There are few events more jarring than a serious car accident. Driving where we want to go is so integral to our ideas of independence and self-sufficiency that to suddenly have to doubt our safety in a vehicle can leave us feeling paralyzed, making it difficult to live our lives with the freedom we once enjoyed. And that’s not to mention the considerable physical injuries that can be inflicted in a car accident – injuries that can be as expensive as they are painful. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident in Maryland, you might want to consider filing a claim through a Maryland car accident lawyer who can help to increase your car accident settlement. To learn more on this subject, keep reading as the experts at Rice, Murtha & Psoras provide some answers.
How to Reach a Settlement After a Car Accident in Maryland
Because cars move quickly and with considerable momentum, even a minor mistake behind the wheel or small obstacle in the road can lead to a serious accident, hurting not only the driver of the vehicle in question but also other motorists and passersby. When this happens, the liable party is often expected to pay some sort of compensation to those who were injured, but this process is rarely straightforward. There are a few ways to obtain this compensation if you have been injured in a car accident in Maryland – namely through insurance payments, settlement agreements, and damages awarded at the conclusion of a trial; here, we’ll focus on settlements.
Once you have filed your car accident claim, the defendant in the case will likely contact you through their attorney with a settlement offer. This settlement is typically a low-ball offer designed to minimize costs for the liable party, although it could seem like a lot of money in the moment. However, it’s important to remember that an initial settlement offer tends to be far less than what you would receive through a trial, so you generally should not accept it, at least not right away.
Instead, avail yourself of your best option for increasing your car accident settlement: a skilled Maryland attorney. Not only can a qualified legal representative estimate the value of your claim – and, by extension, the amount you should receive through a settlement – but they can also recognize and counter any attempt on the part of the defendant or their lawyer to trick you into accepting less than you should.
In addition, having an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer on your side can show the liable party that you are serious about your claim and are willing to take it to trial, where they may be on the hook for far more money than they want to pay. To mitigate this risk and end the claim against them, the defendant will often increase the amount in their settlement offer.
Importance of Establishing Liability After a Car Accident in Maryland
Another of the many ways in which an experienced attorney can help you after a Maryland car accident is by working to identify and prove liability for the damages you suffered. This part of the case is especially important in Maryland because the state applies an extremely harsh rule, known as “contributory negligence,” to all car accident claims in the state.
Under the concept of contributory negligence, a driver who is in any way at fault for their accident is barred from filing a claim to recover damages. This draconian rule essentially means that if, after determining liability for the accident, you are found to be even 1% at fault, you cannot recover anything from the other driver, even if they were 99% responsible. By working with a skilled and aggressive attorney, you can better establish the facts of your case and prove full liability on the part of the other parties involved in your accident.
Though there are many parties who could be liable for your Maryland car accident, the following are some of the most common culprits:
A person steering half a ton of metal at dozens of miles an hour can do a lot of damage if they’re not careful, so it’s no surprise that other drivers are the top cause of car accidents in Maryland and elsewhere. This can happen when someone experiences road rage, drives well over the speed limit (speeding), drives too close to your rear bumper (tailgating), drives while using their phone (distracted driving), or engages in any other type of reckless behavior.
A look under the hood or behind the dashboard of your car will reveal just how complicated these machines can be. That’s why it’s crucial for every part of a car to work correctly; a leak here or loose bolt there can easily cause a key system to fail, creating the potential for an accident. If a car maker or auto part manufacturer provided you with a defective product that caused your accident, it’s possible that they are liable for subsequent damages.
Local or State Governments
As a critical part of Maryland’s infrastructure, it falls on many local and state governmental bodies to maintain the state’s roadways and ensure a safe driving environment. If they fail in this duty, either by creating or ignoring a hazard on a road, they may be liable for your car accident.
Maryland Car Accident Attorney Offering Free and Private Consultations
Recovering from a Maryland car accident is never an easy process, but you and your loved ones don’t have to go through it alone. The experienced legal team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras stands ready to help you navigate the settlement process and any other proceedings related to your car accident claim. To meet with a legal representative and discuss your case in a free consultation, visit us online or call (410) 694-7291.