Imagine getting maximum compensation (money): all of your medical bills paid, lost wages reimbursed, vehicle repaired/replaced and cash in your pocket after an accident, it’s possible by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to handle your claim properly.
By reading this article you’ll learn the process and best strategies to follow after an auto accident and how an auto accident lawyer can get you up to 3.5 more in your pocket after an accident.
We’ll lay out how and why you should hire a lawyer to represent you throughout your accident injury claim. Also, we’ll explain the injuries associated with a crash….keep reading to get the full picture.
If you’re ready to speak with a best personal injury lawyer now, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at 410.288.2900.
How a car accident lawyer can help you…
You never expect it will happen to you, but if you’ve been injured in an auto collision, the help of an experienced Maryland car accident attorney will make the process easier and ensure a better outcome in your claim.
No one ever plans for a traffic accident except paying insurance premiums for years. But, if you’re an unexpected victim, speak with our auto collision lawyers today for immediate legal help. There is no fee to take your case and we’ll fight to get you the money you deserve.
Unfortunately, they are events on Maryland roads and highways that can never be predicted and will not only ruin your day but may cause headaches for many weeks and possibly years to come.
Should I Hire a Lawyer after Car Accident?
Car accidents cause terrible injuries and deaths. Some accident victims hesitate to hire a lawyer even though a car wreck turned their lives upside down. They attempt to deal with the insurance company themselves. If you were hurt in a serious wreck, you should always ask the question “should I hire a lawyer after a car accident?”
Injured drivers and passengers have many good reasons to hire a lawyer after a car accident. Unfortunately, people nursing injuries don’t always think rationally after a wreck. They rush to contact the insurance companies and risk making mistakes that jeopardize their cases.
Increasing numbers of injured drivers and passengers are turning to attorneys, Insurance Journal noted. Half of the respondents to a survey hired a lawyer. Many of the respondents said they hired an attorney to get the highest payout possible.
One important point car accident lawyers always make to potential clients is there is no guarantee they will take on the case. Some accident cases are not serious enough to warrant an injury lawyer.
In others, the lawyer may decide you were to blame for the crash, or the case might not be within the attorney’s area of expertise. The attorney will often refer you to another lawyer who specializes in the area you seek.
Although injury lawyers don’t take on all cases, accident victims have nothing to lose by talking to an attorney. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we offer free and confidential personal injury consultations. We will tell you at an early stage whether we can accept your case.
When You Don’t Need to Hire a Lawyer after a Car Accident
No injuries occurred
You may not need the services of a Maryland personal injury lawyer if the accident involved only property damage. People become upset about the damage to their cars. We understand they might want to hire an attorney to give the driver who caused their accident a hard time.
However, insurance companies deal fairly quickly and efficiently with property damage cases. Car accidents victims are more likely to lose out when the accident led to an injury.
Before you conclude a wreck was property damage only, be sure you weren’t injured. Many injuries are not obvious from the outset. Injuries may take days or longer to become apparent.
Talk to a medical professional before ruling out injuries in your wreck. Be aware doctors can miss signs of conditions like a mild traumatic brain injury. An MRI often fails to show this injury.
You were at Fault
If you were even 1 percent responsible for a crash, you can’t make an injury claim under Maryland law. Blame is not always apparent at the time of an accident. Never assume you were to blame and never tell police or insurers it was your fault.
A personal injury lawyer will make a strong case that you were blameless if liability is disputed.
However, if you clearly caused the accident, the attorney is unlikely to take on your case. Don’t assume your case is impossible if a police officer has ticketed you. An attorney will fight to successfully overturn your citation in a traffic court.
The Potential Recovery is Small
You may not need an injury lawyer in Maryland when you suffer minor post car accident injuries like cuts and scrapes. The victims of many car accidents are shaken up but not hurt and don’t require time off work.
However, people who were involved in auto wrecks should be aware they can claim for conditions such as depression, sleeplessness caused by the wreck, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Many car accidents cause minor scratches and dents to older cars. Although bodywork repairs are not cheap, people involved in fender benders do not usually need to hire a lawyer.
In many other scenarios, car accident victims should hire lawyers and face losing out financially if they fail to do so.
When You Should Hire a Lawyer after a Car Accident
It’s advisable to hire a lawyer after a car accident with substantial injuries. The insurance companies are geared up for fast payments and use automated formulas.
Your needs are unlikely to be met if you suffered from complicated and on-going injuries. You should hire an advocate in these cases because the insurance company is not on your side.
There are numerous reasons why you might need an attorney including the following?
You Need to Know the Laws of Your State
Ignorance of the law is no excuse in a criminal case. Your ignorance of the law is unlikely to get you locked up in a civil case, but you stand to lose money you are entitled to.
People making a car accident claim in Maryland face an uphill battle. Maryland is one of just five pure contributory negligence states. Most other states have comparative negligence rules that can still allow compensation if you share some of the blame for the wreck.
In lay terms, contributory negligence means you will be unsuccessful in making a compensation claim if you were the smallest degree at fault for an accident. This is a brutal and archaic rule. Imagine the situation where a red light runner hits a driver at an intersection.
The accident victim saw the other car approaching but hesitated. Arguably, he didn’t get out of the way quickly enough to avoid a collision. Attorneys for the red light runner might argue the victim was 1 percent to blame for the accident. He might be barred from recovering money.
In a case like this, your injury lawyer can anticipate the other side’s argument and work out a strategy to give your case a better chance of success.
An attorney will clue you in on the rules of your state so as you are not manipulated by the insurance company or the other side’s lawyers.
When You Have Limited Time to Sue
Many people hire a lawyer when they are running out of time to sue over their car accident. Maryland has a three-year limitation on personal injury claims. People who wait for too long lose the right to sue.
If you are running out of time for your claim, talk to an injury lawyer to ensure no mistakes occur that will use up the rest of your time.
In Disputes About Liability
You should consult a lawyer when liability is an issue. If the insurance adjuster informed you the accident was your fault and you disagree, it makes sense to get a second opinion from a Maryland injury lawyer.
Insurance companies don’t always make the right call. An insurer’s decision on where blame lies can depend on the relative competence of the adjusters representing each side.
When Details are Complicated
People hurt in car accidents can file claim and lawsuits themselves but it takes considerable time and knowledge of procedures. Accident victims face many challenges in putting a figure on their injuries.
Although working out medical bills is straightforward, issues like future medical bills and pain and suffering require expertise. Accident victims who face the insurance company alone are like gunslingers in the Old West who go into a fight with one hand tied behind their back and one bullet in their gun.
The insurance companies have teams of experts and lawyers working on saving money for the insurer. Accident victims are on their own without a lawyer.
Numerous Parties Are Involved
When multiple people are involved in an accident, the scenario becomes more complicated. A claimant should consider talking to a lawyer when a case becomes a complex series of claims and counterclaims and numerous insurance companies are involved. Often it’s far too complicated for a car accident victims to wade through this kind of legal quagmire.
When You Need to Understand the Options
Insurance companies know people who make personal injury claims are often vulnerable and desperate. Car accident victims may miss work and lose money.
They face considerable hardship. Insurance companies realize this and dangle the carrot of fast cash. However, early offers are usually low offers. Accident victims may still be receiving medical treatment and be unaware of the extent of their injuries. A good reason to hire a lawyer after a car accident is to know your options.
The attorney will have an accurate idea about how much your injury is potentially worth. The attorney will tell you if an offer is unreasonably low or it’s a reasonable offer that you should consider.
A Maryland car accident lawyer can weigh up the advantages of fighting the insurance company hard and taking a case to trial against settling during a mediation hearing or earlier.
When Injuries are Serious and Long-Lasting
Serious injuries are complicated but some are more complicated than others. Brain injuries are particularly complex and confusing. They are not always obvious from the outset but can cause a range of problems including memory loss and mood swings, states Healthline.com.
Repeated studies show the more serious the injury, the more money you are likely to lose from dealing directly with the insurance company. If you suffer a fracture, a herniated disc, a head injury, a spinal injury, or serious psychological issues, you should hire a lawyer after a car accident.
Although you may not need a lawyer after a sprain, even whiplash injuries can be serious and cause ongoing pain and suffering. Never give up your right to hire an injury lawyer.
Call an Experienced Maryland Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we help many car accident victims every week. We have seen all of the possible scenarios and insurance company tricks. We have strategies for dealing with them.
Although you don’t need an injury lawyer in every case, it’s prudent to seek legal advice. Often an injury lawyer will see an important aspect to your case that you may have overlooked or a police officer failed to notice when compiling the accident report.
We can evaluate the insurance company’s offer and advise you on a strategy. Aim to talk to a personal injury lawyer soon after the accident rather than years later when memories are fading and you are running out of time. Please call us today for a free consultation at (410) 288-2900.
What are the Stages of a Car Accident Claim?
