Attorney Randolph Rice and his award-winning Baltimore car accident lawyers have over 30 years of experience and knowledge and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Let their expertise and knowledge go to work for you. If you’ve been hurt or a loved one has died in a vehicle crash in Baltimore, contact them today for immediate legal help.
Don’t wait, the insurance company is already working to deny your claim or low-ball you with a quick settlement that in many cases, won’t even pay for your outstanding medical bills. You’re under enough stress after an accident, let their car accident lawyer Baltimore has trusted for over 30 years do the heavy lifting while you recover.
Should You Contact a Lawyer for a Baltimore Car Accident?
You should always contact a lawyer for a car accident if someone else was at fault for the accident and you were injured. There are numerous reasons you want to speak with a lawyer as soon after an accident is possible. By hiring the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, you will:
- Ensure more money in your pocket and get your medical bills paid back and lost wages reimbursed;
- Get the money you deserve for your pain, suffering, time and hassle you went through because someone else was negligent, reckless or intentionally caused the auto accident;
- Expedite a faster settlement or verdict, secure the money needed to move on with your life;
- Protect you from saying ‘the wrong thing’ to the insurance company and their adjusters that could sink your case from the start; and
- Make your life easier after the auto accident, allowing you to focus on the physical and mental recovery.
If this sounds like you and you’re ready to get started, let us take away the stress of your crash. Call or email attorney Randolph Rice today by calling (410) 694-7291. We’ll schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Why Hire Attorney Randolph Rice for Your Car Accident Case?
Imagine getting maximum compensation (money): all of your medical bills paid, lost wages reimbursed, your vehicle repaired/replaced and cash in your pocket after an accident. It’s possible by hiring an experienced Baltimore car crash lawyer to handle your claim properly.
Keep reading to learn the process and best strategies to follow after an auto accident and how an automobile accident lawyer can get you up to 3.5 times more money in your pocket after an accident. We’ll lay out how and why you should hire a lawyer to represent you throughout your accident injury claim. We will also explain the injuries associated with a crash.
Baltimore Auto Accident Attorneys
Motor vehicle accidents can be complicated, especially with the changing insurance and injury laws in Maryland as well as battling the insurance company for the at-fault driver. If the person that struck your vehicle was negligent in the operation of their vehicle, then they should pay for your damages, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Make sure you hire an experienced Baltimore car accident attorney like Randolph Rice to represent you in your injury case.
We don’t charge you a penny to take on your case, we are paid from the insurance settlement or verdict. That means it doesn’t cost you to hire our office to fight for your rights after an auto accident. It also means that means we don’t get paid unless you win. Our auto accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of injury victims in Maryland, don’t take your chance with the insurance company and let them short change you and your settlement.
Our injury lawyers have handled hundreds of auto crash cases in Maryland, achieving monetary results for our clients that get them back to where they were before the accident. The auto accident attorneys Baltimore residents trust will fight for your rights and fair compensation in your case. When we take on your case, you can focus on healing and recovering from your injuries, while we make the insurance company pay for the damage their client has caused to you.
The negligent driver that struck you has an insurance company that is looking to avoid all payments. The insurance company does not want to pay for the bad acts of its insured. And if they have to pay, they want to minimize the amount they have to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. That’s why you need the Baltimore car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice fighting for you.
We know how insurance companies work and how they calculate insurance claims for the damage to your vehicle and medical care. They will try and low-ball every single person that files a claim against their insured. We won’t let them do that to you, we’ll make sure they pay you what you deserve in your accident case.
Give us a call today to speak with one of our injury lawyers and discuss your car accident claim. Call (410) 694-7291 for immediate legal help.
How Can an Auto Collision Lawyer Help in Baltimore?
You never expect it will happen to you, but if you’ve been injured in an auto collision, the help of an experienced Maryland car accident attorney will make the process easier and ensure a better outcome in your claim. You don’t know if you’ll ever be a victim in a car accident. If you’re an unexpected victim, speak with our auto collision lawyer today for immediate legal help. There is no fee to take your case and we’ll fight to get you the money you deserve.
