College Park, MD Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents in College Park are scary experiences. Along with the sudden shock and fear that often comes right after the impact, car accidents often result in serious injuries that need emergency medical care.
The cost of treatment for car accident injuries can get quite expensive, even with the help of good auto insurance policies. The pressure of potential financial burden, as well as a desire to see justice done, pushes many people involved in car accidents to file car accident lawsuits against those who have wronged them. We have represented many car accident plaintiffs and are ready to lend our skills to your case. We can collect evidence, speak to insurance companies and opposing lawyers, and fight hard for you in court so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and living your life.
To get a free case review, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 and speak to our car accident lawyers.
Types of Car Accidents in College Park, MD
There are lots of different kinds of car accidents. While every plaintiff will have a different experience of their car accident, there are some common ways that car accidents play out. Additionally, getting the facts straight about how your car accident played out is an important part of the process for our car accident lawyers.
Rear-end collisions are when one car hits another from behind. Rear-end collisions can be some of the most dangerous car accidents. This is because there are some car components located in the rear of the vehicle that can become dangerous to the occupants if they are sufficiently damaged. For example, some older vehicles might have a gas tank prone to combustion if it is hit with enough force.
Rear-end collisions can happen in a couple of different ways. First, rear-end collisions can happen when the following vehicle moves significantly faster than the one in front of it. This often happens because the rear vehicle is speeding. However, a rear-end collision can also happen when the front car suddenly stops or slows down.
Rear-end collisions can be especially dangerous when one vehicle is significantly heavier than the other. For example, a pickup truck that rear-ends a convertible will do a lot of damage, and that same convertible crashing into a truck that suddenly stops moving will be akin to hitting a wall.
Head-on collisions – where two cars traveling towards each other collide – are also very dangerous. One of the reasons for the danger is that cars traveling toward each other will often collide on the driver’s side. Thus, the driver will face the full brunt of the impact and can get very badly injured, even with the presence of many front-facing safety features.
A T-bone accident is when one car strikes another perpendicularly. An impact to the side of a vehicle can be particularly dangerous because many of a car’s safety features are optimized for front and rear impacts. Moreover, even with ample safety features, there is simply less car between a driver and an oncoming vehicle when the impact is on the side. Therefore, injuries are sometimes more likely in T-bone accidents.
A single-vehicle accident generally refers to any accident in which only one car crashes. However, just because only one vehicle was involved in the accident does not mean the driver is responsible. Single-vehicle accidents can happen for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the driver’s conduct. The main ways that this happens are when something goes wrong with the car and the driver loses control or when poor road conditions result in an accident.
Additionally, another driver’s conduct can cause a single-vehicle accident without actually hitting the other car. For example, if a driver makes aggressive moves on the road and you try to get out of the way but crash into something, the other driver might be liable for your injuries because their dangerous behavior caused the accident.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries in College Park, MD
Even a minor accident can cause cuts, bruises, and whiplash. However, in some cases, car accidents can lead to severe injuries, such as head and spinal cord injuries, which can have life-altering consequences. The following are some of the most common injuries sustained in College Park car accidents:
Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
Neck injuries, such as whiplash, occur when the head is suddenly jerked forward and backward, putting strain on the muscles and ligaments in the neck. While whiplash is often considered a minor injury, it can actually lead to chronic pain and mobility issues if not properly treated. This is because the muscles and ligaments in the neck can become stiff and inflamed, causing pain and decreasing the range of motion in the neck. Proper treatment for whiplash usually includes physical therapy, massage, or medications to help manage the pain.
Spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, can be particularly devastating. These injuries occur when there is damage to the spinal cord, which is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, affecting a person’s ability to move their limbs or even breathe on their own. The extent of the paralysis depends on the location and severity of the injury.
Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are among the most severe a person can suffer in a car accident. These injuries can range from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), potentially causing devastating long-term effects.
Even if symptoms are not immediately apparent, it is crucial for accident victims to seek medical attention if they impacted their head in any way during the accident. The consequences of head and brain injuries can include memory loss, cognitive issues, physical impairments, or a combination of these.
