Harford County Car Accident Lawyer
You Have the Right to Pursue Fair CompensationWith more vehicles on the roadways and more potential distractions than ever before, driving is more dangerous than ever. The destructive wreckage, catastrophic injuries, and even death that automobile accidents can cause should be enough to motivate drivers to be more responsible. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. If you have been involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, it is important to know what your rights are under the law and how to effectively pursue the compensation that you may be entitled to.
Have you been injured in an auto accident? Call our Harford County car accident attorney now for a free consultation at (410) 777-8960.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Violating posted traffic laws or speed limits
- Driving without a license
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists
Maryland is a Fault-Based Car Insurance StateMaryland operates under a traditional fault-based system for for car insurance, meaning that the driver or drivers who caused an accident (or more accurately, their insurance companies) are financially responsible for paying damages to anyone who was harmed.
You may seek compensation after a car accident by doing any of the following:Drivers in Maryland are mandated by law to purchase and maintain at least $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $15,000 of property damage coverage per accident. This coverage pays for the damages suffered by others in an accident that the insured driver causes up to the limits of their policy. Once these limits are exhausted, an at-fault driver is personally on the hook for any remaining damages.
- By filing a claim with your own insurance company, who will then pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance
- By filing a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance, or
- By filing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Is the Insurance Company Denying or Minimizing Your Claim?When someone else’s mistakes have caused you to miss work and lose wages, rack up costly medical bills, and endure suffering on a daily basis, they should be held responsible for the financial burdens they have created for you. You have the right to receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. Unfortunately, in today’s climate, insurance companies are designed to devalue your personal injury claim and deny your settlement—or give you the lowest monetary amount possible.
How Our Harford County Car Accident Lawyer Can HelpYou have already been the victim once after being injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. If you attempt to deal with insurance companies or pursuit compensation directly from the at-fault driver without strong legal counsel, you will likely end up being the victim twice. Having the services of a skilled attorney can give you the edge you need to maximize your potential compensation and protect you from mistreatment during this difficult time.
Our Harford County car accident attorney can provide several benefits to your case, including:
- Intimate understanding of Maryland personal injury law and how it applies to your case
- Assistance getting you get the quality medical care you need to recover
- Handling all paperwork and correspondence with insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind
- Thoroughly investigating the cause of your crash by collecting and analyzing evidence such as police reports, eyewitness testimony, video surveillance footage, vehicle data, toxicology reports, and vehicle damage
- Explanation of all your legal options and guidance towards the most appropriate course of action
- Bringing much-needed objectivity to your case during this emotional time
- If out-of-court negotiations should fail, pursuing litigation in court to yield a fair financial award
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident in Harford CountyA car accident is undoubtedly a jarring experience, but it is nevertheless important to stay in control of your actions during the aftermath. What you say and do during this time can have an impact on your ability to recover compensation during a subsequent personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Stick to the following steps and contact an attorney as soon as you have an opportunity to ensure your interests are guarded.
After a car accident:
- Stay at the scene. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime!
- Render aid to any injured parties and call for an ambulance if anyone appears to be seriously hurt. Afterward, call the police. You have a legal duty to immediately notify the police if anyone is injured, killed, an unattended vehicle is hit, a vehicle cannot be safely moved, a drunk driver is involved, an accident is a hit and run, a driver refuses to exchange information, or if a domestic animal is hit.
- Once the police arrive, tell them your version of the facts. Avoid making any unsure statements or speculation. Do not apologize or admit fault in any way. If they ask you if you are hurt, say you are not sure and need to see a doctor to confirm.
- Exchange information with all involved motorists, including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle registration information, and insurance policy information. Be courteous, but do not discuss the crash with the other drivers.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses to the collision for future reference.
- Collect as much photographic and video evidence as possible. This includes photos of the damage to all involved vehicles, the positioning of vehicles in relation to each other, skid marks on the road, weather conditions, traffic patterns, and any other details that show what happened. If you can, get a photograph of your injuries before they are treated.
