the direct cause of the accident. As an obvious example, if the other driver ran the red light at 5th Street and Main, that will NOT prove negligence if the accident occurred at Elm Avenue and Oak Street.

The other part of causation is “connecting up” the accident with the injuries. Sometimes it is successfully argued and proven that some injury was caused by something else, like a back injury was really caused by a fall, not the accident. In general, an at-fault party is only legally liable to pay compensation for injuries (or damage) caused by his or her negligence. So, if an injury was caused by something else, then there is no liability.

Injury and/or damages

The final element of negligence is injury and/or damages. It is very very rare, but occasionally an accident causes no injuries and no damage to the vehicles. In those cases, there is no claim and no compensation is due even though one driver is at fault. But, as noted, an at-fault party is only legally liable to pay compensation for injuries (or damage) caused by his or her negligence.

However, nearly always, there is some injury or some damage to the vehicles or other personal property (like possessions in the automobile). A victim is entitled to FULL compensation for all injuries and damages.

Contact Waldorf, MD Personal Injury Attorney Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer at (301) 870-1200. We are Waldorf, MD Personal Injury lawyers. Our address is: 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.