Car Accident Attorneys in Maryland
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Being in a car accident is one of the most stressful situations you can experience. In addition to the damage done to your vehicle, you may also be suffering from injuries, some of which are so severe they can require tens of thousands of dollars to treat. Injuries can also put you out of work at a time where you need financial stability the most. The hardest part of it all is knowing that your accident and losses could’ve been prevented.
At Potter Burnett Law, our Maryland car accident attorneys fight for everyday victims of car crashes. By holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions, we can obtain the full amount of compensation available to you so you can reclaim your life and move on. Call us today to handle your case while you focus on healing.
Liability Laws After a Car Accident in Maryland
Maryland adheres to an “at-fault” rule to determine who is liable for damages after a car accident. This means that the injured driver has the option to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. While every state has some way to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party, some states follow no-fault car accident laws which only allow personal injury claims to be filed under specific circumstances.
An at-fault system also means that the motorist responsible for causing an accident is the one responsible for paying damages, although this is typically done through an insurance carrier. While this law is generally straightforward for accidents where only one motorist is responsible for causing an accident, most accidents involve the fault of multiple parties even if that fault is very small. For example, the less negligent party could have been driving a little bit above the speed limit or forgotten to use their turn signal before turning or changing lanes.
Maryland law makers have taken this fact into account by implementing a “contributory negligence” rule. This rule says that an injured party who is partially responsible for an accident can still file a claim against the more negligent party as long as they claimant is 50% or less responsible for causing the accident.
However, whatever percentage of responsibility the claimant is found to be responsible for will be deducted from the compensation awarded to them. For example, if you are found to be 15% at fault for the accident, the total compensation awarded to you will also be reduced by 15%.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States, as more than six million occur annually, and two million drivers experience permanent injuries according to the NHTSA. There are countless different types of car crashes, which is why the range of injuries that can occur is so wide. Injuries can include whiplash, abrasions, broken bones, spinal cord and neck injuries, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
Some of the top causes of car accidents in the United States include:
- Distracted driving: Distracted drivers are anyone who doesn’t have their complete attention on the road while driving. Texting and talking on the phone, eating and drinking, having conversations, and even adjusting your radio can count as types of distracted driving.
- Speeding: Drivers who go above the posted speed limit run the risk of getting into car accidents because the faster they drive, the slower their reaction time. Speeding drivers are less likely to swerve or brake successfully to avoid an accident in time.
- Drunk driving: Individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol pose a danger to themselves and others, as alcohol severely impairs one’s judgment and motor functions, both of which are needed to navigate the road safely. Drunk drivers are prone to falling asleep at the wheel, speeding, failing to stop at red lights and stop signs, and swerving.
- Reckless driving: Careless driving involves dangerous behaviors that put other drivers and passengers at risk, from weaving in and out of traffic and tailgating to making lane changes without signaling or checking one’s blind spots.
- Design defects: While negligent drivers account for many car accidents, sometimes a defective or malfunctioning vehicle part can contribute to a crash. One common example of a design defect is faulty car brakes. In these cases, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages.
Ways to Help Prevent a Car Accident
- Don't tailgate
- Pull into traffic slowly
- Always keep a hand on the steering wheel
- Perform routine car maintenance
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Car accident lawyers play a crucial role in assisting injury victims after a car crash by providing a wide range of services. These services include:
- Investigating the cause and extent of the accident: Car accident attorneys diligently gather evidence from various sources, such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, and photographs or videos taken at the scene. This comprehensive investigation helps establish the facts and determine liability.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Car accident lawyers skillfully negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients, advocating for full compensation. They have the expertise to navigate complex insurance policies and ensure that their clients receive the financial support they deserve.
- Evaluating medical bills and other damages: A car accident can lead to injuries that result in significant medical expenses and other damages. Car accident lawyers assess medical bills and other related costs, ensuring that all expenses resulting from the incident are considered for compensation.
- Recovering lost wages: Following an accident, injuries can often lead to missed work, resulting in financial strain. Car accident lawyers help their clients obtain compensation for lost wages, helping them recover financially during their recovery period.
- Representing clients in court: In situations where litigation becomes necessary, car accident lawyers provide legal representation for their clients. They have the skills and experience to present a compelling case in court, fighting for their clients' rights and seeking the best possible outcome.
Car accident lawyers go beyond these specific services and offer invaluable legal advice and support throughout the entire process. They are well-versed in advocating for their clients' rights both inside and outside the courtroom. With their assistance, clients can achieve fair settlements or favorable outcomes by presenting strong arguments supported by compelling evidence.
When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring an auto accident attorney immediately after a car accident in Maryland is essential for several reasons. Firstly, an attorney can swiftly gather crucial evidence related to the accident. They have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal process and collect evidence such as police reports, photographs, and videos from the scene. By promptly gathering evidence, they can establish the cause and liability of the accident, which is vital for building a strong case.
Secondly, an attorney can collect timely witness testimony. Witnesses play a crucial role in validating the sequence of events and providing important details about the accident. However, memories can fade over time, and witnesses may become difficult to locate. By hiring an attorney immediately, they can promptly reach out to witnesses, obtain their statements, and preserve their testimony while it is still fresh and accurate. This strengthens the case by ensuring that all relevant information is documented and available for future use.
Lastly, meeting deadlines is crucial in legal proceedings, and an attorney can ensure that all necessary deadlines are met. In Maryland, there are specific statutes of limitations that determine the time period within which legal action can be taken after a car accident. Failing to meet these deadlines can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation. By hiring an attorney promptly, they can diligently work to meet all the required deadlines, including filing paperwork, submitting claims, and initiating legal proceedings if necessary.
In conclusion, hiring an attorney immediately after a car accident in Maryland is crucial. They can gather vital evidence, collect timely witness testimony, and ensure that all important deadlines are met. By taking swift action, an attorney can provide the necessary legal guidance and support to protect your rights and maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
After your accident, it may seem obvious to you that you deserve compensation from the at-fault driver. No matter how straightforward your accident may seem, however, it’s possible for complications to arise. Insurance adjusters often attempt to undermine victims’ claims to avoid giving them the compensation they deserve. Having an experienced car accident lawyer protecting your rights can ensure you have a successful case.
Our firm has successfully recovered millions for our valued clients and aren’t afraid to go to trial if that’s what it takes to win. Damages we can recover for you include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship (in some cases, like wrongful death suit)
- Funeral and burial expenses (in a wrongful death suit)
When you work with our firm, we directly connect you with your lawyer so you can remain updated at all times. Our clients’ well-being comes first.
In 1996, a Clarksburg man was in a motor vehicle accident while driving his 1987 Ford F-150 pickup.
Debbie Potter secured a $5,900,000 settlement of a premises liability case in 2023.
Our client suffered a comminuted fracture of his arm when a commercial vehicle pulled out in front of him on the highway.
Baltimore mother and daughter rear-ended on route 301 in Virginia. Physical therapy treatment only.
- Vehicle Defect
- Premises Liability
- Medication Error Settlement
- Car Accident Verdict
- Car Accident Verdict