Injuries from car accidents vary greatly. While many accident cases may involve very minor injuries or no injuries at all, other accidents could result in life-altering disabilities or even death. Car accidents can be extremely risky, and the drivers who put others in danger through negligence and inattention should be held responsible for the harm they cause. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras to discuss filing a car accident lawsuit.
Our Silver Spring, Maryland car accident lawyers may be able to take your case and file your claim with a court of law to seek compensation for your injuries. The damages you receive in court may be enough to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys will fight to maximize your compensation and get you the coverage you need to pay for your accident case. For your free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Proving Fault in a Silver Spring, MD Car Accident
Before you can be awarded damages for your car accident case, you need to prove that the other driver was at fault. Whether you file your case as a car insurance claim or as a lawsuit in court, the defendant will only be forced to cover the damages for the claim if they were responsible for the accident. You do not need to prove that the driver caused the accident on purpose or intentionally. Instead, you typically work to prove that the driver was “negligent.”
Negligence involves a driver’s failure to use the necessary care or skill behind the wheel. Typically, you demonstrate the driver’s negligence by pointing to a duty that they owed you and how they breached that duty. Many traffic laws create a duty that the driver owes other drivers to help keep them safe, such as a duty to stop at stop signs, a duty to yield before making a left turn, a duty to leave a safe following distance, and a duty to use their turn signal. Other duties help prevent serious harm, like the duty not to drive while high or intoxicated or the duty to avoid distracting cell phone use behind the wheel.
Even if the other driver did not violate a specific traffic law, you may be able to argue that they failed to use the proper care or skill that a reasonably careful driver should have used under those conditions. For instance, a driver who was speeding on wet or icy roads may not have broken the law if they were under the speed limit, but if their speed was still too fast for the road conditions, their driving was still unreasonable and unsafe.
The other driver will typically work to fight accusations against them by claiming that you were actually the one responsible for the crash. In Maryland, if you contributed to your own accident, it may be harder to seek compensation, and many drivers are afraid to come forward with accident claims because they fear the claim could be turned around. Our lawyers will help reduce those claims and demonstrate to a jury that your actions did not contribute to the crash and that you still deserve compensation for your injuries.
Seeking Damages for a Car Crash in Silver Spring, PA
When you face injuries or the loss of a loved one after a car crash in Silver Spring, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Many people initially try to file their case as a car insurance claim, but you may quickly find that limitations on the insurance policy might mean losing compensation. If you were injured, you should not have to pay anything to correct someone else’s mistakes. In an insurance claim, you may still have to pay out of pocket for some of the medical expenses and lost wages, and you will not get damages for pain and suffering. Talk to a lawyer about maximizing your compensation by filing a lawsuit.
After a car crash, victims typically face three areas of damages. First, medical expenses to treat the injuries could be substantial. These damages could include the cost of medical imaging, hospital stays, physical therapy, and other costs. Second, if your injuries were severe or caused an ongoing disability, you may miss work and face lost wages and reduced earning capacity damages. Lastly, the damages for the physical pain and mental anguish you faced should be compensated. When you file a personal injury lawsuit for your accident, you can claim these damages in full.
The court can also help you get damages for the death of a loved one. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to seek compensation for your loved one’s medical care, funeral costs, and burial expenses. You may also be able to file to seek compensation for the harms you faced as a surviving family member, including the lost companionship, lost wages, lost household services, and other damages. While this compensation cannot heal the hole left by a loved one, it can be essential to helping you and your family with ongoing support and financial needs.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents in Silver Spring, MD
Injuries in car accidents can vary greatly from case to case. Some accidents only cause property damage, while others can cause life-altering physical injuries. The following are some of the most common injuries in car crashes in Silver Spring:
Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
These minor injuries might still cause substantial damage in a car accident. Cuts and scrapes can require medical attention to prevent infection and scarring. Additionally, bruises can be a sign of internal damage and potentially more severe injury. Always get these kinds of injuries checked out after a car accident.