Unfortunately, there are events on Maryland roads and highways that can never be predicted and will not only ruin your day but may also cause headaches for many weeks and possibly years to come. Hiring the best auto accident lawyer can make the difference between a successful claim and one that drags on for years and doesn’t receive maximum compensation.
We represent clients in all types of accident injury cases, including:
- Auto Collisions
- Trucking Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
Don’t wait to call us, make sure you contact the office as soon after the accident as possible. The insurance company is already working on their case, shouldn’t you have your own team protecting and fighting for your rights?
Common Types of Car Crashes in Baltimore
Car accidents typically occur because one driver is not paying attention to the road or other vehicles around them. Some of the most common types of car crashes in Baltimore are:
- Head-on collisions
- Impaired or drunk driving accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Tailgating accidents
- Low-speed accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- T-Bone accidents
- Rear-end accidents
Someone is typically injured as a result of a car accident even though vehicles have become safer due to recent technological advances. The sudden impact of an accident can shift the muscles and break bones when a collision occurs. Right after a car accident in Baltimore, it may be unclear who caused the accident. A comprehensive investigation by a qualified Baltimore car collision lawyer can provide the key to a successful claim.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Baltimore?
Car accidents cause terrible injuries and deaths. Some injury victims hesitate to hire a lawyer even though a car wreck turned their lives upside down. They attempt to deal with the insurance company themselves. If you were hurt in a serious wreck, you should always ask the question, “Should I hire a lawyer after a car accident?”
Injured drivers and passengers have many good reasons to hire a lawyer after a vehicle accident. Unfortunately, people nursing injuries don’t always think rationally after a wreck. They rush to contact the insurance companies and risk making mistakes that jeopardize their cases.
Although there is no obligation to hire a lawyer after a car accident in Maryland, it makes sense to talk to an attorney if you sustain significant injuries due to the fault of another driver. If you are agonizing about when to get an attorney after an accident, talk to us. Dealing with an insurance company can be daunting and the top priority of an insurance company is their bottom line. A personal injury lawyer will fight for you to get the most for your injuries.
Increasing numbers of injured drivers and passengers are turning to attorneys, Insurance Journal noted. Half of the respondents to a survey hired a lawyer. Many of the respondents said they hired an attorney to get the highest payout possible.
One important point car crash lawyers always make to potential clients is there is no guarantee they will take on the case. Some accident cases are not serious enough to warrant an injury lawyer. But you won’t know until you ask. In other scenarios, the lawyer may decide you were to blame for the crash, or the case might not be within the attorney’s area of expertise. The attorney will often refer you to another lawyer who specializes in the area you seek.
Although injury lawyers don’t take on all cases, accident victims have nothing to lose by talking to an attorney. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we offer free and confidential personal injury consultations. We will tell you at an early stage whether we can accept your case. Please contact us today.
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Charm City Auto Accident Attorney?
If you’re still wondering whether it’s a good idea to get a lawyer for a car accident, the main benefit of hiring a local, Baltimore auto accident lawyer near you is that we can help you ensure that you’re getting fair compensation for your injuries.
It can be hard to put a dollar figure on some injuries. However, an experienced road traffic accident claim lawyer will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. A Maryland accident attorney will also help you to collect and preserve the evidence needed to pursue your claim.
Our trusted auto accident lawyer will walk you through what documentation to collect and other important accident evidence to maintain. Hiring a collision lawyer near you also means that we will be available to you whenever a question or concern arises.
How Much Do Car Accidents Usually Settle For?
Car accident claims can end in one of two ways. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will settle the claim or a verdict by a judge or jury will be awarded. If a car accident claim settles, it means the insurance company and you (through your attorney) have come to an agreement on how much they will pay to end the claim.
Settlements vary for car accidents because each claim is different as the time to heal, the injuries incurred and the process of healing and recovering vary from victim to victim. For example, an individual that suffers minor injuries or soft tissue damage may have a lower settlement than a person that requires surgery or has a permanent injury.
There are various ways to calculate a car accident settlement in Baltimore. One is to multiply the total medical bills by a number, this is called the multiplier method. For example, if your medical bills total $5,000, then you could multiply that number by 2 or 3. So if you multiple $5,000 by 3, then your settlement would be $15,000.
