Walkers Unite, Maryland

As a resident of the state of Maryland, I hereby sign this petition to respectfully request a referendum to overturn the existing archaic contributory negligence law that currently exists in Maryland, one of only three other states in the Nation including Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia, that continues to use contributory negligence instead of comparative negligence.

This archaic rule of Old English Law from the 1800's, the contributory negligence law we currently have in the state of Maryland is quite harsh to pedestrians, including runners, leaving victims of accidents, young and old, who so much as wear black at night, walk or run on the shoulder of a road even when it has no sidewalk or continue to cross in a crosswalk after the light has started flashing without recourse even if hit by a texting, drunk driver. The victim's medical bills will not even be covered by the driver of the vehicle even if the driver is in the widest majority of fault, never mind receiving a punitive settlement.

Under the current rule, a pedestrian'sfailure to exercise due care which contributes even "one iota" to the accident makes for an absolute bar to any monetary recovery. Zero dollars.

With the other 47 states' more equitable rule of comparative negligence, which is what we are requesting, when both the accident victim and the driver of a vehicle contributed to a loss by failing to exercise the required degree of care, the fault is apportioned to the accident victim and the driver, so that the damages awarded to the accident victim are decreased in direct proportion to his or her own negligence. This is fair. For example, if the jury found that the pedestrian's damages amounted to $50,000 but felt that the pedestrian was 20% at fault for the accident, the jury award would be effectively $40,000 to the pedestrian.

I hereby sign this petition to request a referendum to overturn this archaic law, joining the 47 other states and change the state of Maryland to a comparative law state.

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