Car Accident FAQ
Answers to common questions about car crashes in Maryland
If you have been in a car accident caused by another driver in Maryland, you probably have a lot of questions about your motor vehicle accident. However, knowing where to find accurate, useful information can be challenging. That’s why we want to help.
Our Maryland car accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan in Silver Spring have years of experience dealing with complicated car accident injury claims and lawsuits. As a result, we thoroughly understand how the state’s legal system works when it comes to car crashes.
Below, you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about car accidents. If you don’t see your specific question listed below – or even if you do – simply contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation. We can answer your questions and explain your legal options.
What Is Your Car Accident Question?
- What are common causes of crashes?
- What are common car accident injuries?
- Should I call the police after a crash?
- Should I see a doctor?
- Should I contact my insurance company?
- Is Maryland an at-fault car insurance state?
- Who’s responsible for paying for my accident?
- Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance?
- Who determines fault in a car accident?
- How much is my claim worth?
- What expenses can I be compensated for?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
- Can I ask for more money?
- What if the other driver’s insurance company negotiates in bad faith?
- Can I file a car accident lawsuit in Maryland?
- How much time do I have to take legal action?
- How can a car accident lawyer help me?
In most cases, collisions involving two cars often involve one driver acting in a negligent manner. Common examples of drivers doing something they should not have been doing that resulted in a car accident include:
Nearly 30,000 car accidents resulting in an injury occur every year in Maryland, according to car accident data compiled by the Maryland Department of Transportation. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Whiplash and other types of neck injuries
- Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Pain caused by a car crash
- Bone fractures and broken bones
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage
- Cuts and lacerations, often to the face, arms, or legs
Yes. You are required by law in Maryland to call the police if you have been involved in a car accident that results in an injury or fatality, according to Maryland Transportation Code, Section 20-107. All drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in an injury or fatality must also report the accident to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration within 15 days of the accident. If you need assistance with any part of the accident reporting process, contact our law firm. We can help you as your Maryland car accident attorney.
Yes. Make sure you have a doctor examine you right away after your accident so they can diagnose and treat your injury. Even if you feel fine, you could have a serious injury that could potentially even be life-threatening.
By seeing a doctor, you will have a formal record of your injury. This is very important when trying to obtain financial compensation for your injury-related expenses. If you don’t have proof of your injury, your accident claim might be denied due to lack of evidence.
In addition, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions, whether it’s scheduling a follow-up doctor’s appointment or taking time off from work to rest and recover. If you don’t take your doctor’s advice, you might not fully recover, and your injury claim could be denied.
Yes. As soon as possible after your car crash, call your insurance company and tell them you have been involved in a car accident caused by another driver. During your initial call, keep your comments brief. You can go into more detail at another point. But it’s always best to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies, including your own.
Yes. Like many states, Maryland has what’s known as an at-fault car insurance system. This means the at-fault party is responsible for paying injury victims for all their accident-related expenses. So, if someone else caused your collision, you’re not responsible for paying for your car crash.
Because Maryland has an at-fault car insurance system, the at-fault party must pay for all your accident expenses. In general, this is the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. But just because the other driver’s insurance company is supposed to pay for your accident does not mean they will automatically do so.
In addition, you may be able to obtain compensation for your accident from other sources depending on the circumstances of your crash. This is why it’s important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible who understands how the car accident compensation system works in Maryland.
No. Many times, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you – in person or on the phone – soon after your accident. Their questions might seem simple and straightforward. But in reality, what they want is information they can use to reduce or deny your injury claim.
Remember, if another driver caused your collision, it’s that driver’s insurance company’s responsibility to pay for your accident. As a result, they will often do everything they can to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. There’s absolutely no reason why you should talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Your comments can only hurt, not help, your legal case.
You might be surprised to learn that insurance companies involved in an accident often have the most to say about who caused the collision. As you might expect, these companies have a financial interest in the outcome of your case.
Fortunately, you can be part of these discussions about who was at fault. And often, the best way to do that is to do that is by having an experienced attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and who will make sure your voice is heard loud and clear.
There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to car accident claims. Similar accidents might be worth a lot more or less than others. What matters most is you should receive financial compensation that covers all your accident expenses. And many times, those expenses can easily add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more money. Our Maryland law firm knows since our attorneys have obtained many multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for injury victims and their families. Case results truly matter here.
Some car accident expenses might be obvious. But you might also be surprised by how many other expenses you can be compensated for if you’re involved in a car accident in Maryland caused by another driver. Such expenses can include:
- Ambulance fees.
- Emergency medical treatment.
- Diagnostic medical tests.
- Hospital fees.
- Prescription medications.
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments.
- Future surgical procedures.
- In-home health care.
- Home modifications, such as installing a wheelchair ramp, if you or a loved one has mobility issues due to your accident.
- Vehicle repairs or the cost of buying a new car if yours was totaled in your collision.
- Replacement income if you need time off from work to rest and recover after your accident.
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work or can only work in a reduced capacity in the future due to a permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering in certain circumstances.
Don’t be surprised if the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you and makes a settlement offer soon after your accident. You might be tempted to accept this financial offer. But it’s important to realize how settlement offers work. A settlement offer is a one-time payment designed to pay for all your accident expenses. So, if you agree to accept a settlement offer, that’s it. Your case is settled.
However, many settlement offers – especially ones made soon after an accident – don’t cover all accident-related expenses, especially future ones. As a result, if you agree to accept such an offer, you would personally be responsible for paying for such additional expenses out of your own pocket. This is why you should carefully consider any offer before agreeing to accept it.
In most cases, yes. You can ask for additional financial compensation to pay for your accident-related expenses. However, you need to do so before you accept a settlement offer. Remember, once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for more money. So, if you believe you received a lowball settlement offer from the other driver's insurance company, you can request a higher offer before you agree to accept it.
Many times, insurance companies refuse to negotiate and make a better settlement offer after a car accident. When this occurs, the insurance company is acting in bad faith. In contrast, when an insurance company agrees to negotiate, this is known as acting in good faith.
If you believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, you have the right to take legal action against the company. However, it’s important to understand that such cases can often be very complicated. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to a lawyer right away after your crash.
Yes. You have the right to take legal action if you were injured in an accident caused by another driver in Maryland. In addition, other immediate family members sometimes have the right to file a lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation.
However, keep in mind that the car accident lawsuit process in Maryland can be very complicated and often requires many detailed steps. And if you make a mistake, you could jeopardize the outcome of your legal case. That’s why we strongly recommend talking to a car accident attorney at our Maryland law firm.
In most cases, you have three (3) years from the date of your car accident to take legal action, including filing a car accident lawsuit seeking damages. This deadline is commonly called the statute of limitations as explained in Maryland Code Section 5-109.
However, just because you have this much time does not mean you should wait several years to take legal action against the at-fault party. The longer you wait, the harder it often is to find evidence you need in support of your lawsuit. And without evidence, you might have a hard time winning your legal case.
Car accident injury claims and lawsuits in Maryland often turn into complicated legal cases. Often, this is because the at-fault driver’s insurance company does everything it can to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all.
Our experienced Maryland car accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies. We understand how the legal system works when it comes to at-fault car accidents. We know which legal strategies can be the most effective. That’s why we consistently obtain sizable settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families in Maryland.
To learn more about why you should hire a car accident lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan, simply contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation. One of our attorneys can meet with you free of charge, answer your legal questions and get right to work on your case.