We may not think of it when we climb behind the wheel, but anytime you hit the road in Maryland – whether to head to home, work, or another destination – there is always a chance of being caught up in a car accident. In many cases, these accidents are the fault of another driver, though mechanical problems and road conditions could also play a major role. However, in cases like these, it can be difficult to hold the responsible parties liable for their actions and for the damage they cause. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in Maryland, it’s important that you consider hiring a Maryland car accident lawyer who can fight for just compensation on your behalf, but you might be wondering: At what point should you get a lawyer for a car accident in Maryland? To find out, keep reading as the experts at Rice, Murtha & Psoras explain.
When to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Maryland
If you’ve ever filed a lawsuit before, you may already know that there is something called a “statute of limitations” governing how much time you have in which to file your suit. This time window varies depending on the type of litigation involved; for most types of lawsuits in Maryland, including car accident claims, the time window to file is three years, though there are circumstances in which it can change. For example, if the other party in your suit is a local or state government, Maryland car accident laws adjust the statute of limitations to just one year.
It may seem like a three-year window offers all the time you could possibly need to file your lawsuit, but this time should not be taken for granted. Establishing the elements to prove your claim will almost certainly take time, and collecting the necessary evidence becomes more and more difficult the further you get from the date of your accident. For these and other reasons, it is important that you hire an experienced Maryland car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash.
Benefits of Getting a Lawyer After a Maryland Car Accident
Proving a claim of negligence – the basis of pretty much any car accident lawsuit – can be a complicated process, so it’s critical that you have someone at your side with experience in this area. To be successful in your car accident claim, you and your attorney will have to prove four particular points: a legal duty on the part of the liable party, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages.
Showing the first of these – the other party’s legal duty – will require explaining to the court the ways in which the liable party should have behaved. For instance, if you are suing another driver after your Maryland car accident, this stage will involve establishing that the other driver had a responsibility to operate their vehicle in a way that did not endanger those around them. If you are claiming that the liable party is a local government, either because they failed to properly maintain their roads or because they created or ignored some other hazard, you will have to prove that they were supposed to address the problem that caused your accident.
The second point that a skilled Maryland personal injury lawyer will work to prove is that the defendant breached their duty in some way. This may involve proving that the other driver engaged in reckless behavior or that a liable car part manufacturer failed to ensure the quality of the defective product that caused your accident. The third element that must be proven is causation; in other words, it must be established that the behavior of the defendant directly caused the harm you experienced. The final point essentially involves providing proof of the damages you incurred; this could include copies of medical bills, evidence of lost wages, or other documentation.
While some of these points may seem like no-brainers, establishing them to the satisfaction of a judge or jury can be quite difficult in many cases. To help your chances, your attorney should be able to present expert testimony, compile physical evidence, and take any other steps required to prove your case and ensure that you come out victorious.
It is worth noting, however, that many car accident claims never make it to court because the parties involved privately agree to a settlement. This can work to the benefit of both plaintiff and defendant, as the injured party can receive compensation much more quickly, and the defendant can pay a smaller amount than what they would probably be ordered to pay after a trial. However, the defendant will almost certainly try to offer as little as possible, especially if they are a large company looking to cut costs. Having a skilled Maryland attorney by your side can help you avoid low offers so you receive the compensation you deserve, even if you don’t take your case to trial.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, bus accident, or motorcycle accident in Maryland, don’t wait to contact an attorney. The process of proving a claim and winning compensation can be long and complicated, so it’s important to get started as soon as possible. The team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras stand ready to put their experience to work for you today; schedule a free and confidential consultation right away by visiting us online or calling (410) 694-7291.