Compensation awarded by the at-fault party to a car wreck to the victim is intended to make up for what the victim lost or to make the injured party “whole” again. It’s important to remember the point of the system when asking how much should I settle for after a car accident in Maryland. There is no calculator to work out how much you should settle for after a car accident. Instead, you are faced with a range of issues that can determine the value of any eventual payout.
Attorney Randolph Rice will work with you to find out if your accident claim meets the criteria to allow you to sue the other party. He will also advise you whether an offer made by the insurance company is reasonable and worth accepting. Ultimately, the decision is yours. The answer to the question of how much should I settle for after a car accident in Maryland is enough money to return your life to the way it was before the car accident. In practice, this is not always possible. If you sustained a permanent injury including paralysis or a brain injury your life might never be the same again. However, the law has its own formulas relating to how much money is needed to make you whole again. Baltimore auto accident lawyer Randolph Rice discusses the different damages you can claim in your car crash settlement.
What Factors Affect a Car Accident Settlement in Maryland?
Certain factors have a bearing on how much you should settle a case for after a car accident in Maryland. You must prove negligence on behalf of the other driver to have a case in the first place. The key factors to consider in car accident cases include:
An act or omission by the at-fault party: The party you are seeking compensation from must have done something or failed to do something. For instance, a driver must have done something untoward to cause a wreck like running a red light or tailgating or failed to do something like yielding or repairing a dangerous tire.
A duty the driver failed to perform: All drivers in Maryland are under a duty to follow the rules of the road. If they fail to do so, they can cause a crash.
An injury or a loss: The claimant must have suffered a loss to sue the at-fault driver. This can be an injury, the death of a family member, or property damage to a car. If a driver hits you but there is no damage or injury, you have no grounds to make a claim.
The extent of your injuries: The extent of your injuries is a major factor in how much you should settle your Maryland car accident case for. The settlement should cover future medical costs as well as current bills and compensate for the possible loss of a job and the way of life you had before the crash. Don’t take an inadequate settlement if your injuries were catastrophic.
The extent of insurance coverage available: The amount of insurance coverage available is a major determinant in how much you should settle for after a car accident in Maryland?
The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate: Some insurance companies are more reasonable than others. Some adjusters are likely to be more flexible and accommodating to your requirements. Although this can affect the size of an offer it may not ultimately affect the car accident settlement because a Maryland personal injury lawyer can file a suit and take the case to court if necessary.
What Does a Car Accident Settlement Cover in Maryland?
There are two elements of damages in Maryland – economic and non-economic. Although your lawyer can’t put an exact figure on what you are entitled to, he will recognize a reasonable settlement offer. While we can work out economic damages, non-economic damages after an auto accident are more subjective.
What Are Economic Damages for a Maryland Car Accident Injury?
- Lost wages caused by the accident;
- Future lost wages;
- Medical bills directly attributable to the car wreck;
- Future medical bills linked to injuries sustained in the wreck or psychological issues;
- Funeral expenses;
- Property damage including the cost to repair your car and its diminished value.
What Are Non-Economic Damages for a Maryland Car Accident Injury?
Non-economic damages are also known as pain and suffering. Car accident victims can make a financial recovery for a wide range of losses. Often, the value of pain and suffering damages outweighs economic damages. They include:
- Physical pain
- Psychological trauma from an accident and conditions like PTSD
- Physical impairment
- Sexual discomfort
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of consortium, in the case of the loss of a loved one in a wrongful death case
Does Maryland Place a Limit on How Much You Can Claim for after a Car Accident?
Maryland has a cap on the amount you can claim for pain and suffering after a car crash. The cap on non-economic damages in Maryland is controversial but it has been upheld by court decisions.
In 2019, the cap for pain and suffering recovery was $860,000. The cap rises to $1,290,500 in wrongful death cases. The cap applies to car accident cases and other personal injury claims. There is no cap on economic damages.
Ask an Injury Lawyer How Much Should I Settle for After a Car Accident in Maryland
All cases are different and unique. There’s no easy plug and play system or formula that decides how much you should settle for after a car accident in Maryland. This depends on your medical needs and your expectations. However, you should be wary of settling for anything less. The human body is not made for car travel. Injuries often lead to unforeseen complications later in life. It’s important to secure enough money to meet your future needs.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our Baltimore personal injury lawyers have fought for the rights of car accident victims for years. We take on the insurance companies and fight vigorously to get you what you need and deserve from your car accident. See our results or call us today for a free consultation at (410) 834-1350.