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Montgomery County officer injured in slippery crash

Many Maryland residents are on the road every day, driving, walking or biking to and from home, work and the grocery store. We often forget however the kind of danger that a vehicle may cause. Sadly, car accidents occur all too often and involve serious injury on many occasions. There are a surprising amount of variables that contribute to a car accident including negligent driving, hazardous road conditions and bad weather. Combinations of potentially all three of these factors lead to the injury of an off-duty Maryland police officer recently.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, last week a disabled bus idled on a Route 118 ramp. During this time, the bus somehow dispensed oil onto the ramp. As the rain poured down, the off-duty officer entered onto the ramp to assist the bus. Subsequently, another vehicle slid off the roadway and hit the officer and his police cruiser. The officer was treated at a nearby hospital shortly after impact. Two other accidents also occurred as a result of the hazardous oil and weather combination.

The state of Maryland has enacted laws to protect its citizens and visitors from dangerous car accidents. Speeding laws, stop signs and carefully constructed roadways all work to deter negligent driving and dangerous conditions. However, some incidents are out of the state's control. The unlikely combination of factors on Tuesday caused injury to the assisting officer and potentially harmed others. Further, if any party was personally negligent, he or she may be held liable for the injuries that resulted.

Police are still investigated all causes of the accident. If negligence is involved, the officer may bring a civil suit in Maryland court. Even if other variables contributed to the accident, if a court finds that a defendant's action were a substantial factor in causing injury, he or she will be obligated to monetarily compensate the injured party.

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a dangerous accident such as the one on Route 118 last week. However, if even one distracted decision or negligent move caused the crash, the negligent party should be held accountable.

Source: Gaithersburg Patch, "News Nearby: Off-Duty Officer Struck By Vehicle in Germantown," Tiffany Arnold, Oct. 3, 2012

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