D'Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC

Everything You & Your Family Need To Know About Your Major Accident Case

Major Accidents

INTRODUCTION

Experienced Maryland Accident Attorneys

A car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident could be incredibly disruptive to your life and your health.  One moment you are going about your daily routine, and the next moment you are facing medical bills, time out of work, or worse.

If you have been injured in a major accident due to another person’s negligence, you can protect your rights to full and fair compensation by hiring a major accident attorney as soon as possible.  Having a knowledgeable attorney in your corner early in the process can be extremely beneficial in the long run.

The experience, skill, and resources that the major accident attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law bring to your case are invaluable.  We stand up for your rights to make sure you get the best legal representation and the best financial recovery possible. We welcome you to schedule a free consultation with one of our legal professionals to learn more about what D’Amore can do for you.  You pay nothing unless and until you win.

What To Do After an Accident

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, there are some important steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights.

  •  
  • Report the Accident.  Calling 911 or local police is important so a law enforcement officer can create a report of the accident.  The investigating officer on the scene can help determine who was a fault. If there are injuries, reporting the accident to law enforcement is required.
  • Get Treatment.  Do not delay seeking medical treatment if you are injured.  That could mean calling an ambulance or visiting the nearest emergency care center.  If you delay seeking treatment, that could impact an insurance company’s view of the seriousness of your injuries.
  • Obtain Contact Information.  Get contact information from all people involved, including names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information.  If possible, gather then contact information of any witnesses to the accident, and inquire as to whether there is any smart-phone video footage of the accident.
  • Contact an Attorney.  The only people with whom you should discuss the accident are the police, your doctor, and your attorney.  Providing statements to insurance representatives or signing paperwork before consulting an accident lawyer could lead to less compensation for you.
WHEN TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AFTER AN ACCIDENT

You should contact an attorney immediately after an accident.  Why? Because you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim, and time is of the essence in an accident case.  Valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed with the passage of time.

Moreover, your attorney will know what evidence to look for, and how to capture it – including skid marks or other relevant details.  Therefore, having your lawyer help you obtain and preserve evidence will give you an advantage when presenting that proof to an insurance adjuster.

Finally, having a lawyer available to help you immediately will avoid the possibility of an insurance adjuster obtaining a statement or other admission from you at the scene.  You want to be sure that your side of the story is not tainted by slanted questions from an insurance adjuster.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR ACCIDENT CASE WORTH?

It is always an important consideration to know what a case is worth.  We understand that consideration because major accidents can put a serious financial burden on you.

However, because every case is different, it is difficult to estimate.  The compensation you receive will depend upon how extensive your injuries are, the amount of medical expenses you have, and whether you are partially at fault for the accident.

In that regard, it is important to mention Maryland’s controversial contributory negligence law.  In Maryland, if you are even partially at fault for your accident (even minimally so), you are barred from recovering anything from the negligent party.  While this Maryland law differs from most of the states in the U.S., there appears to be little appetite to change it. Hence, Maryland’s contributory negligence law is another reason to avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster until after you have consulted with your attorney.

That said, assuming that there is no contributory negligence issue, you may be entitled to receive compensation for accident losses including:

 

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage
  • Loss of earning capacity
WHY TEENS CAUSE MORE AUTO ACCIDENTS
Teens do not always think clearly when driving. The crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19 is three times higher than that of older adults, and they are far more susceptible to risky driving behaviors that lead to fatal accidents. Knowing these facts about how your teen thinks when behind the wheel is a great start to keeping them safe on the road.

INSURANCE

Dealing With Insurance Companies After an Accident

No matter what type of auto accident you were involved in, our team has the skill, resources, and experience to help. Here are a few of the types of auto accidents our team negotiates and litigates.

CAR ACCIDENTS

A collision between two cars might not seem like a complex case to negotiate at first. But attempting to negotiate with an insurance company without proper legal representation is never a good idea. Early in negotiations the insurance adjuster often behaves as though she is your friend, frequently making use of reassuring phrases and comforting tones. However, as you venture deeper into negotiations and ultimately hear why the insurance adjuster is not willing to fully reimburse you for the injuries you sustained, you quickly realize that these cases are not so simple. In fact, these cases require a lot of attention and a professional experience to resolve. Understanding exactly what to do following a car accident can save you valuable time and money over the course of your auto accident case. Without the right evidence, a deep understanding of what benefits are available following a collision, and more, you will not get a fair and just settlement in your case.

TRUCK ACCIDENTS

Truck accidents are complex. They require fast action and a solid understanding of how trucking insurance companies operate. Truck accidents must not be handled in the same way as car accidents. If they are, you will lose. To learn more about the core differences between these two types of cases—and why you must have a major accident lawyer knowledgeable in this unique type of traffic accident—visit the truck accident page.

 
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

Motorcyclists are at an extreme disadvantage in collisions with automobiles. Without the same four-wall protection that cars provide, a biker’s injuries are more severe after any crash. This is of critical import because a major strategy frequently employed by insurance companies is to minimize the severity of the actual collision in an attempt to also minimize the severity of a claimant’s injuries. You need a professional on your side who recognizes strategies such as this and who is prepared to, and capable of, countering them. Further, proving that the other driver is at fault for causing the accident is not often easy, and failing to prove this point will be a disaster for your case. Our lawyers understand the Maryland laws pertaining to motorcyclists, as well as how to investigate or reconstruct the collision to prove you are not at fault.

