Ocean City, Maryland is one of the most famous beaches in the state and in the surrounding areas. People come from all around during the summer months, many of them traveling by car. Adding in the local citizens and people commuting on the same roadways, the traffic can often be bumper-to-bumper, and the risk of car crashes can go up significantly.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Ocean City – or on your way there – the Ocean City, MD car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice may be able to help. Our lawyers represent victims of injuries in car accidents in Maryland, and we fight to get them financial compensation from the at-fault drivers who hit them. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Suing for Damages in Car Accidents in OCMD
If you were injured in a car accident, the best way to get compensation might be to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits for car accident injuries are usually an alternative to filing a car accident claim with your insurance. If you accept money from the insurance claim, that is usually considered a settlement and could block you from taking your case to court, so it is vital that you talk to a lawyer about whether to sue or file with insurance before you take any money. Because car insurance might block certain damages, you may need to file your case in court to get full compensation for your injuries.
While car accidents involving vehicle damage alone can usually be handled through insurance, insurance companies might not pay full damages for things like medical expenses and lost wages after an injury. Instead, they might cover only a certain percentage of the damages, and you would need to file your case in court to claim 100% of the costs and expenses you faced.
In addition, lawsuits allow you to claim financial compensation for pain and suffering the accident caused you. These damages typically cannot be claimed in court, so to get access to these damages, you may need to sue.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident in Maryland
When you file a lawsuit for a car accident in Maryland, you must prove that the accident was caused by a “negligent” driver. You can claim that the driver intentionally hit you, but those kinds of claims are usually harder to win because you need to prove their mental state and intent. Instead, when you sue for negligence, you must usually prove four elements to get compensation for your injuries:
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty, such as the duty to follow traffic laws or drive as a reasonable driver would in the same circumstances.
- The at-fault driver breached that duty by failing to uphold those legal standards.
- The breach of duty actually caused your injuries.
- The injuries you suffered come with damages the court can compensate you for.
When you prove all 4 of these elements “by a preponderance of the evidence,” the jury should rule in your favor, and the court can order the defendant to pay for all of the damages you proved.
Your lawyer can help analyze the facts of your case and determine what duty the at-fault driver breached. In many cases, duties come from traffic laws, so running a red light, speeding, driving under the influence, or driving recklessly can usually be proof of fault in a car crash. Alternatively, you may need to use the general legal duty that all drivers on the road owe each other: to conduct their vehicle in the manner of an ordinary driver of reasonable prudence. That means that you should not go faster than conditions allow, you should not follow too closely, and you should eliminate distractions. Even if the way the at-fault driver was driving did not actually violate any traffic laws, it may have still been unreasonable given the totality of the circumstances, and they can be held accountable for that.
Suing in Maryland for a Car Accident While on Vacation in Ocean City
If you were injured in a car crash in Maryland, you typically need to file your case in Maryland. The laws of the State of Maryland will govern the crash, and the case will need to be heard by a court with the power to rules under those laws. In some cases, you may be able to take your case elsewhere, e.g., by suing the driver in their home state, but these rules can be complex.
If you were injured while on vacation, that usually means you will need to come back to Maryland to file your case. Our Ocean City car accident lawyers work with out-of-state visitors to help eliminate the need to appear in person for filings or court dates whenever possible. We will handle as much of your case as we can without you to make filing your case in Maryland easier. Especially if you suffered serious injuries or disabilities from the crash, travel might be hard, and our attorneys are willing to work with you to fight the case.
Call Our Ocean City Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident in Ocean City, Maryland, our attorneys may be able to help. Our Ocean City car accident attorneys represent injury victims and their families in claims for financial compensation after serious car crashes. Whether you are local or you were injured while on vacation, our attorneys may be able to help fight your case and get you the financial compensation you need. For a free legal consultation, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at (410) 694-7291.