Car Accident Compensation in Maryland
Our attorneys explain how crash victims can recover their losses
Expenses can add up fast after a serious car accident in Maryland. This is why it’s critical that you understand how the compensation process works in the state. Otherwise, you might not get the money you rightfully deserve for your car accident injury claim or lawsuit.
Our attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan thoroughly understand the state’s compensation system when it comes to car crashes. That’s because our car accident lawyers have years of experience handling complex legal cases.
Below, you can learn more about car accident compensation in Maryland. We also strongly encourage you to contact our law firm as soon as possible to learn more about all the legal options available to you.
Maryland’s at-fault car insurance rules
Like many states, Maryland has what’s known as an at-fault car insurance system. This means the at-fault party is responsible for compensating crash victims for their accident-related expenses. In most cases, this responsibility goes to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, depending on the circumstances of your accident, additional sources of financial compensation may be available.
Maryland’s pure contributory negligence system
Another important factor when determining how much money you could receive for your car accident involves Maryland’s pure contributory negligence rule. Unlike most states, Maryland is among a small number of states that has this rule, which applies to personal injury claims such as those involving car accidents.
What this means is if you were even 1% at fault, you can be barred from seeking financial compensation for losses. For example, if the other driver’s insurance company claims that you were 10 percent at fault because you were driving over the speed limit at the time of the crash, the insurance company could deny your entire claim, even though the other driver was 90 percent at fault. In Maryland, it’s really all or nothing when it comes to establishing fault.
This might sound extreme. But that’s how Maryland pure contributory negligence system works. This is why it’s important that you have an experienced attorney handling your case who thoroughly understands how this system works.
Compensation for Maryland car accidents
There are many different types of financial compensation available for people injured in a car accident caused by someone else. This compensation often depends on what type of insurance you or the other driver has, including:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Voluntary type of car insurance coverage designed to pay for medical expenses associated with a car crash.
- Collision Coverage – This form of car insurance pays for vehicle repairs or the cost of buying a new car declared a total loss as a result of a vehicle collision.
- Comprehensive Coverage – This type of car insurance doesn’t apply for collisions. Rather, it pays for vehicle repairs due to other types of incidents, such as fire, theft, or vandalism.
What expenses can I recover after a crash?
If another driver caused your collision, you can and should be compensated for all your accident-related expenses. Remember, that’s how Maryland’s at-fault car insurance system works. Such expenses can cover a wide range, including:
- Ambulance fees.
- Emergency medical treatment.
- Diagnostic medical tests.
- Surgical procedures.
- Hospital fees.
- Physical therapy.
- In-home healthcare.
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments.
- Vehicle repairs or cost of buying a new car.
- Replacement income if you cannot work temporarily due to your injury.
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability.
Economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages
Other terms involving car accident compensation you might encounter after your car accident are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. First, it’s important to understand that the word damages is a legal term that refers to financial compensation.
- Economic damages are objective losses for specific financial expenses you experienced as a result of your accident. For example, if you received a medical bill for $30,000 for your medical care after a car accident, that bill would be a part of your economic damages. So would vehicle repairs and lost wages, since they have an exact number tied to them.
- Non-economic damages do not have a specific dollar amount attached to them. Rather, they are subjective, non-monetary losses that often have to do more with lost quality of life as a result of an accident. A classic example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages (also known as "exemplary damages") are awarded to injury victims in a legal case that’s intended to punish the at-fault party. For example, if a driver was street racing and caused your accident, a judge and jury might award you punitive damages as part of your jury verdict to make an example out of the at-fault driver and deter such behavior in the future.
Car accident settlement vs. lawsuit verdict
A settlement is a one-time payment, often from an insurance company, that settles your case and pays for your accident expenses. If you accept a settlement offer, that’s it. Your case is settled, and you cannot ask for additional money in the future.
A verdict is also a one-time payment. However, in such cases, a judge or jury awards a car accident victim compensation through a court verdict. In order to take the case to court, a victim must file a car accident lawsuit.
Can I ask for more money for my accident?
Before you agree to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you have the option to request more money than their initial settlement offer. However, you must do this before you agree to accept a settlement. After you accept a settlement, you cannot ask for more money, even if your accident expenses increase more than you expect in the future.
Negotiating a better settlement offer can be extremely complicated. Often, many insurance companies claim their first offer is their best offer. Our experienced Maryland car accident lawyers know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and often obtain larger settlements for injury victims and their families.
Get the money you deserve. Contact Goldberg Finnegan
Understanding how financial compensation works for car accidents in Maryland can be confusing. That’s why our legal team wants to help you learn more about all your available options. That way, you can make informed decisions based on the facts.
Our law firm consistently obtains sizable settlements and financial verdicts for car accident injury victims. This money allows people to rebuild their lives without living in fear of financial ruin. Case results truly matter here.
You often only have one opportunity to obtain a lifetime’s worth of money for all your car accident expenses. Give your case the best opportunity for success. Contact our Silver Spring law firm and schedule your free case evaluation with a Maryland car accident lawyer who knows how to get results.