Imagine, for a moment, you are taking a relaxing Sunday drive. You’re on your way home when suddenly, you see an oncoming car traveling the wrong way in a one-way street. Though you can hit the brakes or try to swerve out of the way, you still end up ultimately with no other option than to brace for impact. The car strikes you, and you sustain a serious lower-back injury as a result. This accident was not your fault, so why should you have to pay?
Fortunately, with the experienced Maryland personal injury team of Markey & Orsi on your side, you won’t have to. In fact, we have helped countless clients who’ve been injured in nearly identical situations, and we are ready to do the same for you. Below, we have compiled a guide to some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns regarding car accidents in the state of Maryland. Please continue reading and do not hesitate to contact our Baltimore auto accident attorneys to learn more about car accidents, what to do after being injured in one, and how our firm can help you recover the financial compensation you need.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Baltimore, Maryland
Let’s face it–sometimes, car accidents are simply unavoidable. Whether you got stuck driving in a serious storm, had a car part malfunction while on the road, or even crashed due to A negligently designed road, accidents are not always a motorist’s fault. However, that being said, the most common cause of car accidents is driver negligence. The three most prominent types of driver negligence we see in our day and age include distracted driving (the number one cause of car accidents), driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding. That being said, any other instance where a driver causes an accident by violating the rules and regulations is considered driver negligence.
The Most Frequent Types of Car Accidents in Maryland
There are several different types of car accidents in Maryland, however, the three most frequent are as follows:
- Rear-End Accidents: This is the most common type of car accident. All too often, drivers will tail other motorists too closely. When the driver in front stops, the chance of a rear-end accident drastically increases. These accidents are almost always the rear-ending motorist’s fault. Oftentimes, these accidents will occur as a result of texting while driving, or otherwise driving distracted.
- Head-On Collisions: The most fatal type of car accident; if you’ve been involved in a head-on collision with another motorist who was traveling either in the wrong lane or the wrong way down a one-way street, there is a very good chance you will be entitled to financial compensation.
- Collisions at Intersections: These are sometimes referred to as T-bone crashes. Generally, this type of accident will occur when one person is driving through a yellow light while another motorist traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn.
What You Should do After a Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, you must try and do several things to bolster your chances of winning a future personal injury claim. The steps all motorists should take after a car accident are as follows:
- Call law enforcement–they will send both police, who can document your incident, and an ambulance, who can take you to receive treatment.
- While awaiting their arrival, ask the other motorist for their insurance information and begin photographing the scene of the accident. Keep in mind that you must speak with the other motorist as little as possible, and though you should be polite, ensure you never say “sorry” or apologize in any way (it may be taken out of context and used against you).
- If anyone witnessed your accident, ask them for their name, phone number, and email so you may contact them down the road to corroborate your story.
- Once you’ve been taken to a hospital, ensure you ask your doctor for all documentation regarding your injuries, as well as their origin and extent/how they affect your daily life.
- Hire an attorney who is ready to fight for your rights, every step of the way. To win compensation, you will have to prove that you were injured as a direct result of another party’s negligence. Our firm is educated and battle-tested in doing just that.
- After filing your claim, stay away from social media if you can. Insurance companies frequently monitor victims after they file their claims to see if they can catch them posting anything that may contradict the injuries reported in their claim. The best way to avoid these complications is by simply refraining from posting until your legal matter is resolved.
Is PIP Mandatory in Maryland?
Drivers do not have to purchase PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, however, all insurance companies must offer a minimum of $2,500 in PIP coverage. After an accident, if you’ve purchased PIP, you will receive a certain amount of compensation to help cover a portion of your medical bills, regardless of the motorist at fault for the accident. However, all too often, PIP does not cover the full extent of the damages you’ve incurred, which is why many people will file personal injury claims to win the compensation they need.
What Happens if I am Hit by an Uninsured Motorist in Maryland?
This is one of the most common questions our attorneys receive. Fortunately, the answer is relatively simple: Rather obviously, if you’ve been hit by an uninsured motorist, you cannot sue their insurance company because they do not have one. However, Maryland motorists are required by law to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage allows the wrongly injured to instead file a claim against their own insurance company when injured by an uninsured motorist. This generally covers at least $30,000 in damages per person, as well as a $60,000 cap per accident. If you are looking to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, our Baltimore personal injury attorneys can help.
Can I Sue For a Car Accident That Was Partially My Fault in Maryland?
