There are few things more frightening, and potentially life-altering than car accidents. Nobody ever wants to imagine being involved in a car accident, which is why most of us put the thought of being involved in one out of our minds. However, statistically speaking, most of us will be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetime, and very frequently, the accident will be the fault of another driver. If you were unlucky enough to be injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may feel as though you do not know how to proceed. Medical bills pile up, the financial consequences of being unable to return to work due to your injury become more and more severe, and suddenly, it becomes more and more difficult to move on with your life. Fortunately, if you have been wrongly injured in a car accident, you do have options, and that is why we have compiled this guide. Please continue reading and reach out to our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys to learn more about auto accidents, what to do after being injured in one, and how our firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve and need to get back on your feet again. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What are the most common causes of car accidents?
Car accidents can happen for a wide range of reasons. At times, they are completely inevitable–someone gets caught in a snowstorm, loses control of their vehicle, and crashes into you, for example. In other cases, sometimes car parts malfunction, roads are negligently designed, or there are defects in the road, such as large potholes, that cause serious accidents. However, that being said, most often, car accidents are caused by driver negligence. Our firm sees a wide variety of examples of driver negligence, though the most common include speeding, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while drowsy, texting while driving, or otherwise driving while distracted. However, while these are common forms of negligence, the truth is, any instance where a driver violates the rules and regulations of the road, he or she is considered negligent. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, there is a very good chance you are qualified to receive compensation.
What are the most common types of car accidents?
There are several different types of car accidents, though there are three types that our firm most frequently handles. They are as follows:
- Rear-End Accidents: Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident. Unfortunately, this does not make them any less dangerous. Generally, rear-end accidents occur when the rear-ended driver either stops short or when the rear-ending driver fails to notice that the driver in front has stopped, either at a stop sign or light. Regardless of the cause, the rear-ending driver is almost always at fault in the eyes of the law, so if you were injured by a rear-ending driver, you most likely qualify for compensation.
- Collisions at Intersections: Collisions at intersections are all too common, yet they are also very preventable. Sometimes referred to as T-bone crashes, they usually occur when one motorist drives through a yellow light (which is illegal) while another person traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions are generally the most fatal type of car accident. If you were struck head-on by a motorist either traveling the wrong way down a one-way street or while traveling in the wrong lane, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What should I do after a car accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may not be capable of doing anything but focusing on mitigating the impact of your injuries until the police arrive. However, if possible, try and do the following after a car accident:
- Call the police. Upon arrival, they will document the accident, which you may use to prove your future personal injury claim. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, calling 911 will also send an ambulance to the scene, which may transport you to a hospital for treatment.
- Next, ask the negligent driver for his or her insurance information. While you should be polite, you should keep conversation to a minimum and ensure that you never apologize or say “sorry.” This is because oftentimes, apologizing may be twisted or misconstrued as an admission of guilt, and therefore used against you.
- Ask anyone who witnessed your accident for their contact information, such as their name, phone number, email, and any other means by which you may contact them so they may corroborate your future claim.
- Take pictures of the accident, including any damage to your car, to the other person’s car, and any property involved in the accident.
- Once you are treated in a hospital, ensure you do not leave without receiving all medical documentation pertaining to the origin and extent of your injuries, including how they will affect your daily life going forward, thereby preventing you from returning to work.
- Retain the services of an experienced Prince George’s County personal injury attorney who can gather and present all additional evidence needed to prove that you were injured as a direct result of another party’s negligence. For example, in certain cases, our firm may subpoena surveillance footage of your accident, which is perhaps the most efficient way to prove a personal injury claim.
- Finally, once we file your claim, ensure you stay away from social media as much as possible. Insurance companies will most likely be monitoring your accounts, and if you post anything that even remotely contradicts your claim, there is a very good chance that they will use it against you in court. Refraining from posting for a matter of months is a small price to pay compared to the compensation you may receive in the long run.
Do I have to purchase PIP in Maryland?
Simply put, PIP is a type of insurance that if you’ve been involved in an accident, you will receive a certain amount of compensation, which should cover a portion of your medical bills, no matter whose fault the accident was. In Maryland, drivers are not required to purchase PIP, otherwise known as Personal Injury Protection. That being said, all insurance companies offer a minimum of $2,500 in PIP coverage. Unfortunately, oftentimes, even motorists who have purchased PIP will find that the insurance does not cover the cost of all damages incurred in the accident. In this case, you may file a lawsuit to fight for the rest of the compensation you need to heal.
What should I do if I get in an accident with an uninsured motorist?
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist is a stressful experience for many, as at first, they may be unsure of who will pay their medical bills, as, rather obviously, they cannot sue the driver’s insurance company. However, in Maryland, all drivers are required to purchase what is known as UM insurance, or uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage. UM insurance allows those involved in car accidents with uninsured drivers to recover at least $30,000 in damages per person, as well as a $60,000 cap per accident. To file a UM claim, give our experienced Prince George’s County personal injury attorneys a call today.
To learn more about UM insurance, please click the video below.
Can I still sue for a car accident even if I am partially at fault?
In many states, you may recover compensation for an accident if you are partially responsible. However, since the state of Maryland recognizes what is known as contributory negligence, you may not sue if the other party can prove that you contributed to the accident, even if you were only, say, 10% at fault. For this very reason, it is critical that you retain the services of a knowledgeable Maryland personal injury attorney who can gather and present all the evidence needed to prove that the other party was 100% liable for your car accident. Our firm is here to help.