Most people have never been through the car accident claim process. Here are the 8 stages of a car accident claim and what you can expect if you you’re going through them:
- The Auto Accident
- Finding and Hiring the Best Lawyer for Your Claim
- Getting Medical Treatment for your Injuries
- Repairing or Replacing Your Automobile
- Making a Demand to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
- Negotiations With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
- Settlement of Your Accident Claim
- Filing a Lawsuit and Trial
We outline each stage on this page, what you need to know so you receive the maximum amount of damages for your claim. So, let’s get started with the accident itself and what you need to know.
What To Do After a Car Accident
The first hours, days and weeks after an accident may mean the difference between a successful claim or a long drawn out battle with the insurance companies.
What Should Your First Steps Be After an Accident
After you have been involved in a car accident, you may be flustered and not know what to do next. This is normal, as most people don’t prepare for the aftermath of an accident. There are several things that should be done immediately at the scene. First things first, never leave the scene of an accident.
After a Crash: Move to A Safe Area
According to the Esurance website, the first thing you should do is move to a safe area, if possible. This does not mean leave the scene, but it does mean move to the shoulder of the road or put on your hazard lights for oncoming traffic. Don’t try to direct traffic, There have been hundreds of situations where a person involved in the original accident was struck while trying to direct traffic. It is too risky, drivers passing the scene may be” rubber-necking” and not paying attention to you, causing a pedestrian accident and further injuries.
After a Collision: Check on Others and Call 911
After that, you should check on the other drivers involved and call 911. Even if the accident seems to be minor, a police report can be very helpful later on down the road for documentation purposes.
After Impact: Collect Evidence and Information
The next step should be to exchange information of all other drivers involved. Not only is this required for insurance purposes, but it can be helpful if a claim gets filed in court.
What Information You Should Collect at the Scene of the Crash
When you are gathering information, you want to remember not to leave anything out. This means collecting the following:
- Name of all other drivers and passengers
- Phone numbers for all parties involved
- Insurance information for all vehicles in the crash
- License plate and tag numbers
- Contact information of any witnesses (phone, email and address) – In many accident cases, witnesses are the difference between a successful claim and one where a judge or jury cannot decide who was at fault.
- Location of the accident (cross streets or street numbers)
- The responding officers’ names and badge numbers
Once you have collected all of this information, it will be important to bring it to your automobile accident lawyer. This information is pertinent to any claims that you and your car crash lawyer may file.
When you first speak to a vehicle collision lawyer, they will more than likely tell you to bring in any documents, photographs or records (i.e medical) that you have pertaining to the motor vehicle accident.
Any bit of information may help your car accident claim lawyer when assisting you in deciding what your next step should be. Collecting more evidence and facts closer to the date of the crash will prove beneficial in the long run.
What Information Should You Give Out
After an accident, you should be polite, but you should never admit fault. When collecting information be sure to never let the other driver take a picture of your license or registration.
You only need contact information of the other driver in an accident if the insurance and registration are not provided. When giving out information, you want to provide the other driver with the information that they need while also protecting yourself from possible identity theft.
So, if you have been in an accident, keep this information in mind, then call an auto accident attorney in Maryland.
After an Auto Accident: Document the Scene
Finally, be sure to document the scene. This means taking pictures of the cars and the surrounding roads. Once you have completed all of these steps you may begin to look for a motor vehicle accident attorney near you.
Baltimore Maryland Traffic and the Resulting Accidents
Baltimore traffic is some of the worst in the Atlantic region, with so many cars on the road and drivers trying to get to their destination, traffic accidents are inevitable. Click to view live Baltimore traffic conditions provided by WBAL 1090. Both of these sources show that during morning and afternoon rush hours, the roads and highways around Baltimore are packed with vehicles, which is when most accidents occur.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, in 2016 there was a total of 120,120 crashes in Maryland. Of those collisions, 34,682 crashes involved injuries and another 84,955 of the wrecks involved property damage.
Those statistics are overwhelming. Broken down, that means over 300 accidents occur each day in Maryland. If you have been unlucky enough to become a victim of a car crash, you probably have many questions.
However, you may not be sure who to ask them of or what to do next. Rather than typing your many concerns into Google, you should contact the best traffic accident lawyers around Baltimore and throughout Maryland.
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we are a car wreck compensation law firm that offers you a free consultation to talk about any concerns you may have and what should be the next steps.
Statistically speaking, about how many times in your life will you be involved in a collision?
Statistically speaking, you will file be involved in a collision once every 17.9 years of your life as a U.S. driver. The average life expectancy in America is 78.7 (rounded to 80 years old for this example).
If you begin driving at 16 years old, you have a statistical probability of getting into a collision by the time you reach the age of 40 years old. Then another accident by the time you are 52 and then another by the time you are 70 years old.
The last ten years of your life you won’t not drive as much, so your chances of being in a collision decrease. So, statistically speaking, you should be involved in 3 collisions during your life as an America.
Types of Auto Accidents in Maryland
When people hear “auto accident” most people’s minds jump right to car accidents or auto wreck. However, there are many other types of accidents that can occur on the road that will require an auto collision lawyer in Maryland. Some include:
- Tractor trailers
- Bus and Mass Transportation vehicles
- Pedestrian accidents
- Road rage accidents
If you have been involved in an accident involving any of these types of vehicles you need an injury lawyer in Maryland. Any of these accidents can be extremely dangerous and cause years of continued pain and grief.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, there were a total of 1,516 motorcycle crashes in 2016, 71 of which were fatal. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and are looking for a motorcycle accident attorney near you, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice.
Causes of Auto Accidents in Maryland
There are countless causes of auto accidents, including, distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, poor weather conditions and reckless driving. Some of these causes can be eliminated, meanwhile, some are inevitable.
No matter the cause, you need to speak to a vehicle crash lawyer. If someone was driving negligently and caused an accident in which you were injured, you deserve compensation. When considering who to hire, you need a good accident attorney, who will take the time to walk you through the process.
Types of Automobile Accidents
- Front end collisions
- Left turn accidents
- Rear end collisions
- Accidents while merging
- Low speed accidents
- Roll over
- T-Bone collisions
- Hit and Run
- Multi Car Wreck
All of these types of accidents can cause any number of injuries to yourself or damage to your car. No matter the impact, you need to call a vehicle accident claim lawyer.
Accidents can occur anywhere, including parking lots. Parking lot accidents are lumped into low speed accidents. These types of accidents are different from other types of auto accidents.
Low speed accidents typically occur at less than 25 miles per hour. At such low speeds, many people think that they couldn’t sustain serious injury or damage. But that is simply not true. If you have been in a low speed accident, contact an automobile accident lawyer.
Who Do You Call When You Get in a Car Accident?
When know you have a lot questions about what to do if you get in a car accident, like: Who do you call? We’ve put together this list of calls you should make after a vehicle accident.
Should You Call the Police After an Auto Accident?
The first call should be to emergency services, 911, if you have been in an auto accident. Notifying the police is imperative to ensure information is collected and exchanged.
Do I Call My Own Insurance Company After The Crash?
Yes, you should contact your insurance company if you’ve been in an accident. They may turn out ot be your best friend when dealing with the repair or replacement of your vehicle. You’ve spent years paying premiums for your auto insurance, it’s time to use it. They can expedite the process of getting your car repaired or replaced if the other driver’s insurance company is dragging their feet.
How Long Have You Got To Make a Claim after an Accident?
In Maryland, you have three years to make a personal injury claim after a car accident. The state has a three-year statute of limitations. If you fail to bring a claim within 36 months of the wreck, you will lose your right to sue the driver responsible. You should consider this when deciding when to get an attorney for an accident.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Police Report after a Car Accident?
In Maryland, you must call 911 and call the police immediately to report an accident in the following situations:
- Any party to the accident is injured or killed;
- An unattended vehicle or property is hit in the wreck, and the owner cannot be located;
- A vehicle cannot be safely moved from the scene;
- A drunk driver is involved;
- The accident is a hit and run;
- A driver refuses to exchange information;
- A domestic pet is hit.
The police in Maryland don’t normally investigate a car wreck that results solely in property damage. There is no need to contact them or file a report in this case. However, the law requires you to move off the highway, if safe to do so, and exchange information with the other parties involved in the wreck. If neither is possible, you must contact the police.
How Many Hours after a Car Accident can you File a Claim?
Although there are no restrictions on making a claim, it’s prudent to wait until the extent of your injuries is known before making a claim. The full extent of medical bills will not be apparent until your medical treatment has stopped.
However, it makes sense to hire top rated personal injury lawyer Maryland residents count on early in the process so the attorney can take over your dealings with the insurance company and prepare the claim. You have a legal duty to cooperate with your own insurance company.
Most insurance companies require their policyholders to promptly report every car accident so as they can gather basic information. Failure to provide information to your insurance company in a timely manner can lead to a loss of coverage for the accident. However, you should avoid making statements about who was to blame for the accident and merely relate the facts of the accident as they happened. Talk to an attorney before you give any information to the other driver’s insurance company.
Maryland Vehicle Accident Statistics
|Year||Total Fatalities||Drivers Involved||Passenger Vehicles|
In the above table, you can see the breakdown of total car accident deaths, plus the number of vehicle drivers involved and the total amount of passenger vehicles involved. Looking at the total accident data, there has been a large decrease of 139 of total accident fatalities, which is a 27.09% drop. This is very encouraging!