Insurance companies do not usually subscribe to the multiple method because each case is different and one size fits all does not apply to each claim. Instead, most insurance adjusters will examine the trends in the jurisdiction where the claim would be filed. As an example, some courts and judges will award $500 a week for pain and suffering, while others will give $750 per week. Some judges will not look at the weekly treatment and instead award $2,500 for each month of medical treatment.
If you have questions about car accident settlements, speak with one of our lawyers, we can give you some ideas on how much your car accident claim will settle for in Baltimore.
Situations Where You Would Need a Car Accident Lawyer:
Hiring a Baltimore car accident lawyer is crucial for receiving maximum compensation injuries, medical expenses, and other damages suffered in your collision. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the smoother your claim will proceed, avoiding many of the mistakes insurance companies are counting on you to make. Waiting to hire an attorney can delay the settlement on your case and force you to settle for less than you deserve.
Find the “best car accident lawyer near me” is a common saying when victims are searching for counsel. With 3 offices in the Baltimore metro region, we are never too far away.
It’s advisable to hire a lawyer after a car accident when you have substantial injuries. The insurance companies are geared up for fast payments and use automated formulas.
Your needs are unlikely to be met if you suffered from complicated and on-going injuries. You should hire an advocate in these cases because the insurance company is not always on your side.
You should consult an attorney when liability is an issue. If the insurance adjuster informed you the accident was your fault and you disagree, it makes sense to get a second opinion from an injury lawyer.
Insurance companies don’t always make the right call. An insurer’s decision on where blame lies can depend on the relative competence of the adjusters representing each side.
Details are Complicated
People hurt in car accidents can file claims and lawsuits themselves, but it takes considerable time and knowledge of procedures. Accident victims face many challenges in putting a figure on their injuries.
Although working out medical bills is straightforward, issues like predicting future medical bills as well as the price tag of pain and suffering require expertise. Accident victims who face the insurance company alone are like gunslingers in the Old West who go into a fight with one hand tied behind their back and one bullet in their gun.
The insurance companies have teams of experts and lawyers working on saving money for the insurer. Accident victims are on their own without an attorney.
Numerous Parties Involved
When multiple people are involved in an accident, the scenario becomes more complicated. A claimant should consider talking to a lawyer when a case becomes a complex series of claims and counterclaims and numerous insurance companies are involved. Often it’s far too complicated for car collision victims to wade through this kind of legal quagmire.
Serious and Long-Lasting Injuries
Serious injuries are complicated, but some are more complicated than others. Brain injuries are particularly complex and confusing. They are not always obvious from the outset but can cause a range of problems including memory loss and mood swings.
Repeated studies show the more serious the injury, the more money you are likely to lose from dealing directly with the insurance company without a lawyer. If you suffer a fracture, a herniated disc, a head injury, a spinal injury, or serious psychological issues, you should hire a lawyer after a car accident.
Although you may not need a lawyer after a sprain, even whiplash injuries can be serious and cause ongoing pain and suffering. Never give up your right to hire a personal injury lawyer.
When You Have Limited Time to Sue Due to Statute of Limitations
Many people hire a lawyer when they are running out of time to sue over their car accident. Maryland has a three-year (3) limitation on personal injury claims. People who wait for too long lose the right to sue. If you are running out of time for your claim, talk to our injury lawyers as soon as possible to ensure no mistakes occur that will use up the rest of your time and preclude you from seeking compensation for your damages and injuries.
When You Need Help Understanding Your Options
Insurance companies know people who make personal injury claims are often vulnerable and desperate. Car crash victims may miss work and lose money. They face considerable hardship. Insurance companies realize this and dangle the carrot of fast cash.
However, early offers are usually low offers. Accident victims may still be receiving medical treatment and be unaware of the extent and total costs of their injuries. A good reason to hire a lawyer after a car accident is to know your options.
The attorney will have an accurate idea about how much your injury is potentially worth. The attorney will tell you if an offer is unreasonably low or it’s a reasonable offer that you should consider. A Maryland car collision lawyer can weigh up the advantages of fighting the insurance company hard and taking a case to trial against settling during a mediation hearing or earlier.
