Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
When you’re injured in an auto accident, so many questions arise: Are your injuries permanent? How will they affect your ability to work and lead the life you were expecting to live? How will you pay for the medical bills, especially if you’ll be unable to work for an extended period of time? A qualified Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer will examine every detail of your case in order to answer your questions and get you the settlement you deserve. With the proper legal assistance, you can be fully compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, injuries, lost quality of life and more. In fact, our personal injury attorneys frequently agree on settlements well before a trial even occurs.
If you want specific information, visit these pages to learn more:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Train Accidents
- School Bus Accidents
- Metro accidents
- Boat accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Or, here is further information regarding:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland
- Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Crashes Lead to Life Changing Consequences
- Average Settlement Amounts in Car Accident Cases
- Important Factors in Auto Accident Lawsuits
- Insurance Companies and Maryland Car Accidents
- The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Professional
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland
The Maryland landscape is comprised of soggy marsh land, sandy dunes, bumpy mountain terrain, and acres of pine groves. In addition to the challenges posed by this landscape, the weather is often unpredictable as are the road conditions. With nearly 6 million residents, Maryland is ranked among the ten smallest states. The region, nonetheless, remains densely populated in several areas and attracts millions more on their way to and from Washington, DC. Given all these factors, the potential for involvement in a motor vehicle crash in Maryland is high, as is the potential for motor vehicle accident injuries.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, there were more than 5 million auto collisions reported by police departments across the country in 2012, 2011 and 2010. In addition, the NHTSA indicates there were more than 2 million reports of injuries for each of those years, and more than 30,000 deaths as a result of such incidents in 2012. Fatalities dipped slightly in 2011 to just under 30,000, but were at more than 30,000 in 2010.
It is estimated a large percentage of accidents are caused by driver negligence. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a Maryland motor vehicle crash, obtaining dedicated legal counsel in a timely fashion could help maximize the results of your potential injury claim. For information regarding your potential for compensation, contact a dedicated Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer.
Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are a wide variety of conditions that can result in collisions on the road, but driver negligence including texting, distraction, sleepiness, and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of intoxicants remain among the leading causes of vehicular mishaps. Some other common causes include:
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Impaired nighttime vision
- Construction and roadwork
- Vehicle malfunctions
In the state of Maryland, SHA crews are currently performing roadwork in some two dozen counties which requires the closure of traffic lanes. Potholes remain an ongoing problem statewide and the roadwork associated with repairing highways can prove hazardous for drivers. Major highways such as I-495, also known as the Capital Beltway, and U.S. Route 1, which are already subject to congestion, pose problems for residents and commuters alike. Sometimes there are collisions between a car on a highway and another on the shoulder of the road.
Motor Vehicle Crashes Lead to Life Changing Consequences
Certain injuries sustained in a car collision can hinder your quality of life temporarily or permanently. Some of the most common automobile accident related injuries are:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck, back and spine damage
- Internal injuries
- Brain trauma
A number of these conditions can result in the need for ongoing medical treatment as well as a lack of mobility. An individual who suffers from lack of mobility and/or the need for extended medical care could also be inflicted with:
- Expensive hospital bills
- Job loss
- Lost wages
- Inability to perform routine tasks
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The link between the lack of mobility, or compromised mobility, and clinical depression has been investigated in a multitude of studies. One study noted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health used advanced technological equipment to identify symptoms of depression in older adults with limited mobility. The inability to carry out regular physical tasks has also been linked to obesity and weight gain which, in turn, can result in heart conditions, diabetes and various other ailments.
Average Settlement Amounts in Car Accident Cases
It can be extremely difficult to predict the value of a settlement in a Maryland car accident lawsuit because so many factors are at play, including the insurance company, the jury (in case of a trial), the nature of your injuries and much more. The information you’ll find regarding this topic online is often skewed or outdated, which is one reason why it’s so important to consult a Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer as quickly as possible after your crash. Doing so will bring you closer to knowing approximately how much your claim could be worth.
Despite the relative difficulty of predicting a settlement value, it’s still possible to form some basic expectations by examining a few statistics. According to a recent study, the median settlement for all personal injury cases in Maryland is just under $13,000, with 69 percent of plaintiffs winning their cases. For car accident suits in particular, plaintiffs win 83 percent of the time with a $12,000 settlement, on average. While the average settlement for a Maryland medical malpractice suit is far higher at over $800,000, only 8 percent of plaintiffs win in court (an unspecified percentage of plaintiffs settled before going to court).
