After a car accident, you’ll probably need to deal with insurers. These include your insurer and the insurer of the driver who caused your accident. Insurers may pursue you aggressively and ask that you provide them with a recorded statement.
When insurers reach out to you, consider contacting your lawyer. In most cases, you do not need to provide insurers with a recorded statement. A lawyer can manage insurance negotiations on your behalf and protect you from unfair settlement offers.
Why Should I Contact My Lawyer Instead of an Insurer?
To clarify, it’s important you notify your insurance company that you were involved in an accident as soon as possible. Your insurer will likely be straightforward to deal with. However, many car accident claims involve dealing with an insurer other than your own. This is because Maryland mandates that all drivers carry liability insurance with the following minimums:
- $30,000 for bodily injury
- $60,000 for two or more people
- $15,000 property damage
To access this type of insurance, you must contact the insurer of the driver who caused your accident.
Dealing with Insurers
This part of the process has many pitfalls. The liable party’s insurer is not on your side. In most cases, their goal is to save money, not provide you with fair compensation. They may try to reduce the value of your claim by:
- Asking that you provide a recorded statement and using the information you provide against you
- Suggesting your injuries aren’t severe
- Reviewing available evidence to suggest you were at fault
Making the wrong statement to an insurer can harm your case. For example, if you tell an insurer, “I feel fine,” they may take that as an indication that you weren’t hurt in the accident. This could reduce the value of the settlement they’re willing to give you.
Deferring to a lawyer during this part of the process could protect your best interests. A car accident lawyer will likely have dealt with insurers before. They can advise you on what you should or should not say to them and communicate with insurers on your behalf. You don’t have to deal with big insurance companies alone.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
You Must Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim
To win an insurance claim, you must prove another party caused your car accident injuries. These are some examples of car accident cases involving fault:
- A driver ran a red light and hit you
- A municipality failed to maintain a road, causing an accident
- A trucking company failed to vet the driver who caused your accident
These cases, while different, share one thing in common. They involve accidents caused by the negligence of another party. You cannot receive compensation if you cannot show that someone else caused your car accident.
A car accident lawyer can work to show insurers that another party caused your car accident. To do so, they can review relevant evidence, including:
- Your medical records
- Traffic camera footage of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Crash expert testimony
- Images of the crash scene
This information can be used to highlight the negligence of another party. Once a lawyer has built your case, they can submit a settlement demand package to insurers. If insurers refuse the settlement, your lawyer can initiate negotiations.
What Can I Receive in a Car Accident Settlement?
Settlements, which are often accessed through insurance claims, can reimburse you for your damages after a car accident. Damages are divided into two groups, economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover your accident expenses, whereas non-economic damages reimburse you for the emotional toll of your accident. Together, they include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damages
- Reduced earning capacity
- And more
What if I Lost a Loved One?
It’s nothing short of tragic to lose a loved one in a car accident, and a wrongful death claim cannot bring a loved one back. However, it can support a family as they navigate the aftermath of losing their special person. Damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Reduced familial earning capacity
These cases are usually limited to close family members, like a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased. In some special cases, another party may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death case.
How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Case?
Technically, there’s no legal deadline associated with car accident insurance claims. However, lawsuits in Maryland do have a deadline, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-101. In car accident cases, this deadline is typically three years.
Car accident cases typically don’t necessitate lawsuits. However, if an insurer refuses a settlement demand, or the driver who caused your accident wasn’t carrying insurance, you may need to file a lawsuit. For this reason, it’s best to get started on your case as soon as possible.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Now
At the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow, we care about our clients. We prioritize accessibility and compassion and can keep you updated every step of the way. We can deal with insurers so you don’t have to. Contact our offices for a free case evaluation today.