When You Need to Know the Laws of Your State
Ignorance of the law is no excuse in a criminal case. Your ignorance of the law is unlikely to get you locked up in a civil case, but you stand to lose the money you are entitled to. People making a car accident claim in Maryland face an uphill battle. Maryland is one of just four pure contributory negligence states. Most other states have comparative negligence rules that can still allow compensation if you share some of the blame for the wreck.
In lay terms, contributory negligence means you will be unsuccessful in making a compensation claim if you were the smallest degree at fault for an accident. This is a brutal and archaic rule. Imagine the situation where a red light runner hits a driver at an intersection.
The accident victim saw the other car approaching but hesitated. Arguably, he didn’t get out of the way quickly enough to avoid a collision. Attorneys for the red light runner might argue the victim was only one percent to blame for the accident. He might be barred from recovering money.
In a case like this, your personal injury lawyer can anticipate the other side’s argument and work out a strategy to give your case a better chance of success. An attorney will clue you in on the rules of your state so as you are not manipulated by the insurance company or the other side’s lawyers.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Baltimore
If you were hurt in a car crash, it is essential to start the process of filing a claim as soon as you are healthy enough to do so. This ensures that your rights are protected and there is no opportunity of the insurance companies to take advantage of you. If you are thinking that you need to file a lawsuit following a car accident, here are some things to consider:
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
When to get an attorney for an accident in Maryland is one of the first questions many people who have been involved in a car, truck, pedestrian, or motorcycle wrecks often ask. However, your first consideration after an auto accident should be whether you are injured and if you require immediate medical attention.
In the hours and days after a crash, the question of whether to hire a Maryland car accident injury lawyer becomes more pressing. You may have already spoken to your insurance company or the other side. You may even have been offered money to settle.
It’s usually a serious mistake to rush to settle a car accident with injuries. Attorneys that represent individuals injured in auto accidents have experience in dealing with the insurance companies and maximizing the compensation you may receive for the injuries and claim. If you are still receiving medical treatment, the costs of the accident will not yet be apparent.
There are also often serious medical consequences of an accident that are not apparent from the outset. Some motorists who have suffered brain injuries may not be diagnosed for weeks. Often medical professionals miss the signs of brain trauma. It’s only when you start behaving differently, or your family notices cognitive changes, that the telltale signs of a brain injury become evident. This kind of injury can impact your life and your job and may lead to a large payout from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
If you have substantial injuries, it makes sense to talk to a personal injury lawyer, rather than taking your chances with the insurance company. If you escape with scratches and bruises or are in a fender bender, you may not need to hire a lawyer.
A free consultation with our auto accident lawyers can help you at a difficult time in your life and provide a clearer path forward. Their counsel will also make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and they’ll refer you to a medical professional for any lingering injuries.
How Soon Should You Seek the Help of a Car Accident Attorney?
So, when should you get a lawyer for a road traffic collision? As soon as possible. The quicker that you talk to a vehicle crash lawyer about your damages, the sooner you can begin to recover those damages. Trust the auto accident attorneys Baltimore residents rely on when they want to file an accident claim and receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.
Once you hire an attorney for an accident claim, you may still have questions, such as, how to talk to the new personal injury lawyer. This task is easy. When you talk to any lawyer that deals with car accidents, you should be upfront and honest about what happened before, during and after the accident. Talking to a traffic accident lawyer involves having a discussion about what your damages were and how we can help you.
If you are looking to hire an auto accident defense lawyer, the same candid truth should still be offered. An accident defense attorney will still need all pertinent information to defend you in a road accident case. So, whether you need a car crash lawyer near you that practices personal injury or defense, the Law Offices of Randolph Rice should be your first call.
How Much Does a Lawyer Charge for a Car Accident Lawsuit?
The way an attorney charges for services in a car accident case is different from most other areas of law in which an hourly rate is charged. In personal injury cases, lawyers typically charge a contingency fee. The attorney’s fee is taken out of the final settlement or verdict to the client. This is also known as ‘no win, no fee.’ If an attorney does not obtain a financial recovery for a client, the attorney does not get paid.
Most personal injury law firms, including the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, give free initial personal injury consultations to prospective clients. If you have questions about car accident lawyer fees, speak with one of our experienced counselors today.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for My Baltimore Car Accident?