Total Traffic Accident Fatalities in Baltimore County by Year (2011-2015):
- 2011: 72 fatalities out of 485 MD State-wide Total = 14.8% of state total
- 2012: 68 fatalities out of 511 MD State-wide Total = 13.3% of state total
- 2013: 12 fatalities out of 465 MD State-wide Total = 2.6% of state total
- 2014: 64 fatalities out of 442 MD State-wide Total = 14.5% of state total
- 2015: 69 fatalities out of 513 MD State-wide Total = 13.5% of state total
What are the most common types of car accidents in Baltimore, Md?
- Rear-end collisions car accidents – one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle.
- Single vehicle crashes – car accident that involve only one motor vehicle.
- T-Bone or side-impact cross traffic – auto accidents when one car impacts the side panel of the victim car.
- Front or head-on collisions – one of the most deadly accident, two cars strike the front.
- Side-swipe accidents – when one car runs into the side of another car, usually when entering a highway from a merge or leaving their lane.
- Low-speed crashes (fender benders)
- Clipping from merging in a crash
- Vehicle roll-overs
- Multi-vehicle car collisions
- Hit and Run Accidents – accidents when the at fault driver leaves the scene after the crash.
The car collision itself is merely the start of an often lengthy process of sorting out who is responsible for what and who is entitled to be compensated by whom.
It’s a process that involves the police, other drivers and passengers, multiple insurance companies and their adjusters, and, if you really want to protect yourself, an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney.
For many losses, your own insurer is the first place to look for recovery. For example, property damage to your vehicle is payable by your own insurer, which then looks to recover the same amount from the insurer of the driver at fault.
Physical injuries caused by an uninsured (unknown or phantom) driver falls under the uninsured motorist coverage of your own policy. An experienced car accident attorney can also help you in these instances if your insurer decides not to pay or unreasonably delays payment.
Alcohol Impaired Fatality Statistics in Maryland (2006-2015)
- 2006: 189 fatalities
- 2007: 178 fatalities
- 2008: 145 fatalities
- 2009: 165 fatalities
- 2010: 154 fatalities
- 2011: 161 fatalities
- 2012: 163 fatalities
- 2013: 137 fatalities
- 2014: 130 fatalities
- 2015: 159 fatalities
The number of fatalities from 2015 had an increase of 29 fatalities compared to the numbers from 2014. Looking at 2015 compared to 2006 data, we are seeing a decrease in the number of deaths by 30, which is an 18.86% improvement.
First Steps to Take after an Auto Accident
When you have been involved in a car accident the first thing that you should do is seek help or treatment for anyone involved in the accident by calling 911. Once you ensure that help is on the way and no one needs immediate treatment, then you should gather and swap information with the other vehicles involved.
When collecting the information, it is crucial to take pictures and document the damage to all vehicles. These steps, if taken, will ensure that everyone has the information they need and can help move along the litigation and claim process.
However, there are also steps that should not be taken after a car accident. The main no-no is don’t leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive or swapping information with the other drivers.
Leaving the scene of the accident is a crime and can lead to many issues with the law and possible assessment of points on your driving record.
You also should not speak to any insurance companies about settling without first discussing your situation with an experienced Baltimore attorney. After the accident, you should contact an attorney at law to discuss the possible outcomes and options of your case.
Accidents in Parking Lots
If you have been involved in an accident in a parking lot, fear not, you are not alone. Parking lot accidents are common, but luckily normally occur at a lower speed.
Parking lot car accidents are treated in the same manner as an accident on the road. However, oftentimes in parking lot accidents pedestrians are involved.
When determining who is at fault in these types of accidents one will look to see if the driver was at fault and whether the pedestrian was negligent therefore contributing to the accident.
For more information about car accidents and how to handle them, visit one of these pages:
- 10 Things to Do After a Car Accident
- How much do personal injury lawyers charge?
- Baltimore Auto Accident Lawyer
- Urgent Steps to Take After a Car Accident
- How to Avoid a Crash With a Snow Plow
Driving Under Dangerous Road Conditions
Not all accidents are the fault of a driver. In some cases, the dangerous condition of the roadway itself causes an accident. In those accidents, compensation for injuries may be recovered from the person who caused the dangerous condition, or from whoever is responsible maintaining the road in a safe condition.
These cases tend to be considerably more difficult than the traditional “negligent driver” cases.
Vehicle Defects can be a major factor in auto accidents
Here are some of the most common types of car defects that can cause injuries or death on the road:
- Faulty Brakes
- Tire Defects
- Steering Wheel or System
- Airbag Defects
- Seatbelt Failures
- Electrical or Wiring
- Accelerator Controls
- Child Safety Equipment
If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident because of one of the above situation, you could be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer. For more information about product liability, visit our defective products page and contact us for a free case evaluation.
Hiring the best auto accident lawyer can make the difference between a successful claim and one that drags on for years, not realizing the maximum compensation. We have answered some of the most common questions we hear from clients when they are searching for a lawyer.
Should You Contact an Attorney after a Car Accident?
After your accident you may be asking yourself “Do I need a traffic accident lawyer for the insurance claim?” Or you may be wondering when the best time to get a lawyer for a car accident is?
Well, getting a lawyer for a automobile accident will help protect your rights. Whether you are injured or there is simply damage to your car, talking to an auto claim attorney about possible damages can help increase your chances of getting the actual compensation you deserve.
When Should You Seek the Help of a Car Accident Lawyer Maryland victims trust
So, when should you get a lawyer for a road traffic collision? As soon as possible. The quicker that you talk to a vehicle crash lawyer about your damages, the sooner you can begin to recover those damages.
Now, you may be thinking, the insurance company has already offered me a lump sum of money, so do I need a lawyer for a car accident settlement? The answer is still yes. You should never accept money from any insurance companies until you have talked about your options with a Maryland auto accident attorney.
Trust the auto accident attorneys Baltimore residents rely on when they want to file an accident claim and receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.
Once you hire an attorney for an accident claim, you may still have questions. Such as, how to talk to the new personal injury lawyer.
This task is easy, when you talk to any lawyer that deals with car accidents, you should be upfront and honest about what happened before, during and after the accident. Talking to a traffic accident lawyer involves having a discussion about what your damages were and how we can help you.
If you are looking to hire an auto accident defense lawyer, the same candid truth should still be offered. An accident defense attorney will still need all pertinent information to defend you in a road accident case.
So, whether you need a car crash lawyer near you that practices in personal injury or defense, the Law Offices of Randolph Rice should be your first call.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Maryland Auto Accident Attorney
If you’re still wondering is it good to get a lawyer for a car accident, here are some benefits of hiring an auto accident lawyer near you. We help victims ensure that they’re getting fair compensation for their injuries or property damage.
It can be hard to put a dollar figure on some injuries. However, an experienced road traffic accident claim lawyer will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. A Maryland accident attorney will also help you to collect and preserve the evidence needed to pursue your claim.
Our auto accident lawyer will walk you through what documentation to collect and other important accident evidence to maintain. Hiring a collision lawyer near you also means that we will be available to you whenever a question or concern arises.
Accident Lawyers in Downtown Baltimore
You typically want to hire an auto accident lawyer that is convenient for you to get to for all meetings and when you need to talk to your lawyer. Some victims will search for accident lawyers in downtown Baltimore. But this may not be in your best interest, as there is limited parking and accessibility to their offices. Most lawyers’ offices in downtown Baltimore are surrounded by other office buildings, with limited parking that may cost you up to $14.00 an hour to pay to park.
As an example, each of our offices have ample parking and are easy to access for the Baltimore beltway and I-95. So, when you have to stop by your lawyer’s office or drop off a document or if you just want to pop in and ask a questions, it may take you twice as long to get in and out of a lawyer’s office if it is located in downtown Baltimore.
Accident Attorney Fees – Car Accident Lawyer Baltimore Md.
Auto accident personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency basis. This means that the client pays nothing up front and there are no car accident attorney fees unless the case is successful.
Upon receiving a verdict or settlement in an accident case, an auto accident attorney will take a reasonable percentage of the amount paid. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we are a law office near you that offers free auto accident consultations to come in and talk to us about your case.
How much are car accident lawyer fees?
The price of a car accident lawyer will ultimately vary depending on a number of factors. Lawyers will charge different prices for similar services, and it is ultimately up to you to decide which car accident lawyer will do the best job to ensure that you win your personal injury case. If you have questions about car accident lawyer fees, speak with one of our experienced counselors today.
When Should I Call an Auto Crash Claim Lawyer?
Should you call an auto accident lawyer as soon after the accident to help protect you and for guidance on what to do next. Lawyers that represent individuals injured in auto accidents have experience in dealing with the insurance companies and maximizing the compensation you may receive for the injuries and claim. Their counsel will also make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and refer you to a medical professional for any lingering injuries.
Car Accident Lawyer No Injury
Do you need a car accident lawyer if there is no injury. typically no, you do not need to hire a lawyer if there is no physical injury. Since there is no injury there is no basis to file a claim.