Unfortunately, the state of Maryland observes the rule known as contributory negligence. Simply put, this means that if you are even 5% responsible for an accident, Maryland courts will deny you financial compensation altogether. That is why all those who have been involved in auto accidents must retain the services of an experienced attorney who can prove their case was 100% due to another party’s negligence.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured in My Friend’s Car?
Let’s say you and your friend are driving to see a movie when suddenly, a deer runs out in the road, your friend crashes the car while swerving to avoid it, and you are seriously injured as a result. Of course, you don’t want to sue your friend, however, you also now require financial compensation to help you get back on your feet again. For obvious reasons, this can make an accident all the more stressful. Fortunately, we are here to tell you that in most cases, we simply sue your friend’s insurance company, rather than your friend him/herself. This means that generally, you can recover the compensation you need without hurting your friend’s wallet at all.
Does Maryland Have a Dram Shop Law?
If you are someone who was injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you most likely qualify for compensation. Many states have dram shop laws in place, which allow individuals harmed by drunk drivers to also file third-party lawsuits against establishments that negligently served the driver alcohol. Unfortunately, Maryland does not have a dram shop law in place, so you must hire an attorney who can win you sufficient compensation from the start.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Baltimore?
Plenty of people across the city of Baltimore now rely on Uber and Lyft as their primary means of transportation. Though these ridesharing services are largely both dependable and safe, they are not immune to accidents. Fortunately, Uber and Lyft have a system of liability coverage in place for those injured in Uber/Lyft accidents. This point system is as follows:
- Period 0: When the Uber/Lyft driver is not logged into the rideshare app, he/she is in period 0. If this driver gets into an accident, Uber/Lyft will not provide liability coverage.
- Period 1: Period 1 is when the Uber/Lyft driver is logged in to the app, has not yet accepted a ride, and causes an accident. In this case, Uber/Lyft provides liability coverage for an accident that is the driver’s fault, 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: This is when the Uber/Lyft driver crashes after he/she has accepted a ride and is on the way to pick up the passenger. In this case, liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- Period 3: Period 3 is when the Uber/Lyft driver crashes while the passenger in his/her car. When this happens, 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 For a Personal Injury Claim in Baltimore, Maryland?
Many of our clients are anxious about whether they will have to attend various court proceedings if they file a personal injury claim. Fortunately, in many cases, our firm will settle your claim before it ever has to go to trial. However, there are certain situations in which our firm will determine that we could potentially win you a far greater payout by taking your case to trial. In these scenarios, you can feel confident knowing you have a firm on your side that will work to win you the compensation you need as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Maryland?
Every state has a statute of limitations in place when it comes to personal injury claims. If you were injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations in Maryland states that you will have three years from the date of the accident to take legal action against the negligent party. If you wait past the three-year mark, you will most likely be barred from suing. Do not let this happen. We are here to begin the claims process immediately on your behalf–all you have to do is ask.
What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
Though our job is to uncover evidence and present it as convincingly as possible, the claims process generally runs the smoothest when we can work together. If you can, please bring the following documents and evidence to your initial consultation with one of our attorneys:
- Pictures of the scene of the accident, including damage to your car, the other driver’s car, or damage to any property.
- A written statement detailing exactly how the accident happened.
- Medical documentation detailing the origin and extent of your injuries.
- Your insurance information.
- Any contact you’ve had with the other motorist or their insurance company. This means any calls, texts, emails, or otherwise.
- The police report pertaining to your accident.
- Eyewitness contact information.
Though we understand this may seem a bit overwhelming, the truth is, the more prepared you are, the better we can assess your case and take the next step forward. That being said, no matter your situation, we are here to help. Just because you don’t have certain evidence on-hand does not mean we can’t obtain it. For example, in many cases, our firm can subpoena security footage of an accident on your behalf, which is often the most valuable type of evidence. If you are someone who has been wrongly injured, whether in a car accident, a truck accident, a pedestrian accident, a motorcycle accident, or even a mass transit accident, the most important thing you can do is speak with our compassionate attorneys today. Our firm also assists those wrongly injured in bicycle accidents, workplace accidents, and various slip and fall accidents. No matter your injury, Markey & Orsi is here.
Contact a Maryland Car Accident Attorney Today
We hope this guide was both informative and reassuring. However, if you have been injured in a Maryland car accident, there is nothing more critical to the process than hiring an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney who you can trust to fight, tooth-and-nail, for your rights. We know how daunting the weeks and months forward may seem, however, we want you to know that we will be your number one advocate, every step of the way. For an injury sustained in a Baltimore auto accident, you know where to turn–contact Markey & Orsi today.