Experienced Lawyer Serving Auto Accident Victims in Maryland
Automobile accidents can happen to anyone. If you have been injured from involvement in an auto collision caused by the negligence of another individual, I can take action to protect your legal rights. I will offer experienced legal counsel to guide you through the various steps associated with your personal injury claim. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an automobile accident, call me today to learn what I can do for you. Car accident cases are generally covered by a statute of limitations of three years but in cases involving government owned vehicles, notice requirements may be a little as 6 months. That means you only have three years from the time of the accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
What steps are involved in being compensated for an auto accident?
What to Do the Day of the Accident
Your first action after involvement in a car accident should be to stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. The law requires that drivers exchange driver’s license, registration and insurance information before leaving the scene of an accident. In Maryland if a police officer is dispatched to the scene, he will assist in the exchange of this information. You can be criminally charged with a hit and run if you leave the accident location. If possible take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to the vehicles involved. These can prove very useful later as many cases do not get to court for years.
Seek Medical Treatment
If anyone is injured, immediate medical assistance should be obtained and the police should be contacted to report the accident. A police report of the accident can help support your insurance claim and any liability claims. Use caution and discretion during any conversations and do not plead guilty or admit fault at the scene of the accident. Let an attorney review the facts of your case and discuss with you. It is advisable to politely refuse to comment on the situation with anyone at the scene until you speak with an attorney.
In Maryland you will have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) available to assist you with paying for your medical bills, unless you have specifically waived it. PIP is no fault insurance available to you to pay medical bills and to compensate you for wages lost because you are injured.
It is not unusual for you to feel fine at the scene of the accident and wake up stiff, sore, and in pain the next morning. If this happens you should seek medical treatment.
The Demand Package
When your medical treatment is complete, I will collect all of your medical records and the related bills as well as documentation to support your claim for any lost wages. These collected documents will be assembled into a demand package for submission to the opposing parties insurance company.
Usually while the client is in treatment, the insurance takes a position on liability, which essentially means are they going to pay or fight the claim. If the insurance company denies the claim before the client completes treatment, a no demand package is prepared and a case is filed with the court.
After the opposing person’s receives the demand package insurance, they conduct a review of the medical records and bills. Each insurance company has its own way to evaluate bills and medical treatment. Most will also call the employer and verify the lost wages claim.
After this review and verification is completed, I will speak with the insurance companies claims adjustor. Typically the insurance company will make an initial offer to settle. I will make a counter demand on behalf of the client. It is not unusual for there to be multiple rounds of offers and demands. If a settlement amount can be agreed on, the insurance company will prepare a release for the client to sign and mail a check to the client’s attorney. I deposit the check and when it has cleared, I pay any outstanding bills and give the remaining balance to the client in the form of a check.
If a fair settlement cannot be agreed upon or the insurance company denies liability, the case will need to proceed to Court. I always meet with a client before filing suit to make sure they understand what is entailed in the court proceeding, what expenses to expect and to agree on what court we are going to file in and whether the matter will be submitted to a judge or jury.
When filing suit in Maryland you can file in either the District Court or the Circuit Court. Judges conduct the trials in the District Court and juries are available in the Circuit Court. Small claims are all claims under $5,000.00 and the rules of evidence are relaxed. District Court cases can be filed for up to $30,000.00 and cases demanding over $30,000.00 are filed in the Circuit Courts.
To protect your rights and ensure that you maximize your chance of receiving compensation, I can provide the necessary diligence and knowledge to represent your case to a favorable conclusion. I can begin by advising you of your rights and responsibilities during this process. I also can respond to questions from insurance companies, interview witnesses, and analyze the evidence. During my representation of your case, my primary goal as your personal injury lawyer is to help you obtain the monetary compensation that you need and deserve. Contact Raymond Carignan, Esq., for experienced representation today!