When paid on a contingency basis, a lawyer will not require any upfront fees. The amount lawyers will ask for in their contingency fee varies. Always read the small print and be clear how much the attorney will take at the start of the case.
The contingency fee ranges across the country from 25 to 40 percent of the settlement. One-third (33%) is fairly standard. If, for example, you recover, $150,000 in a car accident, the attorney would take $50,000. Usually, attorneys will have a clause in the contract that their contingency fee will increase if a case goes to trial. Personal injury trials are costly and time-consuming. Typically, a contingency fee will rise to about 40 percent in trials.
The contingency fee model means a personal injury attorney may be unwilling to take certain cases such as where liability for an accident is not clear-cut.
Attorney Randolph Rice offers absolutely no-cost initial consultations for victims of auto collisions. There is no fee until and unless we win your case!
Do You Have to Pay a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Lose the Case?
Typically, personal injury lawyers operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means you will not face legal costs if you lose your case.
If your personal injury lawyer operates on a contingency basis that means he or she only gets a percentage or portion of the money the plaintiff wins or recovers. The lawyer usually gets nothing if the plaintiff doesn’t win and the injured party will not have to pay the attorney. Always be clear about the payment methods with your attorney at the case sign up.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Baltimore, MD?
Maryland has a 3-year statute of limitations to bring a claim for a personal injury. This means you must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident, or you will lose the right to make a claim.
We do not recommend victims of car accidents wait until the three years has almost elapsed. Gathering evidence becomes increasingly difficult with the passage of time and witnesses forget important details about the incident. By getting an attorney for an accident in Maryland soon after the incident, the lawyer can gather evidence promptly. Your attorney will also get statements from witnesses, photographs from the scene and talk to police officers who attended.
In some accidents such as big truck wrecks or crashes involving railroads, a corporation will mobilize a powerful legal team to gather evidence and fight a potential claim from the onset. It’s vital to hire a lawyer in these cases to level the playing field.
An attorney can also help make sure correct medical attention is obtained from reputable doctors who can testify at a trial if necessary. The lawyer will be able to call on expert witnesses and have an idea of the potential value of the case and where to tap sources of insurance.
How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?
It’s impossible to put a value on your injuries after a car crash in Maryland because there are too many variables.
Pain and suffering are likely to be the element that results in the largest chunk of your award. However, there is a major subjective element to pain and suffering when these damages are considered by a court.
Some of the big insurance companies use a formula to calculate pain and suffering. Companies like Allstate use a computer program. Typically, these programs will provide a pain and suffering figure that’s at the low end of the spectrum. Insurance companies also typically multiply the total of medical bills by a number between 1.5 and 5 to calculate pain and suffering. This is called a multiplier. If your injury is of a serious nature, your personal injury lawyer will make a case for a higher multiplier.
Another method used by insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering is called the “per diem” or “per day” method. Under this approach, a dollar figure may be put on every day someone who was involved in a car accident has to endure the pain. Working out and justifying a daily rate is often the hard part. The rate should be “reasonable.”
One approach is to use the accident victim’s daily earnings. This would be similar to what you normally be paid in a workday over the period of time you are recovering from the accident.
How Much Will the At-Fault Driver Have to Pay for Victim Injuries?
The at-fault driver would not pay for the victim’s injuries, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company would pay for any injuries. The at-fault driver would have to pay for injuries if the damages exceed the insurance policy limits.
The amount of damages will depend on the number of medical bills and the pain and suffering incurred by the victim in a crash. If you have questions about exact damages, contact a car accident lawyer in your area to determine how much would the at-fault driver have to pay for a victim who was severely injured in the crash.
How Many Days Do You Have to Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident in Baltimore, MD
There is no set rule on how long you should wait to see a doctor after a car accident, but the rule of thumb is the sooner the better. Not only should you get injuries treated right away but if you delay over a week, the other driver’s insurance company will argue your injuries were not very serious.
Most professionals advise going to the emergency room or your family doctor immediately. You should never wait longer than 72 hours after an accident.