Broken bones can often qualify as a moderate injury. Having a bone in a cast can keep you out of work, but the overall chance of recovery is usually quite good. However, more severe breaks could mean a bone shatters into more than two pieces or that the bone punctures through the skin. These injuries could be quite severe and might require intensive medical care, surgery, and rods or pins. Especially if the injury included a skull fracture, these kinds of injuries could be life-threatening.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) encompasses concussions as well as more severe trauma. Injuries to the brain often do not heal as well as one would hope, since nerves and brain tissue cannot regenerate in the same way that skin, muscle, or bone can. This often leaves TBI victims with permanent injuries, potentially including life-altering effects. Personality changes, memory problems, motor skill issues, and inability to walk are common effects of a brain injury.
Back and Neck Injuries
Whiplash is a neck injury commonly associated with car accident cases. While whiplash can be somewhat mild, it can also be very severe and leave a victim with long-term pain, discomfort, and immobility in the neck. Back injuries, especially low-back injuries, are very common in car accidents. These injuries could lead to ongoing pain and discomfort that could keep you out of work or force you to take a less physically demanding job.
One of the most serious injuries you could face in a car accident is paralysis. Paraplegia – paralysis of the legs – or tetraplegia/quadriplegia – paralysis of all four limbs – are both common in car crashes. If your spinal cord is severed or severely injured at a point in your back, you could face paralysis and loss of sensation below the point of injury. If the injury is higher up in your neck or cervical spine, you could face paralysis throughout most of your body. This could require homecare nursing, physical therapy, and ongoing care needs for the rest of your life.
Another one of the most serious injuries you can face in a car accident is loss of limb. Even the loss of a finger or a toe could be considered a severe injury that might cause severe blood loss and require hospitalization. Loss of an arm or a leg could lead to permanent disabilities if the limb cannot be reattached, and you could face substantial disruptions to your life because of these injuries.
Common Types of Car Crashes in Silver Spring, MD
Car accidents can occur in many different ways. The circumstances leading up to the crash often help juries and insurance companies decide who was at fault. Every car accident is unique, but accidents can often be categorized or classified in some of the following ways. These cases are often resolved the same way each time, with certain drivers being held at fault:
When one driver crashes into another from behind, the driver to the rear is usually at fault. Tailgating is illegal, and it is usually up to the driver to the rear to give themselves enough following distance to stop safely in an emergency. Unless the car in front of them backed up or intentionally caused a crash by suddenly slamming on the breaks, the accident was likely the rear driver’s fault.
Front-end car crashes often occur because one of the drivers is driving in a place that they should not be. Some accidents occur on one-way streets or divided highways where one driver is driving the wrong direction. In those cases, the driver going the wrong way is quite obviously at fault. Other head-on crashes occur when a driver does not yield while making a left turn, causing them to crash straight into oncoming cars. The driver who did not yield while making a left is likely at fault in this kind of case.
When cars cross each other’s lane of travel at an intersection, T-bone accidents can occur. If one driver crashes into the side of another driver’s car, the accident can usually be blamed on whichever driver was in the intersection illegally. If one driver ran a red light and then was hit by a driver with a green light, the driver with the red light is likely at fault. Similarly, if a driver ran a red light and crashed into a driver that had a green light, the driver with the red light is also at fault. T-bone crashes can also occur when one driver is turning left across another driver’s lane of travel. If they failed to yield while making a left turn, they could also be held liable.
Drunk Driving Crashes
If one driver was intoxicated when the accident occurred, they are likely at fault for the crash. The fact that they were intoxicated is not always enough to hold them at fault under Maryland law, especially if you did something else wrong to help contribute to the crash. However, driving drunk is patently illegal in the State of Maryland, and courts often look harshly upon drunk drivers that injure bikers, other motorists, or pedestrians.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Drivers who are preoccupied with their cell phones, radios, conversations with passengers, or food that they are eating while driving are often found at fault in car accidents. Again, if the other driver was doing something wrong when the crash occurred, they might not be able to sue because they contributed to the crash. However, serious distractions are just as dangerous as drunk driving and can lead to fault in a car accident case.
Call Our Silver Spring Car Accident Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a car crash or lost a loved one to a car crash in the Silver Spring area, call our Silver Spring car accident injury attorneys today. Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s personal injury and car accident lawyers may be able to take your case and help you file a claim for the financial compensation you need. To schedule a free legal consultation with our lawyers, call us today at (410) 694-7291.