Cecil County, MD Car Accident Lawyer
The roads and highways in Cecil County, MD are congested with vehicles, people traveling for work, and trucks transporting goods through the area. With the number of cars on the road, accidents are an unfortunate occurrence. Luckily, many collisions are just fender benders, with everyone involved walking away without a scratch. However, when excessive speed or loss of control causes accidents, the subsequent injuries could be catastrophic, life-altering, or even fatal. If you are involved in a car accident, make sure that everyone is safe, call the police, and then seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
When you are injured in a car accident, you have the ability to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Your lawsuit could earn you the compensation that you need to recover comfortably. the compensation amount will be determined based on a number of factors, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You only have three years to file your car accident injury lawsuit, so make sure that you act quickly or risk losing out on your rightful compensation entirely.
If you or a loved one was injured due to another motorist’s reckless or negligent driving, you must contact our Cecil County, MD car accident lawyers immediately. You have a right to be compensated for medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. the experienced attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are dedicated to assisting our clients injured through no fault of their own. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Cecil County, MD
While many accidents are just that – unavoidable accidents – others are instead the direct result of another person’s reckless or negligent driving. Hundreds of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are hurt each year because other motorists fail to drive safely. Some of the following are the most common driving mistakes that endanger others:
- Texting, eating, or other activities that distract drivers from paying attention to driving
- Getting behind the wheel after drinking, taking drugs, or using prescription medication that compromises the driver’s physical and mental capabilities
- Driving recklessly or carelessly or driving while experiencing “road rage”
- Swerving, tailgating, or other common dangerous practices that are common in high-traffic areas
Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Cecil County, MD
Every car accident is different, and the type and severity of injuries that occur depend on numerous factors. the kind and number of vehicles involved, the speed at which they were traveling, the location of the accident, and the angle of the collision effect the potential harm to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. the following are some of the most common injuries in car accidents:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head injuries and brain damage
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
Not all of these injuries are immediately apparent to the victim when sustained. Even if you feel fine, you may be dealing with a condition that can worsen dramatically if untreated. Always seek medical examination and assessment immediately after a car accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Cecil County, MD
After a car accident, you should first check to see if you or your passengers were injured. If possible, relocate the individuals and vehicles to a safe place off to the side of the road to avoid creating any additional accidents. Then, seek immediate medical attention or wait until proper medical assistance arrives. If you are able, the following are some additional tasks to consider performing.
Call the Police
Call and report the accident to the local police. First, they will secure the accident scene and ensure everyone receives medical attention. They will also file a police report that could help you determine liability. While a police report is not usable as evidence in court, it can provide you and your lawyer with information to help establish that another driver was at fault.
Most people have smartphones with cameras, and photographs can be valuable evidence. If you are able to, take pictures of the accident site, the damage to the vehicles, any marks or debris on the road, and any traffic signs and lane markings in the area. Additionally, take photos of your injuries.
Seek Medical Care
If you believe you escaped a serious accident without injury or if your think your injuries are only superficial, you should still seek medical attention. Often, the full extent of an injury is not readily apparent. Furthermore, a medical report is vital in building a successful personal injury lawsuit. If you begin to experience adverse medical consequences related to the accident weeks or months after, the lack of medical treatment at the time could be used as evidence that your injury was not a direct result of the accident.
Additionally, be sure to follow through with any treatment your doctor prescribes and attend all appointments. Failing to do so could be used as evidence that your injury was not serious or that you made your injuries worse by failing to follow treatment plans.
Talk to a Lawyer
Under no circumstances should you sign or accept a settlement from an insurance company without consulting our Cecil County, MD car accident lawyers. Our experienced, knowledgeable car accident injury attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your case and guide you through your options. We will gather evidence regarding your accident and your injuries to prepare negotiations with insurance companies. If necessary, we will prepare your case for trial.