The 72-hour figure is regarded by professionals and insurance companies as the “reasonable” amount of time to get medical documentation of your injuries. After this time, the insurance company may deny your injury claim and prevent you from receiving the compensation you need.
Delaying medical treatment may also undermine the case a personal injury lawyer will make on your behalf. It is prudent to contact an attorney as soon as you start treating your injuries.
How Many Hours After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim in Maryland?
Although there are no restrictions on making a claim, it’s prudent to wait until the extent of your injuries is known before making a claim. The full extent of medical bills will not be apparent until your medical treatment has stopped.
However, it makes sense to hire a top-rated personal injury lawyer Maryland residents count on early in the process so the attorney can take over your dealings with the insurance company and prepare the claim. You have a legal duty to cooperate with your own insurance company.
Most insurance companies require their policyholders to promptly report every car accident so they can gather basic information. Failure to provide information to your insurance company in a timely manner can lead to a loss of coverage for the accident.
However, you should avoid making statements about who was to blame for the accident and merely relate the facts of the accident as they happened. Talk to an attorney before you give any information to the other driver’s insurance company.
Car Accident Settlements: When they happen and when to accept one?
From our experience as personal injury lawyers, car accident claims settle 92% of the time. A settlement means that the insurance carrier or at-fault party agrees to pay an amount of money or take some action to resolve the claim by the injured person. Settlement offers can occur at any point in the claim process, but typically happen after the injured has completed treatment or reached the maximum level of recovery.
When a person accepts a settlement offer, they will waive their rights to make further claims or file a lawsuit. After most car accidents, there is property damage and personal injury claim. These are separate and settling one may or may not waive rights to the other claim. Individuals are cautioned to read the waiver forms submitted by the insurance company to make sure they aren’t giving up their rights for additional damages.
Some insurance companies will try to settle a case early in the process. This can prove to be a mistake if further costs and expenses are incurred by the injured victim. Accepting a settlement offer may waive your right to claim further medical expenses, lost wages or additional pain and suffering. Victims of a car crash should speak with a lawyer before accepting any settlement checks from an insurance company as they may be short-changed in the long-run.
Is a Lawsuit Necessary After a Car Accident?
A lawsuit may not be required after a Baltimore car accident. After the claim is filed with the insurance, the victim will have to recover from the injuries. The settlement of a car accident claim is common and your lawyer will advise if you should settle the claim or pursue a lawsuit to sue the other driver responsible for the accident. The insurance companies will take a hard look at two factors after a car accident:
- Liability – who was at fault.
- Damages – what are the injuries and medical treatment received after the accident
When determining liability, the parties will have to figure out who was at fault in the accident. Since Maryland is a contributory negligence State, if the plaintiff or the person saying they were not at fault was even 1% at fault, then they may not be able to recover from the other person.
Damages refer to the medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Medical bills after an accident can quickly grow depending on the extent of injuries. Most car accident victims will see their primary care physician (PCP) and follow-up with a physical therapist. However, after a car accident, surgery or injections may be required to recover. It is important that all car accident victims complete all medical treatment after an accident.
What Happens After a Baltimore Car Accident?
After an accident, the wheels get set in motion with a number of people and agencies. In most cases, the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland State Police or another permitted law enforcement agency will respond to the scene of the accident. The police will ensure the parties to the accident exchange information.
If one of the drivers or passengers is injured, a medic or EMS will be called to treat the injured. If the injuries are substantial, the medic or ambulance will transport the injured to a local hospital. If the accident resulted in life-threatening injuries, patients will be transported to Shock Trauma or one of the other trauma centers in the city.
If the injuries at the scene are minor, patients will be treated at the scene and released. It is best practice at this point to contact your insurance company and a Baltimore car accident lawyer for advice and guidance. It is suggested that you do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company until you talk to a lawyer.
Since the other insurance company will try to obtain a recorded statement, this could prove detrimental to the claim. The other insurance company will try to lock a victim of a car accident into a story that may inconsistent with the accident itself. In addition, the insurance adjuster will try to exclude future injuries because they are not noticeable soon after the accident.
Once the insurance companies are contacted, claim numbers will be generated. This will include a personal injury claim and a property damage claim if there is damage to vehicles or other structures.
