Can I Sue Somebody Personally After a Car Accident?

Under Maryland law, personal injury victims are able to sue the alleged offenders in an attempt to recover economic and non-economic damages related to their injuries. According to Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5-101, civil suits must be filed within a three-year period following the inciting incident, unless another code lists a different statute of limitations. If a victim waits too long to take legal action, their case may be thrown out, and virtually every other state in the U.S. has similar statutes related to civil proceedings. However, their specific laws and statutes of limitations may vary on the topic. If you are wondering whether you can sue someone personally after a car accident, a lawyer versed in your state’s legal code may be able to help you better understand your legal options, allowing you to take action before it is too late.

Can I Sue an Insurance Company After a Faulty Settlement?

There are certain circumstances that allow for policyholders to bring legal action against their insurance providers. According to Maryland Claim Settlement Laws and Regulations § 27-1001, as detailed by the Maryland Attorney General, a party can sue in relation to settling a first-party claim under a policy of property or casualty insurance. Further, Maryland Claim Settlement Laws and Regulations § 27-304 outlines unfair practices that may be deemed to be fraudulent, including:
  • Misrepresenting important facts or policy provisions that relate to the claim or coverage issue.
  • Failing to acknowledge and respond to communications about claims that arise under the purview of their policies.
  • Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards that result in prompt investigations regarding policy claims.
  • Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation based on all the available information.
  • Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable timeframe after the proof of loss statements have already been completed.
  • Failing to make a good faith attempt to settle claims for which liability has been made reasonably clear.
  • Compelling insured parties to take legal action to recover amounts due under policies, as the result of offering settlement amounts substantially lower than the amounts ultimately recovered through civil litigation.
  • Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount an insured party would expect after studying advertising material accompanying an application.
  • Attempting to settle a claim based on an application that is altered without notice given to the insured, or without taking their consent.
  • Failing to include a statement of the related coverage policy to the insured after a payment.
If an insurance company acts outside of the bounds of the law, or outside the explicit terms of a policy-holder’s agreement, legal action may be warranted to attempt to recover any rightful damages. In some cases, victims can choose to retain a car accident lawyer to handle their proceedings and negotiations, allowing them to focus on their day-to-day life while a legal professional works on moving their case through the justice system.

What Types of Injuries are Potentially Eligible for Damages in Car Accident Lawsuits?

Any injury to a victim caused by the negligence or malice of another driver may leave them entitled to financial compensation. The amount of the potential settlement can vary based on the level of suffering the victim had to endure, or will have to endure in the future. It is also worth noting that Maryland is one of four states that utilizes contributory negligence law, which means if a claimant is found to be even one percent negligent for the accident, their right to compensation may be affected. Common actionable injuries seen in car accidents include, but are not limited to:
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Broken bones, commonly to the face or extremities
  • Injuries to the neck and back, including whiplash and herniated disks, as well as more serious injuries like paralysis
  • Burns, resulting from fires after the accident, or exposure to toxic chemical spills on the roadway
  • Spinal cord injuries, possibly causing permanent damage

Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Representing Victims and Their Families

The team from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow knows how frustrating it can be if a victim is asking whether they can sue someone personally after a car accident. We can represent car accident victims and offer a sense of relief during this difficult time. Our legal team can investigate your case and prove liability, allowing you to free yourself from any potentially confusing and time-consuming legal research. We can also help you sue the person responsible for your accident while you focus on recovering. To learn more about Maryland’s unique personal injury laws, contact the team from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow at (410) 877-6021 for a free consultation.