Immediately after a car accident, your first concern should be making sure that you and your passengers are safe and well. Once the situation calms down and all injuries have been treated, you can begin to think about filing a lawsuit against whoever is responsible for your crash.
How Car Accidents Happen
There is no “average” car accident. Every acchas different outcomes and happens for different reasons. There are numerous laws that try to discourage particularly dangerous driving behaviors. For example, all of the activities listed below are regulated or illegal in the state of Maryland, as summarized by the Government Highway Safety Association.
- Drinking and driving: The connection between alcohol and dangerous driving behavior is well established.
- Distracted driving: The most common source of distraction is the cell phone. Texting and driving is explicitly banned by Maryland state law.
- Speeding: The speed limit on Maryland interstates is 70 miles an hour. Going faster than this—or going at 70 miles an hour in dangerous conditions (e.g., a rainstorm)—increases your risk of crashing.
- Teen driving: No matter how conscientious they are, teen drivers just do not have the experience and maturity of older drivers. Their ability to drive at night or with passengers is regulated.
How can you tell if your car accident qualifies you for damages? One good way to figure it out is to hire a lawyer. They will investigate your case from top to bottom, seeking evidence that the accident caused your injuries and that the party you are suing should pay you compensation. If you would like to learn more, call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow at (410) 777-8960. We can assign a Clinton car accident lawyer to fight for your rights.
For legal consultation with a car accident attorney in Clinton, call (410)777-8960
Filing for Damages
According to the Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5–101, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The statute for wrongful death lawsuits, found at Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3–904, gives you three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file such a lawsuit.
Your accident may qualify you for two different kinds of damages. The first, noneconomic damages, includes whatever physical or mental harm you sustained, like:
- Pain and suffering, e.g., changes to your physical and mental health
- Disability, e.g., the loss or loss of use of any body part
- Reduced quality of life, e.g., the inability to perform necessary tasks (e.g., bathing) without help
- Loss of consortium, e.g., the negative effects of your injuries on your marriage
- Loss of society or companionship, e.g., the fact that your deceased loved one is no longer around to care for you
The second, economic damages, includes whatever financial harm you sustained, like:
- Medical expenses, e.g., the money you spent to save your life or treat your injuries
- Lost wages, e.g., the money you lost from missing work due to your injuries
- Funeral expenses, e.g., the money you spent to lay your loved one to rest and settle their estate
No matter what types of damages you sue for, you will need to calculate an exact dollar amount to go with each one. This dollar amount represents what you believe your injuries are worth.
Know that Maryland is one of four states that practices contributory negligence law. In other words, if you are found even 1% responsible for the accident, the state can bar you from receiving any type of compensation. Still, the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow will strive to get you the compensation you need.
Clinton Car Accident Attorney (410)777-8960
What We Can Do for You
Lawsuits involve a lot of time and work, especially when you are unfamiliar with the law and the legal process. Your case may run more smoothly if you hire a lawyer to work on your behalf. The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can take the lead in all of the following areas:
Opening an Investigation
The police have likely already investigated your car accident. How is your lawyer’s investigation different? Your lawyer’s main goal is to find evidence showing that:
- Your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Your accident was caused by the party you are suing.
- Both the accident and your injuries have had a big financial and psychological impact on your life.
To find evidence supporting these three points, your lawyer will look at police reports, medical records, surveillance footage, and more.
Going After Compensation
In most cases, if you receive any compensation, it will be paid out by the liable party’s insurance company. Therefore, it is your lawyer’s goal to build a case so convincing that the insurance company has no choice but to pay what you are asking for.
We can do this in one of two ways. The first (and faster) way is through negotiations. Your lawyer will sit down with the insurance company’s representatives and do their best to reach a satisfactory pretrial settlement.
The second way is through a trial. We only take this step if negotiations fall through or if the insurance company refuses to negotiate at all. Trials are more time-consuming and stressful than negotiations. Sometimes, however, going to court is the only way to get the money you need.
Advising and Supporting You
We are never too busy to answer your questions and concerns. Get in touch if you need answers, want to update us about a new development in your case, or are unsure of what to do next. We can even recommend trusted, highly qualified medical providers to treat you for your injuries that our team would go see if we were hurt in an accident.
Still have questions or concerns? That is what the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow is here for. Call us at (410) 777-8960 today. You do not just have to email or call us. We provide our clients with a unique phone number for 24/7 text communication. Even before you hire a Clinton car accident lawyer, we can help you by assessing your case at no cost or obligation to you.