If I am injured in an accident while my friend was driving, will I have to sue my friend to receive compensation?
This is one of the most common questions our firm receives. Let’s say your friend was driving, you were in the passenger seat, and while on your way to a diner, your friend swerves out of the way of a safety hazard in the road, only to crash into a telephone pole, and you were injured as a result. Of course, you do not want to sue your friend, though you also feel you should not be the one who has to pay for your injuries. Injured passengers are often relieved to learn that they do not have to sue their friends to recover compensation. In fact, you can simply sue your friend’s insurance company, which means that you may receive the compensation you need to heal without hurting your friend financially.
What are Maryland’s dram shop laws?
Many states have what are known as dram shop laws in place. In states where dram shop laws are in effect, not only may you sue a drunk driver for your injuries, but you can also sue the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, Maryland does not have a dram shop law, so if you have been harmed in an accident by a drunk driver, you will need a Maryland personal injury attorney who can help you recover all of the compensation you need from the one party responsible.
Can I sue if I am injured in an Uber or Lyft accident?
Many people across the state of Maryland and in the United States depend on Uber and Lyft to get them from place to place, as opposed to driving themselves or calling a taxi. Of course, for the most part, Uber and Lyft are both safe and dependable means of transportation. Unfortunately, there are times where accidents occur, and passengers are injured as a result. Fortunately, Uber and Lyft do provide liability coverage for those injured in accidents involving Uber/Lyft vehicles. The point system for this coverage is as follows:
- Period 0: This is when the Uber/Lyft driver is not logged into the rideshare app. If an Uber/Lyft driver is involved in an accident, though he or she is not logged into the rideshare app, Uber/Lyft will not provide liability coverage.
- Period 1: This is when the Uber/Lyft driver is logged in to the app, but he or she has not yet accepted a ride. If this Uber/Lyft driver causes an accident and someone is injured at this point, Uber/Lyft will provide liability coverage for up to $50,000 per person injured in the accident, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
- Period 2: Period 2 is when the Uber/Lyft driver crashes after he or she has accepted a ride and is en route to pick up the passenger. In this scenario, Uber or Lyft’s liability coverage will increase to $1 million.
- Period 3: This is when an Uber/Lyft driver crashes while he or she has a passenger in his or her car. In this scenario, Uber/Lyft will provide $1 million in liability coverage, plus limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorists’ coverage.
Will I have to go to court if I file a personal injury claim?
This is also among the most common questions we receive. When people are injured, they want the compensation they deserve, and they want to jump through as few hoops as possible to get it. This is completely understandable, and fortunately, we are happy to tell clients that in most cases, our firm can actually settle their claim, recovering sufficient compensation before ever having to take the claim to trial. That being said, there are certain circumstances wherein we believe clients would substantially benefit from taking their claim to trial, in which case we will inform you of this. Regardless of your case, you can have peace of mind knowing that we are here to help you receive the maximum compensation. Our goal is to help you receive every penny deserve.
To learn more about which cases may require going to trial, click the video below.
How long do I have to sue someone for an injury in Maryland?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may wish to wait to see if your injuries heal on their own. While this is completely understandable, we cannot advise you to do so, as there is a statute of limitations in place that dictates how long individuals have to sue. Since the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Maryland is, generally, three years, you will, generally, have three years from the date of your accident to take legal action against the party responsible. If you wait any longer than three years, you will most likely be barred from suing. Do not let this happen. We are ready to begin the claims process on your behalf today–all you have to do is ask.
For more information about the statute of limitations in Maryland, click the video below.
What do I have to bring to my first meeting with a personal injury attorney?
Of course, our job is to help gather and present all evidence needed to win your personal injury claim. That being said, if you can, please bring the following documentation to your initial consultation, as this will help streamline the process. You should bring:
- Any calls, texts, emails, or any other correspondence you may have had with the other party and/or their insurance company.
- The police report filed at the scene of your accident.
- Eyewitness contact information.
- Any pictures you took of the scene of the accident.
- A written statement, on your part, detailing every aspect of your accident and the circumstances surrounding it.
- Your medical documents, including your doctor’s prognosis.
- Your car/health insurance information.
This may seem like a lot, however, if you do not have all of this information, do not worry. We can work to obtain all evidence needed to win your claim. If you have been wrongly injured in an accident, we are here. We represent victims of all types of auto accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, and mass transit accidents. We also help those injured in various slip and fall accidents, including sidewalk accidents, hotel accidents, elevator accidents, parking lot accidents, snow & ice accidents, supermarket accidents, and more. No matter the cause of your injuries, we are here to fight, tooth-and-nail, for your right to a swift recovery. We hope this guide was helpful, and that you feel comfortable contacting us if you were seriously injured. For any additional questions, reach out to our knowledgeable Prince George’s County personal injury attorneys today. We are always here to help.
Contact a Maryland Car Accident Attorney Today
Here at Timian & Fawcett, LLC, we understand the potential ramifications of being wrongly injured in an accident, which is why our firm has dedicated our practice to helping those who have sustained life-altering injuries win the compensation they need to heal. If you have any additional questions about car accidents and how our firm assist you after being injured in one, contact Timian & Fawcett, LLC today. We are ready to guide you through every step of the claims process ahead–all you have to do is ask.