Calculating Car Accident Damages in Cecil County, MD
Every car accident is different, and every personal injury lawsuit that follows is also unique. Our trusted Cecil County car accident lawyers will initially attempt to reach a reasonable settlement amount with the defendant’s insurance company. If the insurance company is unwilling to cooperate on a reasonable settlement, we will prepare your case for trial. Some of these factors will determine the amount of a potential settlement:
- The amount and type of damage to the vehicles involved in the accident
- The type and severity of your injuries
- The permeant effects of your injuries, including disabilities and lost wages
If your case goes to trial, you should be aware of how the court will calculate the damages that are appropriate in your case. Maryland law requires that courts take into account several economic and non-economic factors for assessing damages. In certain cases, the court may also award punitive damages, which are only available when the defendant’s conduct rises to a particularly heinous level of disregard for the well-being of the victim.
Below are summaries of how the different damage categories may apply to your case.
The term “economic damages” is used to refer to those direct expenses or losses that result from the victim’s injuries. Car accident injuries will likely require extensive medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, specialist appointments, and prescription medication. These and other medical costs are all considered when awarding damages. If you have to make modifications to your home or vehicle to account for more long-term injuries, damages will cover these costs as well.
Economic damages also include the consequences of your injuries to your income. Many injury victims struggle to return to work or meet the requirements of their job description as a result of their injuries. Economic damages will include any lost wages, paid time off, days used, or decline in earning potential that the victim sustains because of their injuries.
You can also recover for the damage done to your vehicle. Be sure to record any damage estimates that you receive from an auto body repair shop, as these will be strong evidence of the cost of the damage to your property, which is compensable as well.
Not all of the consequences of a car accident injury can be so clearly shown on a spreadsheet. You are likely to experience pain and suffering as a result of your ordeal. Your injuries or any surgical procedures to deal with them may force you to experience chronic pain that impacts the quality of your life. Psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety are especially common for car accident victims with serious injuries. Your Cecil County car accident lawyers can examine your case to help you estimate how much you might recover in non-economic damages through your car accident lawsuit.
In certain cases, a third form of damages may be available. Punitive damages may be available to victims in instances where the defendant’s behavior amounted to gross recklessness or where they acted intentionally. Essentially, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for particularly heinous conduct and discourage that conduct in other potential offenders in the future. Punitive damages, unlike the other forms above, are based on the conduct of the defendant rather than the harms to the plaintiff, though more serious injuries may influence a court that is already considering an assessment of punitive damages. Common instances where punitive damages are awarded include drunk driving, drag racing, and road rage incidents.
Punitive damages are admittedly rare, but may represent the largest portion of your total compensation if awarded. Therefore, it is important that you work with our experienced Cecil County car accident attorneys to determine if your case may warrant punitive damages.
Liability for Cecil County Car Accidents
To hold another motorist accountable for your injuries and financial losses in a personal injury claim for negligence, you must demonstrate four elements:
- Breach of Duty
Drivers in Maryland owe other motorists and pedestrians a duty to operate their vehicles safely. Any decisions they make or actions they take while driving should meet the standards of a reasonably prudent in the same situation. For example, if the weather is terrible, a prudent driver would slow down and keep a safe distance between themselves and other drivers on the road. Should a driver fail to take reasonable safety precautions, they could breach their duty and could be considered negligent. Additionally, reckless driving, speeding, or other traffic violations could be evidence of a breach of duty.
Your injury must be a direct result of the defendant’s negligence. Proving this requires showing that the defendant was at fault and that the collision caused your injuries. Additionally, you must have suffered actual damages. Damages in Maryland personal injury lawsuits can include economic damages (such as medical expenses or loss of income) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Lawsuits in Cecil County, MD
If you hope to recover for your injuries sustained in a Cecil County car accident, you must abide by the State of Maryland’s time limit for filing. Maryland’s statute of limitations for car accident injury lawsuits is three years from the date of the accident. This means that, generally, an injured victim has three years from the accident to formally file their lawsuit, or else their case will be thrown out.
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations on car accident injury lawsuits in Maryland. For example, if the injured victim is a minor at the time of the accident, they may have slightly longer to file their lawsuit for damages. If a victim dies as a result of the accident, the clock on the three-year statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit begins on the day of the death. If you are suing a government entity, you may have even shorter than three years to act. No matter what, you should speak to a Cecil County car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you believe you may have a valid claim and want to avoid missing any critical deadlines.
Call Our Cecil County, MD Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation
While many car accidents only result in minor cuts or bruises, some accidents leave victims severely or permanently injured. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a car crash, you need the assistance of our accident lawyers. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.