Maryland car accident lawyer

Maryland Car Accident Lawyers

Skilled representation for people injured in car crashes in MD

Whether you are driving on a highway or negotiating traffic on local roads, if you live in Maryland, there is a chance you will be involved in a car accident at some point. For almost 40 years, the Maryland car accident attorneys of Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. have offered honest, practical advice for injury victims throughout the state. If you have been hurt in a collision, let us help you.

Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. has helped countless Maryland accident victims through the personal injury claim process. We ensure that your rights are upheld and protected, advocate for you with the insurance companies, and try your case in court if necessary when litigation is required to obtain the best possible outcome for you. We even help you with the rental car company, so you can focus on getting well, and protecting your family’s future.

What should I do after a car accident?

  1. Call 911. If you or one of your passengers is injured and requires emergency treatment, this should be the first call you make.
  2. Call the police. Call the police if the accident is serious; they can block off traffic so you are safe to exit, and can question witnesses about how the accident occurred. Their records may prove crucial later when you make a claim for damages.
  3. Exchange insurance information. While you wait for the police, exchange information with the person in the other car. Do not discuss who may or may not have been at fault, and avoid being too confrontational; simply get the information you need, and then wait by your car. Get as much information as you can from any witnesses.
  4. Start taking pictures. Take pictures of the inside of the car, your passengers, the outside of your car, the other vehicle and the roadway. If the other driver allows you, take a picture of his or her driver’s license. DO NOT post these pictures online. Save them on your phone and transfer them to a safe and secure backup when you get home.
  5. Move the car. If you feel okay, and the car is safe to move, try to get your vehicle to the side of the road. In cases where it is too dangerous to move your car over to the right, turn on your hazards, and look to see if you can exit the vehicle – but only if it is safe to do so, and only if you do not have an injury that could be exacerbated by moving. Make sure to take pictures at the scene quickly to document how the injury occurred before you move the car.
  6. Make an appointment with your doctor. Visit your doctor as soon as you can. You may have sustained injuries that are not apparent at first, and having a record of those injuries may help you later. Even if your injuries seem minor, you should get checked out as soon as possible, because a long delay in seeking treatment will lead the insurance carrier to question your injuries. Have those injuries documented so the at-fault driver’s insurance company has no reason to question your health.
  7. Call an experienced auto accident attorney. There are many nuances to auto accident cases. You want a lawyer who understands these laws, and knows how to examine the documentation you have of your injuries in order to show that you deserve compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

Steps involved in pursuing a car accident lawsuit in Maryland

At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we first seek to settle claims as quickly as possible without litigation, so that you can begin to recover as soon as possible. However, if an insurance company becomes unreasonable, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit on your behalf. If so, we will aggressively and zealously represent your interests in a court of law.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., can guide you through this process from start to finish by:

  1. Filing a complaint against those who caused you harm through your car accident, including physical injury and property damage.
  2. Serving the complaint to those parties.
  3. Responding to the complaint.
  4. Filing a cross-complaint or counterclaim.
  5. Collecting evidence during discovery, the phase of the process during which both sides engage in formal and informal interrogatories, take depositions of those involved, including witnesses, and gather appropriate expert testimonies.
  6. Filing any pertinent motions to the court, for example, seeking to restrict discovery or to compel compliance with discovery requests.
  7. Representing you in pretrial proceedings, including conferences to present and negotiate settlement offers, and allowance of evidence. Your lawsuit could end here if you agree to a settlement offer.

If you do not receive a fair settlement offer from the insurance carrier, then your case proceeds to trial where a judge or jury will decide the case. We are well-known throughout Maryland for our innovative and proactive approach to practicing law and have built a reputation for fighting aggressively on behalf of clients throughout Maryland.

What kinds of damages are available to me if I was injured in a Maryland car accident?

Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

How can a Maryland car accident injury attorney help?

A car accident could leave you injured and in need of our assistance. You may need help getting medical care, getting your vehicle fixed, securing a rental vehicle, and obtaining reimbursement for lost wages, as well as compensation for your pain, suffering, aggravation, and inconvenience.

At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. we have decades of experience helping people just like you secure the compensation to which they’re entitled after a car accident that wasn’t their fault.

We routinely represent clients who have experienced all manner of health conditions because of an accident. We work with your doctors to document your injuries and the results they have had on you and your family. On occasion, we may bring in an accident reconstructionist to help juries understand how the accident happened and why. Our Maryland car accident attorneys also know what an acceptable offer of settlement looks like and can recognize when the insurance company is being unfair.

