Following a Maryland car accident, it can feel like your entire life has been turned upside down with little to no answers in sight. Not only are you physically recovering from the accident, but you are likely trying to put the pieces together of what happened and who’s going to pay for all of your losses.
At Regan Zambri Long, our Maryland car accident lawyers help victims of car accidents establish liability, negotiate settlements and verdicts, and calculate the value of their claims to ensure the best possible outcome.
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In 2021 alone, there were an estimated 108,656 crashes throughout the state of Maryland. Unfortunately, these accidents can leave family members seriously injured and unable to work, and in the most tragic of cases, are fatal.
While you never want to think this can happen to you or your loved ones, it’s important to understand your rights if it does occur. If you or a loved one was injured in a Maryland car accident, learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our law firm.
In Maryland, you do not have to report minor car accidents to the police so long as there were no bodily injuries. However, under Maryland Transportation Section 20-107, all involved drivers must report the accident within 15 days of its occurrence if there was injury or death to any person.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t have to report the minor car accident to Maryland authorities, you may need to report it to your insurer if you plan to file a claim for property damage.
Maryland is an at-fault state for auto accidents and is one of the few states that still practice contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, only one person is at fault for a car accident. In essence, this means if you were in any way responsible for or contributed to the car accident, you are barred from collecting compensation.
This is why it is critical to have a car accident law firm on your side to determine liability and prove that you did not contribute to the collision.
Following a car collision in Maryland, you first need to seek medical attention even if you do not think you’ve suffered an injury. Some severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), internal bleeding, and neck injuries may not be apparent for hours or days after the crash.
Once you’ve called for help, make sure the police begin to document the accident for evidence as well as for your insurance purposes. If you are safe and able to do so, you’ll also want to collect the following:
Just like there are things you should do after a car accident, there are things you definitely should not be doing as well.
After a Maryland car wreck, you should not do the following:
In Maryland, a car accident victim has three years from the accident date to file a car accident lawsuit against the negligent driver. It is imperative that you act quickly despite this timeline as evidence can and will disappear, and you may forgo your rights to collect compensation if your formal claim is not made before the statute of limitations.
However, there are exceptions to that three-year limit. These include:
Because Maryland follows the contributory negligence statute, if you are even 1 percent at fault for the accident, you cannot seek compensation. However, you can still seek legal representation to see if you truly did share in any of the blame for the collision.
More often than not, it will be clear who caused a traffic accident which will then allow the reporting police officer to issue a traffic violation. However, when no one is issued a traffic violation in a Maryland auto accident, there are a few things you should do to protect the integrity of your case:
Remember that even if no one was issued a traffic violation ticket, you can still pursue compensation. All that it means when no one is issued a ticket is that the officer didn’t have enough evidence to make a final judgment on fault.
You never are legally required to hire a Maryland car accident attorney to represent you in court or handle negotiations with the insurance company. However, there are many benefits to doing so early on in the process.
The best time to hire a car accident lawyer is shortly after the accident occurs and before speaking with the insurance companies. This allows your attorney to get the police report, review the facts of the case, and establish who was responsible for the collision.
In Maryland, if you are at fault in any way, you can be barred from recovering damages, so it is best to act quickly and efficiently.
But there is no wrong time to hire a law firm unless you’ve already accepted a settlement offer or a verdict has been entered.
If you were involved in a minor car accident, it is unlikely that you need a car accident lawyer to file a claim with the insurance company. However, if you suffered extensive injuries and large amounts of property damage, and it is proving difficult to establish fault and liability, it is a worthwhile investment to contact a car accident lawyer.
When deciding if you need a lawyer to file a claim or pursue a case against the other driver, consider:
Under Maryland law, all owners of motor vehicles must purchase and maintain the minimum coverage for bodily injury liability, personal injury protection (PIP), property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
However, there are still drivers out there who remain uninsured. If the at-fault driver in your car accident is not insured, you’ll have no choice but to seek compensation directly from the driver. Then, you will meet with your insurance company about the coverage policy you hold, specifically as it pertains to uninsured motorist coverage as this can also be an avenue for financial recovery.