You may still need to hire a lawyer if there is property damage, but you will typically have to pay a lawyer an hourly fee to pursue a property damage claim. This is because the court will only order payment for the actual value of the damaged property.
If the damage to vehicle is $5,000, then the most you could recover from the other driver’s insurance company is $5000, which means you would have to pay the lawyer a contingency fee of 33%-40%. This would mean you would not get the full value of the car that you needs to be fixed or replace.
Therefore, when there is no injury any only property damage, you could end up spending your own money to hire a lawyer.
Another option would be filing a claim with your insurance company to fix the vehicle by paying the deductible.
Best Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
How do you find the best car accident lawyer near me? A quick Google search will provide a map pack or a group of three lawyers or law offices near you that provide the legal services you need. Be careful in selecting an auto accident lawyer that is near you through this process. You may find a traffic crash lawyer that is “near me” but not necessarily the best lawyer for your claim.
We discuss how to find the best car accident lawyer on this page and it is not often the closest or the “near me” option.
Do you have to pay lawyers if they lose?
Again, this depends on the lawyer. It is a common practice, however, to only charge a client in the event of a legal victory. So yes, some lawyers will not require payment in the face of a loss, but this is more related to their personal business practice than any legal code and will vary from law office to law office.
When a lawyer does not charge a client for their services until a victory is attained, it is called serving them on a contingency basis. Lawyers hired on a contingency basis agree not to seek payment until there is a victory in hand.
However, when you hire a lawyer on a contingency basis, you may be required to pay a contingency fee for the time that you use their services.
What is the lawyer contingency fee average?
When paid on a contingency basis, a lawyer will not require any attorney’s fees. However, contingency fees are common in this situation. Paying a contingency fee means that you will pay your lawyer or legal team a percentage of your settlement money if you win your personal injury case.
On average, contingency fees range from twenty five to forty percent of the settlement. Just over thirty three percent is typically considered the standard contingency fee, but much of a how a contingency fee is determined will depend on the state that you live in and that the accident occurred in.
The amount that you will receive in a settlement will vary based on the rules of the state you live in as well as the details of the car accident itself.
When to Get an Attorney for an Accident in Maryland
When to get an attorney for an accident in Maryland is one of the first questions many people who have been involved in car, truck, pedestrian, or motorcycle wrecks often ask. However, your first consideration after an auto accident should be whether you are injured and if you require immediate medical attention.
In the hours and days after a crash, the question of whether to hire a Maryland car accident injury lawyer becomes more pressing. You may have already spoken to your insurance company or the other side. You may even have been offered money to settle.
It’s usually a serious mistake to rush to settle a car accident with injuries. If you are still receiving medical treatment, the costs of the accident will not yet be apparent. People involved in an accident are often unsure where to turn to for advice.
There are also often serious medical consequences of an accident that are not apparent from the outset. Some motorists who have suffered brain injuries may not be diagnosed for weeks. Often medical professionals miss the signs of a brain trauma.
It’s only when you start behaving differently, or your family notices cognitive changes that the telltale signs of a brain injury become evident. This kind of injury can impact your life and your job and may lead to a large payout from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
If you have substantial injuries, it makes sense to talk to a personal injury lawyer, rather than taking your chances with the insurance company. If you escape with scratches and bruises or are in a fender bender, you may not need to hire a lawyer.
A free consultation with our Baltimore car accident lawyers can help you at a difficult time in your life and provide a clearer path forward. Here are some questions and answers related to the hiring of an attorney for an accident in Maryland.
Do You Need a Lawyer after a Car Accident?
Although there is no obligation to hire a lawyer after a car accident in Maryland, it makes sense to talk to an attorney if you sustain significant injuries due to the fault of another driver. If you are agonizing about when to get an attorney after an accident, talk to us. Dealing with an insurance company can be daunting and the top priority of an insurance company is their bottom line. A personal injury lawyer will fight for you to get the most for your injuries.
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we fight for all of our clients every day. We are aware of how to achieve results that favor our clients by being great advocates for their interests.
Our personal injury attorneys have handled hundreds of car accident cases and are adept at dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf. Please contact us today.
Related Reading: Reasons a personal injury lawyer will not take your case.
Car Accident Lawyers Maryland Drivers Have Used to Help Get the Money They Deserve
When should you hire a car accident lawyer? Sooner rather than later. The insurance companies for the other drivers are preparing to defend their insured, shouldn’t you have someone on your side. As trusted car accident lawyers, we know what it takes to win a personal injury claim. Trust us to help you and ensure a fair outcome after your crash.
How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer after a Car Accident?
Maryland has a three-year statute of limitations to bring a claim for a personal injury. This means you must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident, or you will lose the right to make a claim.
We do not recommend victims of car accidents wait until the three years has almost elapsed. Gathering evidence becomes increasingly difficult with the passage of time and witnesses forget important details about the incident. By getting an attorney for an accident in Maryland soon after the incident, a lawyer can gather evidence promptly.
The attorney will ensure issues like a rental car and a property damage claim are handled promptly. He or she will also get statements from witnesses, photographs from the scene and talk to police officers who attended.
In some accidents such as big truck wrecks or crashes involving railroads, a corporation will mobilize a powerful legal team to gather evidence and fight a potential claim from the onset. It’s vital to hire a lawyer in these cases to level the playing field.
An attorney can also help make sure correct medical attention is obtained from reputable doctors who can testify at a trial if necessary. The lawyer will be able to call on expert witnesses and have an idea of the potential value of the case and where to tap sources of insurance.
How Much Does a Lawyer Charge for a Car Accident?
The way an attorney charges for services in a car accident case is different from in most other areas of law in which an hourly rate is charged.
In personal injury cases, lawyers typically charge a contingency fee. The attorney’s fee is taken out of the final settlement or verdict to the client. This is also known as ‘no win, no fee.’ If an attorney does not obtain a financial recovery for a client, the attorney does not get paid.
The contingency fee ranges across the country from 25 to 40 percent of proceeds. One-third is fairly standard. If, for example, you recover, $150,000 in a car accident, the attorney would take $50,000. Some attorneys may take a larger contingency fee if a case goes all the way to trial. Often the fee rises to about 40 percent if the case goes to a jury trial.
The contingency fee model means a personal injury lawyer may be unwilling to take certain cases such as where liability for an accident is not clear-cut.
Most personal injury law firms, including the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, give free initial personal injury consultations to prospective clients.
Should I get an attorney after a car accident?
Particularly for those who have never experienced legal problems or issues and have therefore never been exposed to the legal world, deciding whether or not to seek legal counsel can be a difficult and somewhat confusing choice. Fortunately, there are some questions that the victim of a car accident can ask themselves when deciding whether or not to hire a car accident attorney when filing a personal injury claim.
First, you should consider the seriousness of the accident. If it was a relatively minor accident with relatively minor injuries sustained, you will most likely be able to argue a claim on your own. However, in the case of a more serious accident, legal counsel is advisable.
Legal counsel is also advisable if you are unsure whether or not you are liable in any way for the accident. A car accident lawyer can help you to determine who is at fault for the accident, and whether or not your injuries were caused by your own actions or by the other driver’s.
It is also ideal to hire a car accident lawyer if you are unsure how to evaluate you claim. Though there are many personal injury calculators online, even those can be difficult to navigate if you do not have idea where to begin. Talking face to face with a lawyer can be ideal in these circumstances regardless, as you can explain the nuances of your case, whereas this is often impossible when plugging information into an online calculator.
Many people choose to hire a car accident lawyer simply because they do not feel comfortable arguing their own case. For those with social anxiety, negotiating their own case could be detrimental to their overall mental health, potentially making it even more difficult to recover from the mental and physical injuries that were sustained in the crash.
Do You Have To Pay a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Lose Your Case?
Typically, personal injury lawyers operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means you will not face legal costs if you lose your case.
If your personal injury lawyer operates on a contingency basis that means he or she only gets a percentage or portion of the money, the plaintiff wins or recovers. The lawyer usually gets nothing if the plaintiff doesn’t win and the injured party will not have to pay the attorney.
Always be clear about the payment methods to your attorney at the case sign up.
What Percentage Do Lawyers Take from Winning a Case?
The amount lawyers will ask for in their contingency fee varies. Always read the small print and be clear how much the attorney will take at the start of the case.
In the majority of cases, a personal injury lawyer will receive 33.33 percent (equating to one third) of any settlement. For example, if you receive an offer of $60,000 from the at-fault driver who caused the wreck or his insurance company in your case, you will receive $40,000 and your lawyer will receive $20,000.
Usually, attorneys will have a clause in the contract that their contingency fee will increase if a case goes to trial. Personal injury trials are costly and time-consuming. Typically, a contingency fee will rise to about 40 percent in trials.
Contact a Maryland Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you’re looking for the best car accident lawyer in Maryland, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. We’re the Maryland accident lawyers that you need. We have the experience it takes to win cases. Call today for a free consultation from a Maryland traffic accident attorney. We have two office locations throughout Maryland. So, if you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Maryland, give us a call.
