Can You Handle Your Own Car Accident Claim in Maryland?

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Insurance companies make money when they refuse to pay car accident claims and when they keep settlements low.  These companies often employ powerful legal teams to fight borderline cases and reduce payouts in serious car accident claims and lawsuits.  If you were involved in a car accident in Maryland, you have the legal right to represent yourself and handle the claim on your own, but our Maryland car accident lawyer at Rice, Murtha & Psoras caution against that.  We’ll explain why.

Can You Handle a Car Accident Claim without a Lawyer in Maryland?

If you do not have a lawyer representing you in a car accident claim, then you essentially act as your own lawyer.  When it comes to filing an insurance claim for property damage only, this might not be a big deal.  Insurance companies are used to working directly with victims, and these cases can often be resolved quickly.  However, when there is significant damage or you suffer any kinds of injuries, these cases become far more expensive, and insurance companies become far more aggressive.

When you act as your own lawyer, you are held to the same standards that an attorney would be held to.  This means you need to collect and present evidence, meet court deadlines, prepare documents, and pursue other avenues without any help.  Other non-lawyers cannot legally represent you, so without a lawyer, there is no one to act as a buffer between you and the aggressive legal teams that insurance companies employ.

It is important to understand that when there are injures in a car crash, these cases often do not start and end with an insurance claim, but they instead progress to a lawsuit.  Insurance claims for car accidents do not pay damages for pain and suffering, so many victims need to file their case as a lawsuit to get the compensation they truly deserve.  That means escalating to a full-fledged trial in many cases, something that most non-lawyers are not experienced with.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Injury Attorney in Maryland

Our Maryland car wreck lawyers can do a lot of things to help with your case.  The process of filing an insurance claim is familiar to many non-lawyers, but even that process can be confusing for people who face significant expenses from a car crash or who are too injured to manage on their own.  If the case escalates to a lawsuit, a lawyer will know what steps to take to file and fight the claim as well as how to build a strong argument for damages.

Identifying and Calculating Damages

The damages that you claim in your case are something your lawyer can help with as well.  There are many areas of damages that an insurance company will not immediately offer to pay.  For instance, while an insurance company might be willing to pay for lost wages, they might not offer up future lost wages without a fight.  Similarly, pain and suffering damages are not paid through insurance claims, which means you need to go to court to claim them.  Then, once you are in court, you will need help valuing how much your pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages are worth.  There are also different options for pay structures (e.g., lump-sum payments or annuities) that can also ultimately affect how much you receive in damages.

Building Your Case

Lawyers are also experienced in building cases.  The Baltimore car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been handling car accident cases for decades and, while we have not seen it all, we certainly have the experience to handle a wide range of cases with a wide range of issues.  We know what evidence to look for, how to collect it, and how to structure a case to help our victims get the compensation they need.

Handling Complex Legal Issues

There are also many complex legal issues that are important to consider under Maryland law.  For instance, Maryland uses a contributory negligence system, which means that if the victim shared even 1% of the fault in causing their own injuries, they cannot recover damages.  This makes it vital to control the narrative, to avoid disclosing anything that could be construed as an admission of fault, and to be precise about the arguments and admissions you do make.

Calm Approach

Lawyers also provide a particular advantage in injury cases that often lead even other lawyers to hire an attorney for car accident cases: a lawyer provides distance between a victim and the case.  Many car accident victims are mad about what happened to them – and rightly so.  But allowing cooler heads to prevail can often be an essential benefit in legal cases.  This is why it is often better, regardless of the circumstances, to have a lawyer represent you in any legal case.

Cost-Effectiveness

Lastly, hiring a lawyer is not typically too expensive or detrimental to your case in most car accident claims.  Injury lawyers are often paid on a contingency fee.  This means they are paid a percentage of the winnings in the case and that you do not need to pay up front for their services.  Essentially, they only get paid if you win.  Plus, attorney’s fees can often be recovered as part of the case, which means the lawsuit covers a lot of your costs on its own.  Talk to our Montgomery County, MD car accident attorneys about using a contingency fee arrangement in your case.

Call Our Maryland Injury Attorneys for Help with Your Car Accident Case

Our lawyers have decades of experience helping car accident victims get compensation for their injuries after serious crashes.  For a free legal consultation on your case, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Maryland personal injury lawyers.  Our number is (410) 694-7291.

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