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In order to understand the importance of Uninsured Motorist coverage it is essential to understand exactly what it is, what it does, and how it works. In Maryland motor vehicle insurance is compulsory; however, the required limits are rather low: $30,000 per individual per accident to a maximum of $60,000 aggregate per accident is all that is required. Watch attorneys Paul D’Amore and Scott Lucas discuss this topic on Midday Maryland and why it’s so important to be adequately covered.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

If you’re in an accident with someone who has no car insurance, do you know what your plan covers? Understanding the benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Maryland and how to sign up for this type of coverage could help you avoid some expensive consequences in the case of an unfortunate crash.

CAR ACCIDENTS

Steps To Take After a Baltimore Car Accident

No matter whether the other driver admitted fault or not, you need to protect yourself. The other driver is not the one responsible for paying your settlement; his insurance company decides who is at fault and how much you receive.

Even where an insurance company accepts that the collision is the fault of their insured, they will always go to great effort to minimize the value of your case so that you are not fully compensated. Sometimes insurance companies rely on the victim’s lack of knowledge of Maryland laws to avoid paying for medical expenses and lost wages.

To stay protected against tricks and tactics that the insurance company uses to pay you less, follow these five steps after a crash:

1. CALL THE POLICE

While it is best to not move the vehicles until the police have arrived, there may be times when you should move your vehicle after a collision. If your vehicle is in the path of other cars on the road and poses a safety threat, it is usually safer to move it out of the way.

Whether you move the vehicle out of the way will depend on the condition of the vehicle and your condition after the accident. Whether you move your vehicle to the side of the road or not, make sure you turn off the engine and engage your hazard lights. When fluids are leaking from the vehicle, such as fuel or oil, or if you cannot move your vehicle, get far away from your vehicle.

2. PERSONAL SAFETY COMES FIRST

While it is best to not move the vehicles until the police have arrived, there may be times when you should move your vehicle after a collision. If your vehicle is in the path of other cars on the road and poses a safety threat, it is usually safer to move it out of the way.

Whether you move the vehicle out of the way will depend on the condition of the vehicle and your condition after the accident. Whether you move your vehicle to the side of the road or not, make sure you turn off the engine and engage your hazard lights. When fluids are leaking from the vehicle, such as fuel or oil, or if you cannot move your vehicle, get far away from your vehicle.

3. GATHER EVIDENCE

Car accident claims are not open and shut. They require evidence to support your side of the story and show what happened in the crash.

Here are some things you can gather to help support your case:

TAKE PICTURES

If you are physically capable, photographs should be taken at the scene. Photographs of the position of the vehicles after the collision and before they are moved will be of immense aid later in the prosecution of your case. Further, photographs of any skidmarks on the roadway, damage to the vehicles and injuries to persons are of critical importance.

NOTE THE CONDITIONS

Pay attention to the weather, road conditions, and traffic conditions. If it is cloudy, make a note of it. Often claimants believe they will remember these things later, however, if you fail to make note of it early on it will frequently be the case that you cannot remember the details later on. Remember, serious motor vehicle collisions can take as long as two (2) years to navigate through the litigation process if handled appropriately. Many of the details from early on may well be difficult to recall towards the end of the case.

LOCATION OF THE ACCIDENT

Write down where the accident happened. The best practice is to note the street intersection, nearest streets, or even a landmark. If you are able to do so, draw a diagram of the accident with the relevant positions of the vehicles involved and their direction and speed of travel.

DATE OF THE ACCIDENT

The date of the accident is of critical importance as it will control the date that the Statute of Limitations expires for your case. If the Statute of Limitations expires you will not be able, under law, to pursue your claim.

MAKES AND MODELS OF ALL VEHICLES INVOLVED

License plate numbers (If possible the license plates should be among the photographs that you take.) Name and insurance info for the other party involved (This is critical. Be certain to obtain the names and insurance information for all parties involved in the collision. Even if there is a party whom you do not believe was responsible for the collision, but who was nevertheless involved in the collision, be certain to obtain their name and insurance information as well.)

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Name of police department involved and police report number (if applicable) (This too is critical. Make sure that you have the police report number and appropriate department. There are many roadways and highways that have overlapping patrol coverage. The responding department to your collision could be the County Sheriff’s Department, the County Police Department, the State Police, local or city police or any number of Federal agencies, particularly if your collision happens in the District of Columbia. The accident report number alone will be of little use without knowing which agency responded to the scene and prepared the report.)

PEOPLE INVOLVED

Driver – Once you have identified the driver, exchange information with him or her. Make sure that at the end of your exchange you have the driver’s name, address, phone numbers, employer’s info, driver’s license number, name of insurance company, and insurance policy number. Associate the driver with his or her vehicle by keeping track of the vehicle’s year, make, model, color, and license plate. If the driver makes any statements about the accident or his injuries, then promptly write them down.

Lastly, the driver is not always the owner of the vehicle. Make sure you look at the Vehicle Registration Card to see the registered owner of the vehicle and the insurance company. Witnesses – If there were potential witnesses to the accident, get their information as soon as