- Once cleared by the police to leave, seek medical treatment. Even if you feel fine, there is a chance you are injured but may be experiencing delayed symptoms due to your body’s adrenaline response. Tell your doctor about any aches or pains you are experiencing and follow their treatment instructions closely.
- Keep a record of all expenses you incur related to your injuries and a journal of how your injuries affect your day-to-day life during your recovery.
- Do not sign any forms authorizing the insurance company to access your medical records or any settlement offers until you have a chance to speak to an attorney. There is a good chance this offer is far lower than what you would actually need to cover your full losses. An attorney can negotiate with the involved insurance companies on your behalf and help you pursue the full amount of damages you deserve.
Going Up Against the Insurance Companies on Your BehalfAt the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow, we understand the difficulties of trying to pursue a personal injury claim on your own. Our Harford County car accident attorney is here to help you create the strongest possible case, protect your rights, fight insurance companies head on, and work tirelessly to maximize the value of your settlement. We don’t wait for the insurance companies to come to us, we go to them seeking rightful compensation.
Hear From the People We’ve Helped5 / 5 stars “Mr. Adam Smallow represented me in an accident case where I was hit in the back while sitting at a light. He is a great attorney and kept me abreast of what was going on with my case. We even did a mock trial before we went to court to help prepare me for trial. That was very helpful and I was not at all nervous during my testimony. He is very fair with his pricing. He is also very honest, pleasant and well prepared with his cases. I highly recommend the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow.” Connie H.
Need a car accident lawyer in Harford County? Contact our firm online or by phone at (410) 777-8960 for aggressive legal representation.
Harford County Car Accident FAQ
How long do I have to file an auto insurance claim?
Most auto insurance policies require you to notify your insurance company of a crash and open a claim within a “reasonable amount of time,” which is usually interpreted as a few days of the crash. It is important you do not delay when notifying your insurance company. While there is no mandatory reporting deadline, failure to report a claim in a timely manner may be deemed a failure to cooperate with your insurance company and could potentially result in a denial of insurance benefits.
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
If negotiations with the involved insurance companies fail to yield an acceptable settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit against the driver or their insurer and pursue compensation through litigation. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is three years. In other words, you have until the third anniversary of your collision to file a claim in civil court for your case to be heard. Once this deadline passes, you will lose your right to sue and will effectively be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. While you technically have 3 years, you should not wait this long if you have been in an accident. Getting a lawyer involved early can help to protect you against potential costly pitfalls and maximize your chances of success.
What should I do if I’m the victim of a hit and run accident?
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, we recommend you do the following:
- Call the police and stay at the accident scene until they arrive.
- Do not follow or chase the other vehicle. Doing so could put you in danger.
- Talk to witnesses. If anyone saw something, get a statement from them as well as their contact information for future reference.
- Contact a Harford County car accident lawyer from our firm. We can aggressively investigate your accident, work to identify the responsible party, and pursue all avenues of compensation and insurance coverage available to you.
Do I really need a car accident attorney?
Most minor car accidents that cause minor damage and do not result in injuries can be handled on your own without the assistance of an attorney. However, if you have been seriously injured as a result of a crash, it is in your best interests to involve an attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies are unlikely to deal with you fairly without legal representation and may attempt to delay, limit, or even completely deny you compensation. Keep in mind that insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating your claim right away. You need to have an experienced legal advocate on your side to level the playing field.
How much is my case worth?
While every case is different, the value of your car accident claim will be heavily influenced by factors such as the severity and long-term impact of your injuries, the extent of damage to your vehicle, the amount of time you are forced to miss work due to your injuries, and the amount of evidence proving the other driver’s liability. Generally speaking, car accident cases involving catastrophic injuries such as brain damage or spinal cord injuries tend to yield higher payouts, while cases involving soft-tissue injuries will have a lower value. It is important to consult with a Harford County car accident attorney to get a more accurate understanding of your case’s value.