Medical Consequences of Car Accidents
In 2012 crash injuries totaled $18 billion in lifetime medical costs. Over $33 billion of lifetime work was lost because of 2012 crash injuries. When you are injured in an auto accident there is no telling what injuries you may have sustained. However, there are some common injuries resulting from car accidents:
There are many types of head injuries such as concussions and skull fractures. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can result in either short term or long-term memory loss. A skull fracture is a break in the cranial bone and can have a variety of symptoms such as swelling and bleeding. Head injuries can be life-threatening, and the symptoms can stay linger for life.
Neck and back injuries
Neck and back injuries encompass a wide variety of injuries from whiplash to herniated disks. Whiplash is the most common type of injury because it is caused by the sudden jolt causing your neck to snap. Whiplash is injury to the neck and is characterized by a number of symptoms such as neck pain, headaches and shoulder pain.
When we talk about physical injuries, we mean contusions, lacerations, and abrasions. A contusion, also known as a bruise, is injured tissue or skin, in which a blood vessel has been ruptured.
A laceration is a deep cut or tear in the skin. Lacerations can occur on any part of the body and can occur from things like glass shattering upon impact. Essentially an abrasion is a scrape of the skin. All of these physical injuries can cause pain and can all very in severity.
If you have suffered from any injuries at all you need to talk to an auto accident attorney. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we handle personal injury auto accident cases. When you are injured you want the best car injury lawyers around. We have the experience it takes to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Long Do You Have to Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident?
This is a common question asked by client after their car accident. Most car accidents result in some bodily injury.
Most individuals will seek medical attention right after an accident, but a fair number will have to see a doctor for weeks and even months after the accident.
The length of treatment with a doctor is not set in stone and is determined by the doctor and the seriousness of the injuries. Certainly, the more serious the injuries, the longer the victim will have to go to a doctor after an accident.
How much would the at fault driver have to pay for a victim who was severely injured in the crash?
The at fault driver would not pay for the victim’s injuries, but the at fault driver’s insurance company would pay for any injuries. The at-fault driver would have to pay for injuries is the damages exceed the insurance policy limits.
The amount of damages will depend on the amount of medical bills and the pain and suffering incurred by the victim in a crash. If you have questions about exact damages, contact a car accident lawyer in your area to determine how much would the at fault driver have to pay for a victim who was severely injured in the crash.
What Kind Of Injuries Can Happen In A Car Accident?
Unfortunately, car accidents are not uncommon and can be caused by any number of things, from distracted driving to inclement weather. While some car accidents are nothing more than an inconvenience, there can be serious consequences from more severe consequences, which often result in serious injury or even loss of life.
There are a number of different types of injuries that are likely to be sustained during a car accident, and it is important to seek medical attention even if you feel that your injuries are not particularly severe. Below you’ll find a list of the most common injuries caused by car accidents and some information about each category.
Neck Injuries After an Auto Accident in Baltimore Maryland
Neck injuries are one of the most common types of injury to occur in an accident and they can range from minor to life threatening. Whiplash is one of the less serious of potential neck injuries, and is caused by the sudden jerking movements that often occur throughout an accident.
Neck strain is another painful but relatively minor condition often seen in car accident victims. Some people will also suffer from temporary paralysis of their vocal cords. While this is not a long term condition, it can be debilitating in the short term.
In the event of any neck injury, the car accident victim should seek medical attention, even if the injury is believed to be minor. This is because serious neck injuries can be life altering and even life threatening. A damaged spinal cord, for instance, is possible in the event of a car accident and should be treated immediately to avoid permanent damage.
Head Injuries in Car Crashes
Like neck injuries, head injuries should always be taken seriously in the aftermath of a car accident. Many people are fortunate and suffer only from minor cases of concussion after a car accident, but the potential for more serious damage is there in many cases.
When a high speed collision occurs, drivers and passengers are likely to strike their head against the dashboard. In the best scenarios, the damage is minor but bleeding in the brain is possible, as well as traumatic brain injury. Victims of serious car accidents often deal with lasting cognitive effects such as short term memory loss.
Because an injury to the brain is not always immediately evident, it is again important for all involved in a car accident to be assessed by a medical professional in order to rule out serious injury.
Brain injury can be present even if no outward injuries are, as any jostling of the brain within the skull can cause internal bruising and bleeding on the brain. Brain injuries should always be taken seriously and acted on as quickly as possible to limit the number of lasting effects.
The spinal cord plays a crucial role in the seriousness of back injuries, much as it does for neck injuries. Back injuries, like all injuries sustained in a car accident, can be mild or severe.
Back injuries tend to originate from the torque placed on the bodies of passengers and driver alike during the car accident, and can range from a sprain, which is painful and inconvenient but typically not life threatening, or a fracture.
Nerve damage is also common when damage to the spinal cord occurs and can even lead to difficulties with the use of the patient’s hands and feed. Other common back injuries include herniated and bulging discs, which can also lead to a tingling feeling or loss of sensation in the extremities.
Many back injuries are not felt in the initial aftermath of a car accident, and many people refuse the hospital visit because they are under the impression that they are uninjured. However, while back injuries tend to be less serious than neck injuries, they can have significant medical complications and should be assessed as soon as possible after they are sustained.
Chest Injuries Incurred in Auto Crash
Though seatbelts are linked directly to saving lives in the event of a car accident, they can often lead to injury. Though they can cause injury, a seatbelt should still always be worn, as any injury that is sustained is often far less serious than the injuries that would have occurred without it.
The main injury caused by seatbelt use is bruising in the chest. This is caused when the seatbelt constricts during the accident to keep both driver and passengers as safely in place as possible. This can also lead to bruised or broken ribs.
However, if a person involved in a car accident has a history of heart related problems, they are considerably more likely to suffer from a cardiac arrest during or shortly after the accident and should be closely monitored and tested.
There is also the chance, in cases of blunt force trauma, of internal bleeding or even a punctured lung. In these cases, diagnostic imaging tests like a CT scan or an MRI are often deemed necessary.
Crush Injuries in Serious Car Collisions
Crush injuries occur when part of the body becomes trapped underneath part of the car. Typically, legs or arms are involved. These crush injuries are typically serious and will often require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy to get the limb in full working order again.
In many cases, full function of the affected limb is never attained. In some instances, a crush injury will lead to the amputation of an arm or a leg.
Facial Injuries And Soft Tissue Damage
Injuries that occur to the face or other soft tissues are extremely common in the event of a car accident. Many car accident victims receive considerable lacerations to their face along with other body parts.
While these lacerations are typically not life threatening, they can lead to permanent scarring and may even require skin grafts to fully heal.
Soft tissue and muscle damage is another common injury sustained, and if damage is sustained near a joint or important muscle group, movement in that area may be permanently impeded.
Psychological Injury and Mental Healthy Affects
Car accidents can often have lasting psychological events, particularly in accidents that resulted in loss of life in at least one party. Many survivors of car accidents deal with survivor’s guilt alongside PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
These sometimes long lasting effects can impede the day to day life of the car accident victim, making it hard for them to get back out on the road, both as a driver and as a passenger.
Depression is also not uncommon, particularly for those who suffered serious injury and changes to their lives, such as victims of traumatic brain injury or even a spinal cord or neck injury.
Many car accident victims find that they are not able to continue attending school or must take off work for a period of time. For many people, this can lead to a pronounced clinical depression.
Fortunately, seeking out the treatment of a licensed clinical therapist and even a psychiatrist can be hugely helpful to those who struggle mentally in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident.
A psychiatrist is likely to prescribe antidepressants or anti anxiety medication to car accident victims to help them to deal with some of the more severe mental effects, while a clinical therapist will work with the victim to get to the root of their fears.
Exposure therapy is sometimes used, but is not appropriate for every case. Many of these patients will stay in therapy for years to come, even after they have developed healthy coping mechanisms.
Car accidents are all too common and all too preventable. In fact, many of the car accidents that occur every single day could have easily been stopped, as many have been linked to driving while distracted (typically by an electronic device such as a cell phone) or to driving under the influence. Driving in severe weather is another common cause of car accidents, as severe weather can all too easily lead to extremely reduced visibility.
No matter their cause and no matter the severity, car accidents can have a lasting effect on all that go through them. From spinal cord injuries to facial lacerations, many people must seek extended medical care in order to fully recover from an accidents. Many are also understandably emotionally scarred, and seeking out therapy is frequently recommended to car accident victims.
Car accidents, no matter if they are small or large, are highly likely to have a lasting effect on the victims. Survivor’s guilt along with PTSD are common, as well as physical injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, and lacerations. More serious injuries are also considered common in the event of a car accident, like internal bleeding and even cardiac arrest.
How Long Does it Take To Feel the Effects of Whiplash?
Symptoms of whiplash usually appear within 24 hours after the incident that caused the injury, states Healthline.com. On occasions, symptoms may develop after a few days. They can last for several weeks. It’s typical for people who have been involved in accidents not to feel the full effects of whiplash at the wreck scene.
Can you get PTSD from a Car Accident?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with soldiers returning from war zones. However, research is increasingly linking it to car, truck and motorcycle accidents.