How Do I Get My Car Fixed After a Car Accident?
One of the biggest concerns anyone has after an accident is repairing or replacing their damaged vehicle. In Maryland, if the damage to a vehicle exceeds 75% of the value of the vehicle, then the insurance company will deem the car a total loss and page the Kelley Blue Book or National Automobile Dealer’s Association value for the vehicle.
If the car can be repaired, then you have a couple of options. You can go through your own insurance, pay your deductible, and have the car fixed at any body shop, including the dealership. If you are found not at fault for the accident, then your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the at-fault insurance company, including your deductible. That means, if you have to pay your deductible, then you will be reimbursed.
Another option can be to have the other driver’s insurance company pay for the damage to your vehicle. This can be a slower process as the other insurance company needs to determine fault and speak with their insured before they agree to repair your vehicle.
When You Don’t Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Crash
We’ve put together a list of situations when you don’t need to hire a lawyer after an auto wreck. They include:
- You didn’t suffer any physical injury – no pain–no need to file a claim for personal injury;
- If you were at fault for the crash, you probably won’t need a lawyer. However, you should speak with an attorney to make sure whether you were or were not at fault;
- If you have minimal medical expenses, you probably won’t need a lawyer. As a general rule of thumb, if you went to the hospital and continued treatment for over one week, you will need an attorney.
We have explained each one of the scenarios in depth below. Keep reading to find out if you don’t need to retain an accident lawyer.
No Injuries Occurred
Before you conclude a wreck was property damage only, be sure you weren’t injured. Many injuries are not obvious from the outset. Injuries may take days or longer to become apparent. Talk to a medical professional soon after the accident before ruling out injuries in your wreck. Be aware doctors can miss signs of conditions like a mild traumatic brain injury. An MRI often fails to show this injury.
You Were At Fault for the Accident
If you were even one percent responsible for a crash, you can’t make an injury claim under Maryland law. Blame is not always apparent at the time of an accident. Never assume you were to blame and never tell police or insurers it was your fault. If you are not to blame, you may need an attorney. A personal injury lawyer will make a strong case that you were blameless if liability is disputed.
However, if you clearly caused the accident, the attorney is unlikely to take on your case. Don’t assume your case is impossible if a police officer has ticketed you. An attorney will fight to successfully overturn your citation in a traffic court.
Potential Recovery is Small
You may not need an injury lawyer in Maryland when you suffer minor post car accident injuries like cuts and scrapes. These victims of many car accidents are shaken up but not hurt and don’t require time off work. However, people who were involved in auto wrecks should be aware they can claim for conditions brought on by the accident such as depression, sleeplessness caused by the wreck, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In addition, many car accidents cause minor scratches and dents to older cars. Although bodywork repairs are not cheap, people involved in fender benders do not usually need to hire a lawyer. In many other scenarios, car accident victims should hire lawyers and face losing out financially if they fail to do so.
Our Experienced Baltimore Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we help many car accident victims every week. We have seen all of the possible scenarios and insurance company tricks, and we have strategies for dealing with them.
Although you don’t need an injury lawyer in every case, it’s prudent to seek legal advice. Often an injury lawyer will see an important aspect to your case that you may have overlooked or an important detail a police officer failed to notice when compiling the accident report.
We can evaluate the insurance company’s offer and advise you on a strategy. Aim to talk to a personal injury lawyer soon after the accident rather than years later when memories are fading and you are running out of time.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
The need for experienced legal advice begins very early in the process: police do follow-up investigations; the other driver’s insurance company sends around an adjuster; your own insurance company starts asking questions that may indicate it doesn’t believe your version of the events; a lawyer for someone else involved in the accident wants to talk to you.
No matter how informal and “friendly” these contacts (adjusters, in particular, are trained to be friendly), each one is a potential trap that can reduce your chances of recovering from all your injuries.
Baltimore car accident lawyer Randolph Rice can help you at every step of the process, making sure that your interests are protected all the way through to a fair settlement or a court verdict in your favor. For an experienced and committed legal advocate, call (410) 694-7291 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case.
Our Baltimore law office is located at 6914 Holabird Avenue, Suite A in Baltimore, Maryland 21222-1747.