According to 2020 data from the National Safety Council, the average cost for car accidents by injury type are:
However, non-economic losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. can also play a role in the value of a car accident settlement.
Because of these large price fluctuations, it can be beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney who specializes in Maryland car accident claims.
You may think you can also sue the other driver involved in a Maryland car accident case. However, that isn’t exactly so. The following parties can be sued in a car accident case:
In 2021, it was estimated that there were 519 car accidents in Maryland which resulted in 557 fatalities, including the deaths of 129 pedestrians and six bicyclists.
The most common types of car accidents in Maryland are:
Not all accidents can be avoided. However, sometimes simple steps can be taken to protect others from being placed in a horrible situation, such as a car accident or other automobile collision.
To avoid being in a car accident in Maryland, drivers need to be sure to:
When you have suffered injuries and property damage in a car accident, you will likely want to start the process of filing a claim. There are some forms of evidence that you should begin collecting at the scene of the crash to preserve the integrity of your claim and establish that the fault was not yours.
Evidence you will need for a car accident claim includes:
In some cases, if you were partially to blame for a car accident, your insurance may cover some of your losses. To determine what will be covered in your accident, you must meet with your insurance company to figure out what your particular policy will and will not cover.
In some cases where the extent of the damages is so severe or injuries so grave, your policy may not be enough to cover your losses. Because of this, it is important to have an experienced Maryland car accident attorney on your side who will guide you through the process to protect you from predatory insurance agents who will try to keep you from the compensation you deserve.
Before filing a personal injury claim, you should consult with a Maryland car accident lawyer who is well-versed in the intricacies of personal injury law. If your car accident was the result of another driver’s negligence including:
You may be entitled to more compensation through a personal injury claim. In addition to another driver’s negligence, the following conditions may result in an accident outside of your control which may be the fault of another party:
In a successful personal injury claim that resulted from a car accident, you may be able to recover the following forms of compensation for your losses:
In the event a passenger or family member has died as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation related to wrongful death.
The amount of compensation you qualify for will largely depend on the severity of your injuries and the value of the property damage sustained. A car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help you calculate the true value of your losses.
To prove liability in a Maryland collision, you must understand the concept of contributory negligence. In Maryland, if you have been found to be the least bit involved in an accident, you may not claim damages against the other driver.
If you were not at all at fault for the collision, the elements of negligence must be proven which include:
Your attorney will be able to establish proof of negligence by investigating the crash through evidence such as videos, photos, testimony, etc.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means that you pay nothing upfront for legal representation. Instead, a percentage of the settlement or verdict awarded on your behalf will be paid to the attorney once the case is closed.
A good law firm should never charge you by the hour–if they do, it should serve as a warning that they do not feel confident in your case, but still want to ensure they get the compensation they want for their time.
A Maryland car accident lawyer from Regan Zambri Long can help you with your auto accident claim. By using their knowledge of law, trial experience and compassion, they will work to secure the compensation you deserve for your losses.
In addition, your lawyer will be able to:
Further, your auto accident lawyer will help you recoup losses for the following:
If you are questioning if Regan Zambri Long is the law firm for your Maryland car accident case, know that our firm has the experience needed to get you a fair settlement for your claim. Our track record shows that when you utilize the representation of a personal injury firm, you are more likely to secure three times the compensation than you would without.
Our Maryland car accident lawyers will protect your rights and make sure you are given the time needed to focus on your recovery and family during this trying time. Further, once you’ve hired our firm, you can rest assured that the investigation process will begin immediately. We will secure all evidence, handle communications with the insurance companies, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Not all car accident cases warrant legal representation, but if you’ve suffered an injury, or extensive property damage, and are out of work as a result of the negligence of another, there is no better time to consult with a Maryland personal injury firm.
To secure representation for your Maryland car accident claim or case, you should call Regan Zambri Long at 202-960-4596. From there, our team will set up a no-obligation, free consultation with you to discuss the facts of your case, see what possible avenues exist for compensation, and help determine what path you should take next. Whether your car accident was in Baltimore or Bethesda, our car accident lawyers will work hard to win your case.