Car accidents can be traumatic, leaving victims with expensive medical bills and other losses. Auto Accident Lawyer Maryland can help victims pursue compensation to cover their losses, including rehabilitative care, future lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering.

An attorney can also help clients negotiate with insurance companies and file claims. They can even determine if the defendant committed extreme negligence and may be eligible for punitive damages.

accident attorney

Proving Negligence

As with any tort claim, your injury case will hinge on proving negligence. This element is generally defined as failing to use the degree of care that a prudent person would have used in the same circumstances. In the context of auto accident cases, this means that the driver failed to act conscientiously while operating their vehicle. For example, the driver may have sped up or crossed into oncoming traffic without looking.

Moreover, the plaintiff must demonstrate that this failure led directly to their injuries. This is a matter of causation and typically requires the use of medical records, expert testimony, eyewitness testimony, and other forms of evidence. It is also helpful to know that certain damages can only be awarded if the plaintiff’s injuries are severe enough. These include lost wages, lost income, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.

If the defendant is a government entity or private corporation, there are additional steps that may need to be taken. For instance, these entities are required to follow a different set of rules when it comes to car accidents. This can make it more difficult to determine fault and subsequently recover damages.

Another important issue when dealing with these types of claims is the concept of government immunity, which can protect officials from liability in many cases. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this obstacle, but it will require an experienced attorney to ensure the proper procedures are followed.

In some cases, an accident victim will be able to prove negligence based on specific actions or inactions that are specifically illegal under applicable law. For instance, it is generally considered negligent to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This type of behavior is expressly prohibited by state laws and therefore, if the driver violates this law, they could be held liable for an accident that results in injury to others.

Likewise, some auto accidents are caused by roadway defects and can be claimed as a class of negligence known as “negligence per se.” This form of negligence involves violations of specific statutes and laws that have direct relevance to the accident in question. This makes it much easier for an injured plaintiff to establish the defendant’s negligence as it pertains to the specific circumstances that are involved in the crash.

Gathering Evidence

A good car accident lawyer can gather and preserve the evidence that supports a claim. They can take photos of the scene of the crash, interview witnesses, and obtain other relevant information. They can also help clients document their injuries and property damage. It’s important to gather evidence promptly, as memories fade and physical evidence disappears over time.

In addition to taking pictures with a smartphone camera, victims of car accidents should try to get the names and contact information of anyone in the vehicles at the time of the crash. They should also note the location and other details of the scene, such as weather conditions and lighting. If there are nearby traffic or security cameras, they can provide valuable evidence to support a case as well.

When collecting evidence, a victim should also make sure to get a copy of the police report. This will typically include the officer’s assessment of what caused the crash, including whether any traffic laws were violated and whose fault it might be. This report is essential to pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Victims should also keep medical records and prescription drug receipts. This will help them establish their injuries and the impact of those injuries on their daily life. They should also keep a journal or diary, which will prove their pain and suffering, which may be difficult to quantify in dollars. They can also use medical professionals’ assessments and testimonies from friends and family members to support their claims.

Insurance adjusters are more likely to believe the statements of uninvolved witnesses than those of people directly involved in the crash. This is because they have no financial stake in the outcome of the case and are therefore more likely to present a more truthful account.

It’s also helpful to have a repair estimate and photographs of the condition of your vehicle before the crash. This will help if you need to dispute the adjuster’s valuation of your vehicle as a total loss. You can also use this evidence to prove the value of your lost personal belongings.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with, and they may challenge your claim or attempt to pay you less than what you deserve. A car accident lawyer can help you to secure the compensation that you need and deserve. They can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that the settlement is fair and takes into account all of your economic and non-economic losses.

They can also prepare you to respond to any questions or requests for documentation from the insurer. This will help you to avoid making any mistakes that could compromise the value of your claim. During negotiations, your attorney will provide strong and confident representation on your behalf. They will also take the time to thoroughly review any documents or evidence that they receive to understand your case.

The first offer from an insurance company will be significantly lower than what you should expect to receive. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to evaluate the offer and craft a thoughtful counteroffer that is more likely to lead to a successful resolution of your claim.

Your attorney will also have the resources and network to support your case if necessary. This might include expert witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, and medical professionals. They will be able to evaluate the strength of your claim, determine the true cost of your losses, and calculate any other damages you might be eligible for.

While no amount of money can make up for your injuries and the loss of your vehicle, financial compensation can help you cover your expenses and allow you to live a normal life again. A skilled car accident lawyer will be able to calculate your non-economic losses, such as emotional pain and suffering, and ensure that you receive the full compensation that you are entitled to. They can also help you to appeal to the insurance company’s emotions by describing how your injuries have affected the quality of your life. This will often have a greater impact than simply listing your losses and expenses. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you at trial.

Filing A Claim

An attorney can help you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. They can also review your case to make sure you are filing for all the damages you’re entitled to. They know the right experts to hire and what evidence is important in your specific case. They can also advise you on whether to accept an insurance settlement or take your case to trial.

When calculating your damages, a lawyer takes into account both current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more. They can also help you decide if you should pursue compensation for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is a part of your car insurance policy that can help pay for your injuries if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough or any insurance.

They will gather the necessary information and documentation to support your case, including eyewitness testimony, police reports, medical records, and accident reconstruction expert reports. Then, they will send a demand letter to the insurance company detailing your injuries and explaining how they have affected your quality of life. They will also request your insurance company’s coverage amounts and inform you of any available no-fault benefits this includes medical expense and income loss benefit payments).

During the negotiation process, an experienced car accident lawyer can provide valuable advice and guidance to protect your best interests. They will ensure that the insurance company doesn’t undervalue your claims or trick you into admitting fault. They can also handle all communication with the insurance company so you don’t accidentally compromise your claim by saying something that could be used against you later.

The best way to determine if an attorney is a good fit for your needs is to meet with them in person. A reputable lawyer will have the staff, equipment, and resources to handle your case effectively, and their office space should be tidy and organized. They should also have a team of experienced and knowledgeable paralegals and support staff to assist them in their work and keep you updated as your case progresses.