Maryland Catastrophic Car Accident Lawyers
What to Do After a Car Accident in Baltimore
- Check on your injuries, the well-being of the passengers, and get to a safe place either a sidewalk or the roadside, quickly. You can pull the car to the side to prevent more risks to other road users. However, leave the car where it is if you cannot drive.
- If you suffer serious injuries, do not try any body movements but allow the emergency rescue personnel to transport you to the nearest hospital.
- Avoid any discussion on the fault or talking about the accident facts with the motorist.
- Call the emergency line 911, or request another person, even a bystander, to contact 911. Inform the police about the incident whether the crash is minor or a major collision. The law enforcement officer will document the accident scene and file a report.
- Ensure that you get the personal information of any accident scene witness and the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The information includes the name of the motorist, contact information, driver’s license, and license plate number. Record the type, model, and color of the vehicle as well as the accident location.
- Document the accident. This includes identifying the police officers, getting a copy of the police report, and taking pictures or video of the damage.
- Notify the insurer of the accident and reach out to an auto accident lawyer to help you deal with the process. This can help protect you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company.
How to Pursue a Car Accident Claim in Baltimore?
Although hiring one of our Baltimore car accident attorneys can remove the burden of filing your claim from your shoulders, it’s wise to at least understand the filing process before you begin. That way, you’ll know your major deadlines and filing requirements ahead of time. The steps you take following your personal injury incident can determine your future eligibility for compensation.
If you wish to pursue a claim in Baltimore, follow these steps for the strongest possible odds of success:
- Strengthen your case with evidence. You won’t need to prove your case until the settlement negotiation or personal injury trial process, but you can start building your case from the day of your accident. It’s never too early to start gathering evidence. Do your best to collect evidence such as the other driver’s name and insurance information, photographs of the accident, police report number, license plate numbers, eyewitness statements, and medical records. Keep all documents organized in a case folder.
- Don’t delay medical care. One of the cardinal mistakes many personal injury plaintiffs make is assuming they don’t have any injuries. Even if you feel relatively okay, tell police officers you aren’t sure whether you have injuries and seek prompt medical attention. You could have a hidden brain, back, neck, or internal injury with delayed symptoms. Get a checkup before telling police officers and insurance companies you’re not injured.
- Learn your rights. If you believe someone else caused or negligently contributed to your personal injuries, start learning your rights. Every state has unique personal injury laws and filing requirements. In Maryland, at-fault insurance laws mean you’ll file your claim with the other party’s insurance company. If you need to take your case further by filing a civil complaint, you have three years from the date of your accident to do so.
- Call an insurance company to file your initial claim. Most car insurance companies require claimants to file “as quickly as possible” after a collision. This generally means after going to the hospital and dealing with personal injuries. Call the at-fault driver’s insurance company to file your claim when you can. Someone with the title of “claims adjuster” or “claims analyst” should give you a follow-up call.
- Don’t let an insurer take advantage of you. Once the claims adjuster calls, remember that less is more. The law does not obligate you to admit fault, say yes to a first settlement offer, or agree to record a statement. The adjuster’s job is to escape with as little liability for the collision as possible. Be wary when speaking to adjusters, or trust a lawyer to take care of these conversations on your behalf. Otherwise, you could hurt your claim.
- Retain a car accident lawyer. Contact us as early as you wish in the personal injury claim process for guidance and assistance. We’re more than happy to preserve and gather evidence, investigate your crash, identify the defendant, take over communications with insurance companies, and handling the rest of the filing process on your behalf. Hiring an attorney ensures you safeguard your rights and fight for full car accident compensation.
Once you hire a lawyer, you’re ready to file your personal injury claim. You will file with the Maryland small claims court if your case is worth $5,000 or less or file a standard civil case for higher-value claims. You will need to file before the deadline and according to all applicable state laws. Then, you and your attorney will enter the compensation negotiation process, which may entail a personal injury trial. The sooner you contact our firm, the easier the Baltimore claims process can be on you and your family.
Why do I Need an Accident Attorney After a Crash?
In just a few seconds, a car accident can change your life. A serious injury can result in temporary disability or permanent damage. This can lead to significant hospital bills, medical leave from work, and a lifetime of medical care and physical therapy.
You need attorneys with experience and a successful history of litigation when the stakes are high. Otherwise, an insurance company could take advantage of you and offer much less than your case is worth – or nothing at all.
In Maryland, there are many specific car accident laws you must follow. One of our Baltimore personal injury lawyers can walk you through the legal processes and help you every step of the way. We can:
- Handle settlement negotiations with insurers
- Help you know which doctors to see
- File a claim against negligent parties who are responsible for your crash
From start to finish, we’ll take care of your case as if it were a personal matter. We truly care about our clients as people and are as skilled as attorneys come. To maximize the results of your claim, retain a Baltimore accident attorney.
