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 our experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free consultation.
An unexpected injury could easily result in a chain of events that quickly turn into a financial crisis. If an injury is severe and the result of another’s negligence, filing a lawsuit might be an obvious decision. However, many injuries only reveal their true impact over time. In medical malpractice cases, an injured party could be unaware that they were the victim of medical negligence. Having our knowledgeable Maryland personal injury lawyers review your case will give you the peace of mind that you are making the correct decision.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we are dedicated to aggressively fighting for the rights of our injured clients. Sometimes this means arguing your case before a judge and jury. In others, it might require a difficult negotiation with a reluctant insurance provider. Our goal is always the same – to maximize your compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call (410) 694-7291.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer 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 our Towson personal injury lawyers. 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 is 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 their 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 Potomac 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. When the insurance company disputes liability and you believe they were wrong, you should contact our Rockville, MD personal injury lawyers.
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 our Baltimore defective product lawyers. 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. An attorney, like our Anne Arundel County personal injury lawyers, gathers all 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.
Should You Have an Attorney if You Are Negotiating With an Insurance Company in Maryland?
Many people want to avoid litigation or the rigors of a trial. After an accident, any amount an insurance company offers might appear to be a generous settlement. If you have mounting medical expenses and are missing time at work, an insurance check could be the windfall you need to get through the coming months. However, you need to remember that the insurance adjuster you are working with is not working for you. They are working to limit liability and the amount of money their company is required to pay. A common insurance practice is to offer a quick settlement to avoid paying a more substantial claim.
While it is true that many accident claims settle without going to court, it does not mean that the injured party did not have legal representation. Even if you do not want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, our experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers could still provide valuable assistance.
Valuing Your Claim
The only way you can tell if an insurance offer is fair is to know what your claim is worth. While it is impossible to put an exact dollar figure on your claim, our office could provide a good faith estimate. Your claim is worth more than the medical bills you have incurred and the money you have lost missing days or weeks of work. Any settlement should cover any future treatment you might require. Furthermore, if your injury keeps you out of work for months, or even years, a fair settlement should compensate you for your total expected losses. On top of your economic losses, you would also be entitled to recover for your pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. You want those damages factored in when working with an insurance company.
Preparing to Take Your Case to Court
- You did not want to go to court. However, that does not mean you should not be prepared to file a case. When an insurance adjuster believes you will accept a smaller amount than your case is worth, that is what will be offered. If you show that you are prepared to take your case to court, a more reasonable offer could be forthcoming – especially if the evidence is in your favor. A prudent insurer wants to avoid unnecessary court costs and attorney fees. Additionally, if there are some questions concerning liability or what occurred, they could be answered or clarified during the discovery phase. More evidence supporting your claim could mean an increased offer.
Evaluate the Strength of Your Case
In addition to valuing the worth of your claim, our Maryland personal injury attorneys will give you an honest assessment of the legal strength of your case. If the evidence is questionable or not strongly in your favor, a settlement might be your best option. However, without properly evaluating your case, you will not be able to make an informed decision.
Settling with an insurance company could put money into your pocket quickly. However, once you accept an offer, you release the defendant and the insurance company from further liability. This means you are prohibited from filing an additional claim. If your injuries are more severe than you originally thought or you are unable to return to work again, you have no ability to seek more compensation. Our Maryland personal injury attorneys will work to help ensure any insurance offer is fair, given the circumstances surrounding your injury.
You Should Hire Our Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers As Soon As Possible
Above, we discussed why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney. However, when you hire one is also crucial. If you have been injured due to another’s negligent or intentional conduct, you should contact our Maryland personal injury lawyers immediately.
It does not matter if you want to negotiate with an insurance company or take your case to court. By hiring an attorney immediately, you can be assured that your case is being worked on as soon as possible. Valuable evidence might only be available for a short period of time. For example, surveillance video is often erased every few days or weeks. By sending a request to preserve evidence, our office might obtain critical footage that would otherwise be lost if you waited. Witness testimony is another type of compelling evidence. Our office will want to interview witnesses and gather statements following your accident. If you wait weeks or months, the witnesses’ memories will be less reliable. Additionally, our team of lawyers will want to start working with your doctor to document your injuries. Medical evidence is vital in a personal injury claim.
You also do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit. Under Maryland’s statute of limitations, a civil claim must be filed within three years of the injury date. While this might appear to be a long time, it will pass quickly.
The steps you take after an accident or injury will impact your potential compensation. You should begin building your case as soon as possible. These steps should include consulting with an experienced attorney.
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 Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.