Chest injuries are also a common occurrence because of the force that is exerted on the chest area by the seatbelt or steering wheel during a collision. The severity of these injuries might vary from minor bruises and contusions to more serious cases where the ribs are broken or internal organs are damaged. Severe chest injuries can cause critical damage to vital organs like the heart and lungs and require immediate medical attention.
Broken or fractured bones are among the most common. The force of impact can be so great that bones in the arms, legs, collarbone, skull, or ribs can break easily. In severe cases, surgery might be needed to repair the fracture, followed by a long and demanding rehabilitation process to restore mobility and strength.
Cuts and Lacerations
Flying debris, shattered glass, and metal can pose a significant risk of cuts and lacerations during and after a car accident. While some cuts might be minor, requiring only basic first aid, others can be quite serious and lead to significant blood loss, requiring immediate surgical intervention. In some cases, deep lacerations can result in permanent scarring and disfigurement, which can have a lasting impact on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being.
It is important not to overlook the significant psychological impact a car accident can have on the individuals involved. The trauma of the event can lead to various mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other related conditions.
These psychological conditions can be just as debilitating as physical injuries, affecting a person’s overall health and ability to work, maintain relationships, and carry out their daily activities.
Contributory Negligence in College Park, MD Car Accident Lawsuits
Pure contributory negligence is a legal principle that is still followed in College Park and throughout Maryland. In simple terms, it means that if a person contributes to their own injury in any way, even if it is just a minor contribution, they will not be able to recover damages from the other parties involved in the incident. If you are found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, you could be barred from receiving any compensation. This is a harsh rule, especially in cases where the other parties were mostly responsible for the injury.
Proving Contributory Negligence
In a car accident lawsuit, the burden of proving contributory negligence usually lies with the defendant. This means that the other driver or their insurance provider must provide evidence indicating that you did or omitted to do something that contributed to the accident.
There are several ways they might try to argue that you contributed to the accident, such as speeding, distracted driving, or violating any traffic laws. Ultimately, the defendant must demonstrate that your actions were a factor in causing the accident and that you were at least partially responsible for the damages incurred.
Challenging Contributory Negligence Claims
Obviously, being found contributorily negligent can have serious consequences for your case. Therefore, it is crucial to challenge such claims and provide evidence to prove that you did not contribute to the accident or that your actions were reasonable given the circumstances. This evidence might include photographs of the accident scene, witness testimonies, and expert reports that can provide insight into the accident’s cause and the victim’s behavior leading up to it.
How Long You Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in College Park, MD
The concept of a statute of limitations plays a pivotal role in car accident lawsuits. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101, a lawsuit must be filed within three years of the accident that led to your injuries. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this period, you could potentially lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Even though three years might seem like ample time, it is crucial to initiate the legal process sooner rather than later. Vital evidence, such as witness testimonies and your own memory of the details, can fade or disappear over time. Starting early allows you and our team sufficient time to gather evidence and consult with experts to build the strongest case possible.
How Our Lawyers Can Help after a Car Accident in College Park, MD
Lawyers are best known for arguing for their clients at trial in front of a jury. However, there is so much more that car accident lawyers can do to help you with your case, up to and including going to trial to fight for the damages you are owed.
Gathering evidence is one of the most important things lawyers do leading up to a case. In fact, the evidence-gathering process often takes up most of the time that a lawsuit is in play. We can collect medical records, talk to witnesses, and employ experts to get to the bottom of your car accident.
Talk to Adverse Parties
One of an attorney’s primary jobs is advocating for their client. This includes speaking to other parties that might not have the plaintiff’s best interest at heart. Insurance companies and opposing counsel are not looking to be your friends. They will try and use anything they can to exculpate themselves from liability or having to pay out a policy. Accordingly, our lawyers can use their skills to make sure that insurance companies and opposing counsel are given no wiggle room.
Go to Court
Even though the trial is the capstone of a lawsuit, our lawyers will put in the prep time to make sure that you have the best chance possible to convince the jury that the defendant is liable for your injuries.
Speak with Our College Park, MD Car Accident Lawyers Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s car accident lawyers can give you a free case review when you call (410) 694-7291.