Maryland Car Accident Laws
Each state abides by unique car accident laws and statutes. During your journey toward financial compensation after a crash in Baltimore, you must obey these rules to secure a settlement or verdict. The team at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy is here to walk you through the laws in Maryland. In the meantime, here are three of the most important car accident laws to know:
- Deadline for filing a claim. In Maryland, you have three years from the date of your car accident or discovery of injuries to bring a claim. The same is true for property-damage only car accident claims. Don’t miss your deadline – this will almost always result in the courts dismissing your case.
- Fault system for car accidents. Maryland is a “fault” car accident state, meaning that victims must prove someone else’s fault to be eligible for financial recovery. Due to the state’s contributory negligence laws, victims found even partially at fault for a crash lose their right to recovery. This is why it’s important to hire an auto accident lawyer to protect your rights.
- Damages available. The Maryland courts allow car accident victims to seek recovery for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage costs. Non-economic damages can refer to physical pain, emotional suffering, lost quality of life, and loss of consortium.
There are dozens of federal, state, and local laws that could play a role in your specific car accident claim. Product liability laws, premises liability laws, and negligence laws could all be relevant. Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has the legal resources of a large firm, while offering the personal touch of a boutique law office. We have the information, facts, and legal expertise you need to optimize your odds of a larger settlement or judgment award.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury and wrongful death in the country. Around the nation, millions of people suffer injuries in car crashes each year. In the last five years in Maryland, there has been an average of 101,797 crashes per year – 31,092 causing injuries and 455 ending in death annually. Each crash is unique, there are certain Baltimore personal injuries that arise more commonly than others, such as:
- Broken bones
- Burns, scrapes, and lacerations
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
No matter what type of injuries you recently suffered in car accident, come to Murphy, Falcon & Murphy for a free consultation. We’ll investigate your crash, collect evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to compensate for your personal injuries. The more serious your injuries, the more you need an attorney to fight for you. Our firm knows exactly what it takes to secure the maximum compensation for clients injured in Baltimore.
Vehicle Insurance Requirements
Maryland law makes it mandatory for all drivers in the state to carry at least minimum amounts of liability insurance at all times. This insurance will cover victims’ damages in the event of an at-fault accident. The minimum requirements from the state are at least $30,000 in bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage. Drivers must also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers can elect to purchase more than the minimum amounts, if desired.
2018 Car Accident Statistics
The more you know about Baltimore and Maryland car accidents, the better you can protect yourself from tragedy. Knowing where, when, and how most traffic accidents happen could help you avoid becoming a victim. If you or a loved one has already suffered injuries in a Baltimore car accident, perusing statistics can help you feel less alone in your battle. Here is a compilation of all the most recent data available (2016-2018) for car accident statistics:
- Throughout the United States, 37,461 people died and hundreds of thousands suffered injuries in auto accidents in 2016.
- In 2016, 505 people died in Maryland car accidents. The majority (393) of these fatalities occurred in urban accidents.
- In 2017, Baltimore County recorded 20,764 car accidents. This was a slight increase from the previous year and a large increase from the five-year county average of 17,660.
- Many fatalities in Maryland car accidents in 2016 involved people who were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the wreck (151).
- In 2016, 130 car accident deaths in the state involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Almost as many (127) involved speeding.
- Maryland motorcyclist deaths totaled 75 in 2016. Most (63) were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
- One driver who caused a fatality in Maryland was under the age of 15 in 2016.
- One hundred and four pedestrians died in traffic collisions in Maryland, 2016. Sixteen bicyclists also passed away in crashes.
- In 2016, the state of Maryland’s fatalities per 100,000 population came in under the U.S. average (8.39 and 11.59, respectively).
- More than half (54%) of the 505 traffic fatalities in Maryland in 2016 were in single-vehicle accidents. The other 46% were multiple-vehicle accidents.
- Sixty-three fatal crashes in the state in 2016 involved large trucks.
- In 2016, the deadliest county for car accidents was Prince Georges County, with 75 deaths. Baltimore County was second with 55 deaths, followed by Anne Arundel County with 44.
- In 2017, distracted drivers caused 207 fatal crashes in Maryland. This was an increase from 171 in 2016. Distracted drivers in the state caused 18,643 injury crashes in 2017.
- October is the most dangerous month for drivers in Maryland, with the highest number of auto accidents on average (9,870).
- Car accident deaths cost the U.S. around $44 billion every year.
In the face of the rising number of car accident injuries and deaths in Maryland, keep yourself and your family safe by obeying roadway rules. If a loved one in Baltimore lost their life in an accident due to a DUI, distracted or negligent driver, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.
When there is a high-stakes Baltimore car accident case, our firm is almost always involved. Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has a legacy of fighting for justice that spans back more than 70 years. To the people of Baltimore, the name “Murphy” is synonymous with exceptional legal representation. We’re a firm you can trust to fight long and hard for outstanding results. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you’ll only pay our fees if we win you financial compensation.
If you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a Baltimore car accident, we are the firm to call. Whether you believe you have a simple, straightforward insurance claim or are dealing with a complex and high-value case, we can help. When results matter, we’re the firm clients count on for tenacious representation. We want to help you and your family get the compensation you deserve. Call (410) 951-8744 or complete our online form to schedule a free car accident consultation in Baltimore today.