The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs notes researchers are now looking more closely at car crashes as a common cause of traumatic stress.
In one leading study, auto accidents emerged as the traumatic event most frequently experienced by a quarter of men and the second most frequent traumatic event experienced by 13 percent of women in the United States.
Symptoms of PTSD after a car accident include anxiety issues, flashbacks and disturbing memories. You are entitled to claim for PTSD under pain and suffering in the aftermath of a Maryland car wreck.
Soft Tissue Injuries as a result of a car collision
Soft tissue injuries are the most common after an accident. Soft tissue damages or injuries refers to damage done to muscles, tendons and ligaments in the body.
This is different that a broken bone or traumatic brain injury. Soft tissue injury is treated by a doctor and physical therapist or chiropractor.
The treatment includes muscle stimulation, stretching, ice and heat application, exercise, and rest. Soft tissue injury treatment varies, but can be resolved by a medical professional within one (1) to three (2) months.
What If There Are No Injuries Sustained in the Auto Crash?
You may be wondering, what can I recover if I didn’t sustain any injuries from the accident. Just because you don’t have any injuries, you still need a lawyer.
Talking to a non injury car accident attorney will help ensure that you receive a fair settlement. For many people their car is their only form of transportation. This means that if they are not fully reimbursed, they are not able to buy a new car to replace the one that was damages in the accident. So just because you were not damaged, you may still be eligible for a non injury fender bender settlement.
Medical Bills After an Accident
Whether it’s a soft tissue injury or you’ve sustained broken bones, you shouldn’t have to pay for those medical expenses. Someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused you to visit the doctor or hospital. In addition, you may be required to attend physical therapy or be subjected to an X-ray or MRI.
How Many Days Do You Have To Go To the Doctor after a Car Accident?
There is no set rule on how long you should wait to see a doctor after a car accident, but the rule of thumb is the sooner the better. Not only should you get injuries treated right away but if you delay over a week, the other driver’s insurance company will argue your injuries were not very serious.
Most professionals advise going to the emergency room or your family doctor immediately. You should never wait longer than 72 hours after an accident.
The 72-hour figure is regarded by professionals and insurance companies as the “reasonable” amount of time to get medical documentation of your injuries. After this time, the insurance company may deny your injury claim and prevent you from receiving the compensation you need. Delaying medical treatment may also undermine the case a personal injury lawyer will make on your behalf.
It is prudent to contact an attorney as soon as you start treating your injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage: It is worth getting?
You’ve probably got all the normal types of insurance: Medical, home, car, perhaps life. But there is one type of coverage that you might not be aware of: Personal injury protection. It’s not as well-known as the typical types of insurance, but it can prove just as important.
All insurance works by charging you a monthly premium and then paying out money when you file a claim. With health insurance, for instance, you pay money into your policy every month, and then the insurance company pays out if you have an injury or surgery that can’t be easily covered out-of-pocket.
Personal injury protection works in a similar way—but with a big difference: Personal injury protection pays you no matter who is at fault in the accident.
With or without liability, you get coverage with PIP
Most insurance doesn’t work this way. Your health insurance, for example, won’t pay for your friend’s surgery; your homeowner’s insurance won’t pay for a neighbor’s fire damage.
Personal injury protection, however, covers you whether or not the accident was your fault. This type of insurance is meant to ensure that you get the necessary funds to cover medical expenses resulting from a car wreck.
According to the state of Maryland’s motor vehicle administration, personal injury protection in this state “provides the benefits for medical, hospital and disability up to $2,500 for all reasonable expenses arising out of an accident.” This type of protection “provides benefits for you, any member of your family, and any non-family occupant of your vehicle.”
It might seem like a needless expense, given the fact that, on any given day, it’s unlikely that you’ll get into a car wreck. But personal injury protection is actually quite affordable: Upwards of $50 per month, with some plans costing even less.
Not many people have this type of coverage, or know about it, but it’s worth looking into. A few extra bucks a month for the security of thousands of extra dollars in coverage is a fairly easy trade-off, and can make the hassle of a car accident much easier to deal with.
It’s equally important that you be able to establish both that:
- The injuries were caused by the car accident; it can be tricky when you have had similar injuries from other accidents, or suffer additional injuries from an incident after the car accident, and
- How long the injuries are likely to last; this can also be tricky, especially for injuries to the brain or spine, or any injuries that that don’t become immediately apparent but develop and worsen over time
Property Damage Resulting From An Accident
Property damage most often means damage to the vehicle. After an accident, if your car is not drive-able, you may be wondering what options you have. A personal property damage attorney will walk you through the process post-accident.
Even if you are not injured, you will still have to talk to insurance companies about your property damage. You should not accept any compensation until you talk to a property damage lawyer near you.
How to Get Your Car Fixed After an Accident?
If you have recently been in an automobile accident, you probably want to get back on the road as quickly as possible. You also probably don’t want to pay more than you have to for the repairs. Follow the steps outlined in these frequently asked questions to ensure your vehicle is repaired quickly and cheaply.
Who is at fault?
First, you must determine who was at fault. This is arguably the most important step. Figuring out who is at fault impacts how the insurance coverage functions, assuming that all the drivers involved in the accident have insurance. Determining who was at fault can be tricky, but the best place to do it is at the scene of the accident. There may be witnesses around who saw the accident occur. If you are unsure of who is at fault, or there is dispute as to who is at fault, you might consider contacting a personal injury lawyer about a personal injury claim.
If another driver was at fault, then their insurance company is responsible for covering the costs of the damages, plus any additional damages to property in the vehicle. For example, your golf clubs or camping gear that were in your car at the time of the accident. Keep a running list of everything that was damaged and take lots of photographs. This will prevent any future dispute over what damage was done.
If you are at fault, you can typically use the collision coverage your insurance provides. You also have the option to pay for car repairs yourself and avoid filing a claim with your auto insurance company.
How do I get my vehicle repaired or replaced?
We understand that not having a vehicle can be devastating to your family and your ability to work. That’s why once you hire our office we immediately begin working on getting your vehicle fixed and getting you into a rental car as soon as possible.
Making a Claim in an Auto Crash
Regardless of who is at fault, you must report the accident to the insurance company within 24 hours of the accident. Depending on who was at fault, you can call the claim into the other party’s insurance company or your own insurance company. To file a claim you will need to describe the accident, the details of what occurred, and contact information for other involved parties. If the police came to the scene then the police report will be a crucial piece of the insurance claim.
Even if you weren’t at fault, you have the option of calling the accident into your own insurance company. This means you will be responsible for paying your insurance deductible but will also get your car fixed much quicker. Talk to your insurance agent about whether this is an option for you.
The insurance company will then open an investigation into the claim. You may be asked to provide more detailed information such as street names, any potential witnesses, and the names of doctors or health care providers that you saw for your injuries. You will also be asked about all the property damaged in the accident, such as other expensive items you might have had in your car at the time of the accident. This is where the initial list you made detailing the damages is helpful.
The insurance agents can answer any questions you might have about the claim process but expect for things to take a while. Insurance companies conduct thorough investigations into claims that are filed. If you need to get things fixed quickly, you can talk to the insurance company about paying for the costs up front and then submitting the receipt for reimbursement. Again, it is quicker to pay the deductible and go through your own insurance company even if you are not at fault.
Getting an Estimate
In order to get reimbursed for any damage that is done, you will need get an official estimate of how much the car will cost to repair. If the car is drivable, the insurance adjuster will probably ask you to bring it to the company’s inspection station. Some insurance companies do not have inspection stations, so they will ask you to get 2-3 different opinions from body shops. You can always take your car to a third-party body shop to get a second opinion.
If the car is not drivable, the insurance company will send someone out to estimate the amount of damage done. Your vehicle will be towed away from the scene of the accident. Make sure you communicate with the towing company, so you know where your car is being taken. Oftentimes vehicles will be towed to local auto body shops. Ensure that this auto mechanic is highly rated. Most insurance companies have relationships with local auto repair shops and they can refer you to one.
From here, the insurance company will give you an estimate of how much they are willing to pay for the damage done. They will pay the autobody shop directly. This may or may not be enough to cover all the damages. If you don’t agree with this estimate, you can file an appeal with the insurance company or contact an experienced lawyer to represent you in court.
Is your car totaled as a result of the accident?
If the costs of repairs exceed the total value of the car, then your car will be deemed a total loss. Insurance companies may decide your car is totaled if the estimated repair is 75% to 85% of the value of your car. While some states have laws that govern when a car is deemed totaled, the decision is typically up to the insurance company. Insurance companies want to avoid paying more for repairs than the vehicle is worth.
When your car is totaled, your insurer will pay you the current value of your car in exchange for the vehicle. Insurance companies evaluate a variety of factors when determining how much a vehicle is worth. Such factors include the vehicle’s age, condition, mileage and resale value, in addition to the selling price of similar vehicles in your area.
How long will it take to get your car repaired after the crash?