Our team can assist with car rentals and towing bills, as well as coordinate between your insurance companies. If you sustain injuries in that crash, you want a legal team on your side that can protect you and obtain for you proper compensation for your lost wages, your pain and suffering, and any scarring you have, as well as your medical bills.

Our car accident lawyers offer free case evaluations, which is an opportunity to determine the best legal course of action under Maryland law given the facts of your case. In most instances, Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can obtain an out-of-court settlement. Our decades of experience enable us to negotiate the maximum recovery. However, if an insurance carrier denies your claim, or you are offered an unfair or inadequate settlement, our personal injury lawyers are prepared to pursue litigation or bring a lawsuit against the individual or corporation that caused your injury. From the onset, every case we take is diligently prepared as if we are going to trial.

How long will it take to resolve my car accident claim?

There are many variables that factor in to how long it might take to settle your car accident claim, so there is no definitive answer to this question. It is, however, a great question to ask your Maryland car accident attorney when you consult with him or her about your case.

Insurance concerns facing car accident victims in Maryland

After a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. It's important to review your insurance policy and consult with your provider to understand the specifics of your coverage. You may have the option to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Here are some common insurance options that might apply:

  • Liability insurance. This is mandatory in Maryland and covers the other party's bodily injuries and property damage if you are at fault in the accident. Maryland's minimum liability coverage requirements are 30/60/15, meaning $30,000 per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $15,000 for property damage.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Also required in Maryland, PIP covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs for you and your passengers, regardless of fault. The minimum required coverage for PIP in Maryland is $2,500, but you can choose to increase this coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): This coverage is not required in Maryland but can be incredibly beneficial. It helps cover your expenses if you're in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or has inadequate coverage.
  • Collision coverage: This optional coverage helps pay for repairs to your vehicle, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender might require you to have collision coverage.

If the insurance company does not treat you fairly, or refuses to negotiate a more just settlement, then your next option may be to file a personal injury lawsuit. We can discuss these options during your consultation.

What happens if the at-fault party has no insurance, or too little insurance?

For car insurance financial liability purposes, Maryland is an "at-fault" state, meaning the individual who is found to be at-fault in the crash is responsible for covering the financial costs for the motor vehicle accident. If the at-fault party is either underinsured or uninsured, your injuries might be covered under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which is required under Maryland law (UIM coverage). Your insurance company would pay the difference between what the other driver's policy covers and the cost of your injuries.

Filing a wrongful death claim for a fatal car accident in Maryland

Wrongful death is the legal action survivors take after losing a loved one in a car crash that occurred because of another’s negligence. It allows you to request compensation from the at-fault party for the loss of support and companionship resulting from the death of your loved one in the auto accident.

Of course, filing a legal action while you are grieving is not easy. This is where the Maryland attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can help. We provide support and knowledge on complex matters like the following:

  • Statute of limitations. Here in Maryland, the statute of limitations on a wrongful death case “shall be filed within three years after the death of the injured person.”
  • Eligibility for filing. Under Maryland law, only a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action. If there are no people who qualify, then any person related to the deceased by blood or marriage and dependent on them may file a wrongful death action.
  • Recoverable damages. A wrongful death case allows you claim damages and losses for things like medical, funeral and burial expenses. It can also provide compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering, loss of companionship, future income and earnings, and other losses.

Our wrongful death attorneys can describe all of these and more in detail, as well as a complete explanation of your rights.

How does negligence cause car accidents across Maryland?

Most vehicle accidents are the result of negligence and/or operator error. As one of the premier auto accident law firms in Maryland, we have represented people in some of the most complex cases in the area. We have developed a reputation for the work that we do, and are often referred by other firms who do not have the resources to take on these types of claims. We routinely work with people who have sustained injuries in car accidents involving:

The rise of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have added new issues of liability when it comes to collisions. We are prepared to help clients in claims against Uber or Lyft and their drivers.

Other common causes of Maryland car accidents

Though most Maryland car accidents are caused by inattention or negligence, in some cases the culprit is a defective vehicle, whether by design or manufacture.

In this technological age, there are many ways for drivers to become distracted — cell phone calls, text messaging, and GPS operation are but a few. This is in addition to the usual methods of inattention, including falling asleep at the wheel, reading directions, and talking to passengers. We will explore every avenue to identify the cause of the collision in your case, including discussions with every possible witness, and identification of the negligent driver’s cell phone records where necessary.