Although an average settlement of $12,000 may seem negligible in comparison to the trials and tribulations you’ve endured resulting from your car accident, remember that this figure would be much higher if not for unskilled, inexperienced personal injury lawyers who accept the first settlement amount offered by the defendant’s insurance company. These initial offers may appreciate in value by approximately 2,000 percent by the time the trial comes around, which is why it’s so crucial to have a reputable Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and only agree to the settlement you deserve.
Important Factors in Auto Accident Lawsuits
Average settlements mean very little when you consider that all motor vehicle accident cases are unique, and your specific case could have circumstances that elevate your settlement amount well beyond the $12,000 average. The following is a list of factors that a jury will take into account when determining the value of a Maryland car accident, as well as the rightful winner of the suit:
- Who was at fault in the accident
- Whether alcohol and/or drugs were involved in the accident (for example, if one driver was drunk driving)
- The condition of the automobiles prior to and following the crash
- Any potential defenses that could be asserted by the legal defense team
- The ease with which your Maryland auto accident attorney can refute these defenses
- The severity of your bodily injuries, particularly whether they’re permanent
- Your ability to prove that your injuries resulted directly from the crash (for example, if they were caused by whiplash)
- Whether any witnesses observed your accident in progress, and the credibility of those witnesses
- The perceived credibility of both you and the defendant
- The pain and suffering caused to you by the crash
Another important factor that will dictate the size of your settlement is the location of your trial. Typically, juries in rural areas like Baltimore County and Wicomico County tend to award smaller settlements than juries in urban areas such as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. However, it is important that you retain a Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer who is well-versed in taking cases to trial.
Insurance Companies and Maryland Car Accidents
Initially, your auto accident settlement amount will be partly determined by software used by an insurance company. Pain and suffering is one of the primary factors that a jury may account for whereas an insurance company may minimize such damages. This is yet another reason why having an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer, who will explain your injuries and pain and suffering to a jury in the best way possible, is so crucial in personal injury cases such as these in the event a reasonable settlement can not be reached prior to trial.
Factors Insurance Companies Consider
Some of the specific factors that insurance company software will account for when determining an initial settlement offering include the following:
- The location of the accident and the location of the slated trial
- The overall severity of the crash
- The amount of wages you lost as a result of the crash
- Medical records listing the injuries resulting from the accident
- Any data contributed by your attorney
Insurance software programs look carefully at the injuries you sustained as a result of your crash. The most important factor taken into account is whether your injuries are permanent. However, even non-permanent injuries can lead to fair settlements depending on surrounding circumstances. Your settlement value may also increase if your injuries have been objectively proven through diagnostic testing, which is simple for injuries such as broken bones. However, more subjective injuries such as movement restrictions, depression, anxiety, headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances and muscle spasms are also worth monetary value according to the algorithms used by insurance software.
Finally, the insurance software will examine whether you have retained legal representation from a Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Professional
Entering a courtroom alone is extremely stressful, even for the most confident among us but particularly for someone who has just experienced the physical and emotional trauma associated with being in a motor vehicle accident. Insurance companies regularly deploy questionable tactics in an effort to protect their profits, including delaying payments or attempting to grossly underpay injured drivers. Hiring experienced counsel is the best way to take the guesswork out of the legal process and maximize your chances for compensation. Securing compensation serves two purposes: it provides you with the support you need and deserve as you heal and rebuild your life; and it requires those at-fault for your injuries to take responsibility for their negligence. Obtaining experienced local representation also means:
- Time sensitive evidence will be prepared and handled in an effective manner;
- Your injury and the cause will be thoroughly investigated;
- You will be prepared and confident when it’s time to go to court;
- All possible avenues for compensation will be efficiently and effectively pursued in your injury claim.
Sustaining serious injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident can be a life-altering experience, but it doesn’t have to severely hinder or limit your future. Whether you were injured as a result of driver negligence, hazardous road conditions, or a weather related collision, you do have the right to fight for compensation for the harms and losses you have suffered. If you are suffering from a motor vehicle accident injury in Maryland, contact Price Benowitz LLP today for a free, initial legal consultation.
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