Many factors go into determining the length of time it will take to repair your vehicle. First and foremost, the insurance company has to process the claim and authorize the autobody shop to make the repairs. This can take anywhere from a few days to weeks. The amount of time it takes for the autobody shop to make the repairs depends on how many other cars are waiting to be repaired, the extent of damage done to your vehicle, and the make and model of your vehicle. Typically, minor auto body work takes a few days, internal automobile work can take up to a few weeks, and major repairs can take up to a month.
Do I have to get my car repaired after an accident in Baltimore, Md.?
Your car only sustained minor damage and is still drivable, so you are wondering if you have to get your car fixed. Maybe you don’t want to be without your vehicle or you don’t want to spend the insurance money on the repair. If you have a loan on your vehicle then your lender will most likely require you to get your repaired by a pre-certified autobody shop. This is because you do not own your vehicle outright, but you share the cost with the loan company. Owning your vehicle gives you much more flexibility in determining whether or not you are required to make the minor repairs.
Even if you own your vehicle, your insurance company might make you get your car repaired if you want to continue physical damage coverage. They will often make you prove that the repairs were made. Commonly, drivers who were at-fault for accidents want to avoid making repairs through their insurance company in fear that their insurance premiums will rise. If you are already paying for physical damage coverage, then this might decision might not be as cost effective as you think. Talk to your insurance agent about your options.
Repairing a vehicle after an accident can be an extremely stressful and confusing process. In short, you must first determine who is at fault. Regardless of who is at fault, you must file a claim with your insurance company. If you are not at fault, then the opposing party’s insurance company will pay for the damage, but your insurance company still needs to be a part of the process.
The amount of damage done to the vehicle needs to be estimated professionally. This can be done with an insurance adjuster or at an auto-body repair shop. Your car will then be repaired. Depending on the time it takes for the claim to be authorized and the extent of damage done to your car, the repairs can take up to a month. Communicate with your insurance company and the autobody shop about any concerns you may have about the timing of the repairs.
If you have additional concerns about who was at fault, who will pay for medical treatment, or why the insurance company is not paying the full amount of the repairs, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer today. You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim as a result of your accident. Most personal injury lawyers will provide you with a free consult regarding your potential personal injury claim.
How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?
It’s impossible to put a value on your injuries after a car crash in Maryland because there are too many variables.
Pain and suffering is likely to be the element that results in the largest chunk of your award. However, there is a major subjective element to pain and suffering when these damages are considered by a court.
Some of the big insurance companies use a formula to calculate pain and suffering. Companies like Allstate use a computer program. Typically, these programs will provide a pain and suffering figure that’s at the low end of the spectrum. Insurance companies also typically multiply the total of medical bills by a number between 1.5 and 5 to calculate pain and suffering. This is called a multiplier. If your injury is of a serious nature, your personal injury lawyer will make a case for a higher multiplier.
Another method used by insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering is called the “per diem” or “per day” method.
Under this approach, a dollar figure may be put on everyday someone who was involved in a car accident has to endure the pain.
Working out and justifying a daily rate is often the hard part. The rate should be “reasonable.”
One approach is to use the accident victim’s daily earnings. The argument is that the pain caused by an injury equates to the effort of attending work.
Handling Insurance Companies after a B’More Collision
Insurance companies are highly influential during the entire process of dealing with a car accident. One of the first thoughts that go through people’s minds when involved in an accident is to contact their insurance company and hope the other person has insurance.
The insurance companies will try to gauge how much your case is worth to try to settle outside of court.
Often times insurance companies will try to get you to settle for what a fraction of your case is worth. Whether you decide to settle or go to court, having a Maryland auto accident attorney stand by your side throughout the process with save you time and improve your compensation.
When you have a car accident attorney standing up for what is best for you, the process can become much less stressful. Having an experienced attorney will bring a wealth of knowledge as to legal tactics in court and when communicating with insurance companies.
When it comes times for insurance companies to pay for your medical bills and property damage, they may more often than not try to get you to pay a portion of the damages. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we take a firm approach in dealing with insurance companies and will work to ensure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for damages or injuries.
How Much Money Can you Sue for Pain and Suffering?
Maryland has a cap on the amount you can be awarded for pain and suffering in a lawsuit. In 2018, the non-economic damages cap for injuries is $845,000. The maximum recovery in the state for pain and suffering is $845,000. The cap rises by $15,000 a year. It does not apply to economic damages like medical expenses, lost wages and other financial losses which are not capped.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
The value of a claim after a car accident is dependent on numerous factors meaning it is difficult to provide average figures or give a client an idea of what their case is worth.
Generally, soft tissue injuries settle for anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000, while more serious orthopedic injuries involving broken bones that require physical therapy or ongoing care may settle for up to $75,000. Brain and spinal injuries that are irreversible and may involve paralysis or cognitive issues often settle for six figures or millions of dollars.
Although the seriousness of an injury is often an indicator of the size of a potential settlement, there are other important factors such as the extent of available insurance on the policy of the driver who caused the accident with injuries.
How Long Does it Take to Receive a Settlement Check from a Car Accident?
The time it takes to receive a settlement check from a car accident depends on which insurance company you are dealing with. Injury attorneys have known settlement checks to arrive as quickly as a week or as long as 45 days.
Additionally, it may take a settlement check as long as 10 days to clear from a lawyer’s account and be ready for you to pick up.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement After a Demand Letter?
Once you have completed your medical treatment and your medical professional (i.e. therapists, doctors, any other facilities) have discharged or released you from treatment, it is now time to send a demand letter to the insurance company. You lawyer will already be in the process of collecting your medical bills and records as well as proof of lost wages leading up to this point in the claim process.
Once your lawyer have collected all of this information (bills & records), he will formulate an appropriate demand letter for your claim (you should receive a copy of this letter). A typical demand letter will lay out the facts of the accident and the current expenses and damages in your claim. It may or may not specify an exact demand amount, as most lawyers prefer the insurance company to start the negotiation.
Once completed, you lawyer will forward that demand letter, along with all medical records, bills and proof of lost wages to the insurance adjuster. Once the adjuster receives the packet and demand letter, it will be processed and the adjuster will review and research the medical bills and records. Typically speaking, it usually takes 30 – 45 days after the demand letter is received to receive the first settlement offer from the insurance company.
How do Lawyers Calculate Pain and Suffering?
Personal injury attorneys typically work with the multiplier method or the per diem method to calculate pain and suffering damages.
The first method entails multiplying the auto accident victim’s actual damages (lost wages and medical bills) by a given number, generally between 1.5 and 5. The number is based on the severity of the injury. If the injured party incurred $20,000 in medical bills related to a mild traumatic brain injury, he might multiply that by three, and conclude that $60,000 represents a reasonable amount for pain and suffering.
Alternatively, lawyers may use the per diem (Latin for “per day”) method to calculate pain and suffering using a daily figure that may equate to lost wages, on the injury for every day the plaintiff is still recovering from injuries sustained in the car wreck.
There is no guarantee an insurance company will use the method the attorney is using.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement from a Car Accident?
The amount of time it can take to get a settlement from a car accident depends on a range of factors including the complexity of the case and whether or not you are fighting disputed facts with an insurance company.
Insurance companies will usually make a low-ball offer within a matter of weeks or months of the time of a wreck with injuries. You can certainly get a fast settlement from a car accident, but it is seldom the best settlement you can obtain.
Before a car accident litigant accepts a settlement, he or she should have fully recovered to the extent of no longer requiring medical treatment or have reached a stage when they are as good as they are likely to get.
If additional surgical procedures are required, a Maryland personal injury lawyer can ask a doctor to provide an estimate of what the costs of the future surgery or procedure will be.
Although some cases will settle in a matter of weeks, complicated and contested cases may take a year or two to be resolved.
Amount of Damages after an Auto Collision
Establishing that the other driver is legally responsible for the accident is a big step, but you still have to establish the extent of your injuries.
Since the law can’t undo your injuries, it’s up to you and your attorney to translate those injuries into a dollar amount.
The best way to do that is by being very organized and detailed from the beginning.
Getting an experienced car accident attorney involved early in the process is a major advantage. The attorney can offer concrete advice on how to document injuries like:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost time at work
- Pain and its consequences, such as loss of sleep and disruptions of social, recreational, and other activity (within the limits that Maryland imposes on these “noneconomic damages”)
- Cost of accommodating diminished function (canes, crutches, wheelchairs, ramps, etc)
Predicting Settlement Values in Maryland Accident Cases
Predicting settlement values can be a difficult thing to do even for the most experienced lawyer. However, with the more experience and expertise in the area, the easier and more accurate a settlement prediction can be.
Automobile accident settlements is the calculation of reasonable damages and medical bills resulting from the accident. Car wreck settlements require skillful negotiations and careful calculations in order to be successful.
You may be wondering will I really recover anything from a non-injury accident settlement. The answer to that can still be “yes.” How much you recover will depend on factors such as how much time of work you missed and how much damage your car sustained.
Crucial Factors that Affect Maryland Car Accident Settlements
There can be many factors that influence what the outcome of the settlement will be. When calculating the damages for personal injury auto accident settlements there are many things that are taken into account such as medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and future lost income.