Though most Maryland car accidents are caused by inattention or negligence, in some cases the culprit is a defective vehicle, whether by design or manufacture. Auto accidents may be caused by:

Additionally, even if the collision is caused by negligence, your injuries may have been more severe because the car you were in lacked sufficient safety features, like rollover protection. If there is a product liability issue, our attorneys will collaborate with an accident reconstructionist, safety engineers and other experts to determine whether a faulty vehicle played a part in causing your injuries.

Investigations into a car accident are not always clear-cut. Defective roadway design may cause or contribute to an accident because of poor lane markings, inadequate or missing signs, or roadway defects. In situations like this, as experienced Maryland auto accident attorneys, we work with experts to identify the defect and hold the responsible governmental agency accountable.

If my child caused a car accident in Maryland, can the parents be held liable?

In the state of Maryland, there are generally two scenarios in which parents are liable for their children’s actions in the event of a car accident. Neither typically applies in a minor fender bender or other such circumstance which teens are apt to find themselves in as they learn to drive:

  • Negligent entrustment. If a child is unfit to drive for any number of reasons – typically lack of experience/licensure or intoxication – and a parent permits his son or daughter to use his vehicle, the parent can be held liable for any resulting harm. This is similar to the liability faced by companies that provide vehicles to knowingly unfit employees to use.
  • Vicarious liability. Vicarious liability is a legal theory which allows one person to be held liable for the actions of another. In Maryland, there is no state law that makes a parent or guardian civilly liable for a minor’s negligence, or for an accident caused by a minor. And even intentional misconduct on the part of a minor in Maryland may not give rise to parental liability. However, there could be times where a parent is held liable under this theory. For example, if the child is engaged in an activity on behalf of the parents (like running errands with the family car) and gets into an accident, then the parents could potentially be held liable.

What are common injuries from car accidents?

Every auto accident is different and there are countless ways a person can become injured when they are involved in a motor vehicle collision. Here are some of the common types of injuries from car accidents:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI is a serious head injury, the symptoms of which do not always appear right away. However, the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be devastating and long-lasting.
  • Back and neck injury. The trauma from the impact of an auto accident can cause serious injury to the back and neck, which can require surgery and rest in order to recover.
  • Spinal cord injury. While the spinal cord is strong enough to support the entire body, its intricate structures are delicate. When the spinal cord is damaged it can lead to loss of function and sensation in parts of the body below the point of injury.
  • Injury to internal organs. The internal organs can sometimes suffer from puncture wounds from broken bones or mangled objects in the wreckage after the crash. A perforated bowel or punctured lung could be life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention, as can undetected internal bleeding.
  • Facial injuries. The sudden smack of the face against the airbag, dashboard, steering wheel or window in the case of a side-impact crash can fracture the bones in the face and jaw. Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations from broken glass and bruises can occur from flying debris in the vehicle.

What are some delayed injury symptoms that show up after a car accident?

These are five of the most common delayed symptoms after a car accident:

  • Headaches or dizziness. Developing headaches following a car crash is common depending on the type of accident. You should never ignore a headache, as this symptom could be pointing to a more serious problem, such as a brain injury.
  • Tingling or numbness. Numbness in the arms, hands and fingers could be caused by a pinched nerve, or a more serious injury to the back or neck. In some cases, it could indicate a blood clot.
  • Pain in the back, neck, or shoulders. Whiplash gets a “bad rep,” but is a serious injury, and you could end up living in chronic pain. If you develop aches, cramps, radiating or shooting pain, or any constant discomfort in your neck, back or shoulders, you should seek medical attention. You may have slipped a disc or strained or tore a ligament.
  • Abdominal pain. Pain and swelling in the abdominal area could be a sign of damaged internal organs or internal bleeding. If you notice bruising that was not there the day before, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome. (Formerly post-traumatic stress disorder) PTSS can occur at any time: within days of the crash, or even months later. If you start to feel dizzy, anxious, or nauseous when you think about driving, or if you experience panic attacks or flashbacks, you might be experiencing PTSS.

It is important that you seek medical attention as soon as these symptoms begin to manifest.

Do you have a Maryland car accident attorney near me?

Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. is located at 10211 Wincopin Circle, Suite 620, Columbia, MD 21044. However, we have offices located throughout the state of Maryland for your convenience. We can also arrange to meet by telephone or videoconference if you are unable to come to us.