Frequently Asked Questions of Maryland Car Accident Lawyers
Protecting the futures of injured clients in Baltimore, Columbia and throughout the state for more than 30 years
Imagine you have suffered a serious injury in a car accident that was caused by another driver, and now you are not sure what to do next. Maybe you are being bombarded with advice about how you can sue the other driver and collect a lot of money, but you are not sure who to turn to for dependable advice about your car accident claim.
The Maryland car accident lawyers at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. have spent more than 30 years serving clients who have been injured, and helping them to obtain compensation for their losses. For many of our clients, when they meet with us it is the first time they have consulted with an attorney, and they might feel unsure about what questions to ask or about how the process will work. We wanted to share a few of the questions that we hear repeatedly, to help you make informed decisions about your future.
Q: How is fault determined in a car accident?
We will investigate the crash and use the evidence available, including your statement, police reports, eyewitness statements, photos, and videos, to determine which motorist is at fault in causing the accident.
Q: 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.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer for my accident?
Initially, it will not cost you anything to hire a car accident attorney from Plaxen & Adler, P.A. to represent your interests in your car accident claim. Our injury attorneys are paid on contingency, which means that we are paid a percentage of your award when you win your case. There are no other fees or expenses for you to cover during the settlement negotiations or during a trial. There is no fee if there is no recovery.
Q: How can a Maryland car accident lawyer help me?
Car accident attorneys use their knowledge of the law and their experience gained from many years of helping other clients recover compensation when they have been injured. By necessity, we are keen investigators, savvy negotiators and staunch advocates for our clients’ rights. An attorney will almost always be able to recover far more compensation on your behalf than you would be able to get on your own.
Q: How much is my personal injury case worth?
The amount of damages you might receive in a settlement or in a jury verdict vary widely, but are based on several factors, including the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, and other out of pocket losses, as well as the injuries you received, the treatment you went through, and whether or not your injuries are permanent.
Q: What is the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland?
The time limit imposed on the cause of action is called the statute of limitations. For a personal injury claim in Maryland, that is three years from the date of your injury, OR from the date that you reasonably should have known you were injured. It is important that you seek legal counsel after you sustain an injury, because you can be time-barred from receiving compensation if the statute of limitations has passed.
Q: What kinds of damages are available to me if I was injured in a car accident where the other driver was at fault?
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Q: 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 not a 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.
Q: 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 in 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 torn 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 seem medical attention as soon as these symptoms begin to manifest.
Q: How Can a Maryland Car Accident Lawyer Help with My Property Damage After an Accident?
Property damage is sometimes the most important thing to our clients, often the most important thing to our clients, because transportation is so vital to them getting to the doctor, getting to work – and being without their car has a lot of impact on them, so we get involved with that right away. We get them into a rental vehicle, we make sure they’re getting to the proper body shop and getting their car repaired in an appropriate manner.
Q: 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. 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 are circumstances under a theory of vicarious liability where a parent could be held responsible.
Q: What Happens if my Car Lost Value After an Accident?
I think everybody understands you’ve tried to trade in a car, and you get less for your vehicle because it’s been in an accident. In additional to getting you rental and getting the repairs made on your car, often times, especially on newer vehicles, if it’s been in a significant accident, we need to retain an expert who can tell the insurance company how much less your car is worth because it has been in an accident. Because once your case is over, years down the road when you go to sell your car, we want to make sure that you’re compensated for the loss that you will eventually take because your car has been in an accident. So we have the experts. We know how to do that.
Q: Am I Entitled to a Rental Vehicle After an Auto Accident?
If the accident is not your fault, you are entitled to a rental vehicle. In many of our cases we can get the insurance company to pay for the rental vehicle upfront. In cases where there is an ongoing investigation or it’s unclear whose fault the accident is, it is possible that you might have to pay for the rental, and then our services will get you reimbursed for your rental vehicle. But it’s certainly one of the elements of damages that we get reimbursed for you.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident attorney who will protect your interests
At the Maryland law firm of Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we create opportunities for those who have been injured to recover compensation for their losses in Baltimore, Columbia and throughout Maryland. If you have been injured in a car accident, please call 410.988.4449 or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Maryland injury lawyer today.