Sometimes pain and suffering will even be taken into account when calculating settlement damages. The type of injuries sustained can also influence settlement compensation.
For example, if the injuries sustained will cause long term pain or will require serious therapy to recover, the compensation awarded may be increased. Arguing for your well being in the future is where an auto accident attorney in Baltimore will help fight for you.
The Influence Auto Insurance Companies Have on Car Accident Settlement Values
Insurance adjusters can play a large role in auto accident injury settlement values. Insurance companies will come up with what they think is an appropriate settlement value, oftentimes offering less than what your case is worth. There is no disputing the cost medical bills or missed time at work.
However, pain and suffering and future medical costs can sometimes be unpredictable. This makes auto injury settlement cases difficult. To learn more about lawyer’s fees for accident settlement, contact your accident insurance lawyer today.
Are you insured by State Farm, read more about the claim process with State Farm auto insurance.
Related Article: How to handle a Geico Claim and the Claim Process with Geico.
How much do you get for pain and suffering after a car accident?
To assess how much you should receive for a personal injury settlement following a car accident, it is important to review the details of the accident itself. First, it is important to consider whether or not you were deemed to be at fault for the occurrence of the accident in the first place.
If you are not deemed to be at fault, you are considerably more likely to win a settlement case. Other factors are also considered, such as the damage sustained to your car and the severity of injuries you may have suffered from. Hospitals stays and expensive medical treatments will also be considered, as well as the potential psychological impact of the accident.
As many injuries sustained in car accidents can cause victims to miss work, financial assistance in the form of a settlement can be beneficial for many who have dealt with considerable pain and suffering after an accident.
Pain and suffering will also encompass psychological suffering as well as any physical injuries. Psychological suffering can include, but is certainly not limited to, issues like insomnia and anxiety that manifest after a car accident occurs.
A typical settlement can be as much as three times the amount of money pain and suffering cost the patient, from hospital bills to psychiatry appointments. Unfortunately, a settlement for pain and suffering is not set in stone and can vary from case to case, those severe cases are more likely to get a higher overall settlement price.
It is important to document as much as you possibly can in the aftermath of the accident. Medical bills, doctors’ visits, and time missed from work should all be diligently recorded and kept track of, as this can be useful in the event of a personal injury case.
Any dealings with your insurance company should also be documented and, if possible, put into writing. The better you document the aftermath and its impact on your life, the more likely you are to prove that you have been handed a considerable amount of pain and suffering as a result of a car accident that you were not at fault or liable for.
But consulting a car accident lawyer is not always the right course of action for every personal injury case.
What is the Average Payout for Whiplash?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in Baltimore car wrecks. Typically, this soft tissue injury is associated with rear-end collisions. The condition is caused when a driver or passenger’s neck and head are jerked backward and forward suddenly and violently by the impact. The jerking motion puts intense stress on the cervical spine.
Often insurance companies will downplay whiplash injuries even though they can be very painful and cause ongoing symptoms.
Whiplash injuries often last a matter of days or weeks and settle for between $1,000 and $3,000. The average payout for whiplash is in the four-figure range. However, in less common cases, the pain and other symptoms associated with whiplash last months or even years and incur pain and suffering compensation approaching $100,000.
How to Get Money from a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?
You may think you can handle your car accident claim without a lawyer. You may be able to proceed with a claim without a lawyer under certain circumstances. There are various scenarios when hiring a the best accident lawyers in Maryland not in your best interest.
If you suffered minor injuries and did not seek medical attention after the accident, you may not need a lawyer. The insurance company may pay you a minimal amount of money to close the claim for your pain and suffering.
You will not need a lawyer if you were not injured or you were at fault for the accident. You can get money from a car accident without a lawyer if you are willing to fight with the insurance company and potentially take their insured to court if they are unwilling to pay for your injuries and damages.
Maryland – A Contributory Negligence State
When dealing with recovery damages in a negligence case Maryland employs the contributory negligence standard. Under the contributory negligence standard, if the plaintiff fails to exercise due care or is even one percent at fault for the accident, they are barred from recovery.
This type of standard in personal injury cases can make recovery difficult, but an experienced automobile accident attorney can help.
Maryland is one of five states to endorse this type of liability law. Most states have comparative negligence laws, which makes recovery a much easier task. Comparative negligence laws allow the plaintiff to recover whatever percentage of damages at which they were not at fault for.
While contributory negligence is controversial, it is still good law and it does not appear that it will be overturned in the near future. We are experienced auto insurance lawyers who have the knowledge that it takes to estimate possible damages that can be recovered.
We have handled hundreds of personal injury cases and have the skills it takes to have a successful personal injury case. We also have the experience it takes to defend a person from possible litigation arising from car accidents. If you need help, call an accident defense attorney near you.
What is Negligence?
Once the accident has occurred the police will issue a report if one of the persons requires medical assistance or one of the vehicles must be towed. When the report is written it will provide details as to how the accident occurred.
When determining who is at fault the theory behind it is normally negligence, which is the failure to act as a reasonable person would. This could encompass speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or breaking any other traffic laws.
If you are the injured person bringing suit, then you must prove that the other driver acted negligently and that caused the accident. If both parties are at fault then it will be important to discuss your options with a Baltimore car accident attorney.
Establishing Liability in a Car Crash
To recover damages from someone as a result of an auto accident, you first need to establish that the accident that caused your injuries was that person’s fault.
There are many different things that a driver can do that result in liability for an accident. The most common are:
- Driving above or below the speed limit
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving (like texting and driving or cell phone use)
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to use signals while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Failing to abide by the rules of the road
Proving how the accident happened usually involves both witness testimony and technical reconstructions of the event based on things like the length and direction of skid marks, and the location of the damage to each vehicle.
The credibility of each driver can be crucial in collisions that weren’t witnessed by anyone else. Often, when it appears both parties are believable, the trier of fact (judge or jury) will look at photographs from the accident or the causation of the injuries.
Car Accident Lawyer Baltimore Drivers Look to In their Time of Need
Are you looking for a car accident lawyer Baltimore Md residents use on a regular basis? Speak with our car crash lawyers today for immediate legal help and advice. Our car smash and crash lawyers will help you find the appropriate medical treatment, work to have your automobile repaired or replaced and ensure the at-fault driver or pays for your injuries and damages.
Considerations for the Aftermath of a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident is many people’s nightmare and certainly no one plans on it. However, much as life happens, car accidents happen. Car crashes can be caused by a wide range of things, from inclement weather that leads to poor visibility to distracted driving.
As cell phones have spread throughout society and become and intractable part of our culture, rates of distracted driving have increased. Distracted driving is insidious in that it only takes one second to look down at your phone, but it also only takes one second to get into a life altering motor vehicle accident.
If you are the victim of a car accident, be it caused by distracted driving or for another reason, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as you can. For those who have never needed legal counsel before, figuring out the legal process following a personal injury claim can be difficult, and it easy to feel like you have been left with unanswered questions.
However, contacting a skilled and practiced lawyer can help to answer some of those questions. The remainder of this article will also work to offer answers to as many questions as possible.
Car Accident Lawyer Baltimore Residents and Crash Victims Trust
In these cases, hiring a car accident lawyer Baltimore drivers trust is ideal, as the lawyer can be your mouthpiece and advocate for your best interests in legal situations where you may not know how to. Whereas lawyers are familiar and skilled at navigating the legal world, the majority of the general population is not.
When a disability that will continue on throughout the injured party’s life is factored in to a personal injury claim, a lawyer should always be contacted. Seeking legal counsel in the case of a disability is recommended just as seeking legal counsel for car accidents that resulted in serious injury is recommended, as a disability will lead to more serious consequences on the car accident victim’s life.
Sustaining a car accident can be a turbulent time for many people, particularly if the car accident was a moderate to serious one. For the injured party in a car accident, seeking a settlement payment for a personal injury claim can help them to get their feet back on the ground.
A settlement payment can be useful for a number of purposes, from paying off medical bills (ex. Hospital stays, physical therapy costs, etc.), to covering lost wages from time that was taken off of work in the event of a serious injury. A settlement payment can help to make up for any pain and suffering that resulted from a serious car accident as well.
For many people, navigating the legal world is a daunting thought. Hiring a car accident lawyer can make the process as easy as possible, as your chosen car accident lawyer can advocate for you when necessary and always look out for your best interests in the process of getting a settlement.
Baltimore Car Accident Attorney: Get the Legal Help You Need
The need for experienced legal advice begins very early in the process: police do follow-up investigations; the other driver’s insurance company sends around an adjuster; your own insurance company starts asking questions that may indicate it doesn’t believe your version of the events; a lawyer for someone else involved in the accident wants to talk to you.
No matter how informal and “friendly” these contacts (adjusters, in particular are trained to be friendly), each one is a potential trap that can reduce your chances of recovering for all your injuries.
Baltimore, Maryland car accident lawyer Randolph Rice can help you at every step of the process, making sure that your interests are protected all the way through to a fair settlement or a court verdict in your favor. For an experienced, committed, and skilled, legal advocate, call today to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case. There is no fee unless you recover.