Accidents injure thousands of people every year in Maryland. Many of them don’t contact an attorney, even when somebody else caused their injury. It’s not necessary to consult a lawyer every time you are involved in an accident. Although some people contact a lawyer over minor issues, far more accident victims fail to talk to an attorney when they really need impartial, expert legal advice. They often deal directly with insurance companies and leave money on the table that could have paid their bills and compensated them for serious injuries.
Research has shown people who hire a lawyer are likely to receive more compensation than those who deal directly with an insurer. However, significant numbers of accident victims are afraid or unwilling to hire a lawyer. Often, people seek a quick resolution after a crash and believe dealing directly with their insurance company may speed things up. This is not always the case and you may end up shortchanged. If you or a family member suffered injuries in an accident in Maryland, contact an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Randolph Rice for a free consultation.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm in Maryland
Accident victims should always consult attorneys in certain cases. Here are some top signs you need to contact an attorney after an accident in Maryland.
Long-Term or Permanent Injuries
The human body is complicated. We can’t always get patched up again after an accident and be the same as we were before. Many people suffer neck and spinal cord injuries in car accidents. Injuries like herniated discs can cause complications, and ongoing pain, suffering and symptoms for the rest of your life. Even common whiplash injuries often linger.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, you should always hire a lawyer. People who suffer injuries of this nature can incur as much as $1 million in medical costs in the 12 months after their injury.
If your doctor tells you your accident will cause long-term or permanent problems, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A legal professional builds the cost of your future medical treatment and needs into his demands to the insurance company. The insurance company may fail to give you enough to cover your future needs if you go it alone.
Lost Work Hours and Wages
Time missed from work is indicative of the seriousness of your injuries. People who take considerable time off work should talk to a personal injury lawyer. The attorney will build lost wages and future lost wages into his personal injury calculations.
Car accidents often cause severe financial hardship. They can leave some people temporarily or permanently disabled meaning it’s impossible to return to work. Others are forced to take lesser jobs.
Some Maryland employers will let a worker go for a temporary absence after a car wreck. This loss of income has devastating financial consequences for the victim and his or her family. Lost time from work is one of the signs you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
Surgery or Other Medical Procedure After an Accident
As a rule of thumb, you should hire a lawyer if you required surgery due to the fault of another party who caused an accident. Surgery is expensive, particularly if you lack health insurance. A broken arm costs on average $2,500 without health insurance. A single X-ray can cost up to $200.
Complicated medical procedures indicate your injuries were serious. An experienced Maryland injury attorney will include the medical expenses you incurred and future medical expenses in his claim. Insurance companies often dispute costly and complicated medical treatment and fail to factor in future medical costs.
Accident Involving Several Parties
On busy highways like the Baltimore Beltway, accidents often involve multiple vehicles. So-called ‘chain reaction crashes’ occur when one wreck causes others. For example, a third car swerves to avoid the initial accident and hits a fourth car that crashes into a cyclist. Accidents involving many parties are notoriously complicated. It can be difficult to negotiate on your own with an insurance company when more than one party is to blame for your injuries. It takes enough time and effort to recover from your injuries without being involved in an insurance claim involving multiple parties.
An attorney carefully investigates the causes of an accident. The lawyer uses all available evidence such as police reports and traffic camera footage to build up a picture of who was to blame. You should contact a lawyer if you were hurt in a multi-vehicle collision.
Insurance Company Disputes Liability
In Maryland, you can lose the right to make a personal injury claim if you were just one percent to blame for your accident. Insurance companies seek to exploit this strict rule. Our Maryland personal injury attorneys assist many clients after an insurance agent told them they did not have a case. When the insurance company disputes liability and you believe they were wrong, you should contact a personal injury lawyer.
Attorneys give potential clients free consultations. A lawyer is a second set of eyes. We may look at your case and decide to take a hard line with the insurance company. Although insurance companies are more likely to make an offer once an attorney is involved, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and take your case all the way to trial.
Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Drivers cause most car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Occasionally, a poorly manufactured car or part causes crashes and injuries. In Feb. 2019, a jury awarded $151 million to a man from Alabama who ended up paralyzed in a rollover crash. The jury decided the Ford Explorer the man was riding in was of a dangerous design. Engineers at Ford Motor Company warned the car posed a rollover risk but Ford ignored their advice, reported USA Today.
Defective Takata airbags, the subject of a massive recall, caused the deaths of dozens of people in the United States. The airbags explode without warning sending shrapnel flying into drivers and passengers. Defective tires are also linked to numerous deaths and injuries.
It’s not always obvious that a defect caused your injury. However, if your car experienced a sudden issue that caused your injury, this is a sure sign you should contact a Baltimore defective product lawyer. Cases against manufacturers are usually complex.
Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver
Drunk drivers cause one in three fatal crashes and one in 10 wrecks in Maryland, according to the 2018 Highway Safety Plan.
Statistically, your injuries are more likely to be serious after an accident involving a drunk driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance company often plays down evidence of intoxication. A personal injury lawyer gathers all of the available evidence to make a powerful case against a drunk driver. This material can prove invaluable if the case reaches court and results in a larger payout.
Chemical or Toxic Substance Exposure
Exposure to chemicals and other dangerous substances can permanently damage your health. Unfortunately, workplaces routinely fail to protect their employees. People diagnosed with the cancer Mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos have been filing lawsuits since the 1960s. The dangers of asbestos exposure are well known. However, women who used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder had no way of knowing about the potential asbestos contamination in talc until they developed ovarian cancer.
On occasions, exposure to dangerous chemicals is obvious. You suffered burns, passed out, or needed hospital treatment. Illnesses caused by dangerous chemicals can be more subtle and occur years after exposure. Many people who claim exposure to the popular weed killer Roundup caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma, were exposed to the herbicide years earlier.
When a chemical or toxic substance causes harm, it’s very difficult for the victim to take on big corporations or even smaller employers directly. These cases require expert witnesses and a thorough investigation. You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
Many people are hesitant to contact a lawyer. They downplay the extent of their injuries or don’t realize they will only pay legal fees if their case is successful. Be aware of the signs you should contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer.
Your injuries may prove to be more serious than you thought or the insurance company is dragging its heels. You may just get a bad feeling about the way the insurance company is handling your claim. Talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at (410) 694-7291.