This week, Maryland's highest Court heard arguments on the issue of whether Maryland should continue to have the doctrine of contributory negligence. Maryland is only one of a few states that has this doctrine. Under contributory negligence, if the wrongdoer was at fault but the jury finds that the victim was also at fault, than the victim gets nothing in the way of monetary compensation. So even if the wrongdoer is 99% at fault and the victim is found to be 1% at fault as well, the wrongdoer pays nothing.
Most states have comparative negligence where the jury determines the percentages of fault for both sides and a money judgment is reduced by the victim's percentage of fault.
The issue is being hotly contested and it remains to be seen which way the Court will go.
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