Maryland Car Accident Claims and Lawyers
Maryland is a state that is small in size but big in influence. Located on the East Coast of the United States just outside the Washington, D.C. metro area, Maryland has been featured in national news articles since demonstrations erupted following reports of police brutality and racism. Its position on the Atlantic coastline also means that Maryland is an important shipping destination and port of origin. Baltimore is the state’s most famous city, but the Maryland town of Annapolis is also noteworthy because of the presence of the U.S. Naval Academy. Nearly six million people live in Maryland, according to 2013 census data.
The beauty of the Maryland countryside and shoreline may cause some to forget that serious car accidents can occur in Maryland. Some of these car accidents may result in fatal injuries; in other cases, injury victims will be left with brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and (potentially) permanent disabilities. It is important to know your rights after a car accident in Maryland so that you can take prompt and appropriate action in the event you or a loved one are injured.
Maryland Car Accident Data
The following statistics are provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation:
- In 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 558 fatal accidents were reported– about 35 fewer than the year before;
- On average, from 2003 to 2007 Maryland experiences about 36,681 injury accidents every year (that is about 100 injury accidents every month, or about three per day);
- In 2007, 615 people were killed and another 51,729 were injured. This is better than the statistics available for 2003, in which 654 people were killed and 58,118 people were injured in traffic collisions.
The Department of Transportation also reports that traffic collisions are the top cause of death for people between the ages of 4 and 34 and that collisions kill more people in Maryland each year than acts of homicide. The Department reports that nine out of every ten crashes in Maryland are preventable. That is, if a driver had not been texting while driving, had chosen not to drink and then drive, or had decided to obey traffic laws, then an injury or fatal accident might not have occurred.
Maryland is a “Fault Based” Insurance State
Because car accidents do occur and they can result in significant financial burdens for those affected, Maryland requires all drivers to obtain and maintain an adequate auto insurance policy as a condition of driving. Insurance policies in Maryland are “fault based,” meaning that injured motorists or passengers will file claims with the insurance carrier of the person they believe to be at fault in causing the accident. Where fault cannot be easily determined, the payment of a claim may be delayed or denied outright.
The delay or denial of a claim for compensation may lead some injury victims to file a lawsuit in court and seek compensation through this avenue. Injury victims should be aware, however, that in a Maryland car accident lawsuit any amount of fault on the part of the injury victim will act to prevent the injury victim from recovering any compensation. Even if the victim was only one percent responsible for causing the crash, that one percent of responsibility will bar the victim from receiving any amount of compensation.
Time to File an Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
What is more, injury victims who believe they need to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for their injuries only have three years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit, thanks to Maryland’s statute of limitations (Md. Ann. Code Sec. 5-101). Three years may seem like a significant length of time, but consider that during those three years the injury victim must:
- Obtain treatment for his or her injuries and have a good understanding of what his or her past and future medical expenses will be.
- Calculate what other damages he or she experienced as a result of the crash;
- Determine what parties may be responsible for contributing to the crash other than the at-fault driver;
- Attempt to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company;
- Prepare and file the necessary documents to initiate a car crash lawsuit.
When one considers this nonexclusive list, it becomes apparent that there is no time for injury victims in Maryland to wait around. After a car crash, they must obtain treatment and begin taking steps immediately to secure their compensation.
Contact a Car Crash Accident Lawyer Today
The assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer like attorney Ken Stern of Stern Law, PLLC can make all of the difference in a victim’s quest for compensation. Learn how our knowledgeable, resourceful, and compassionate firm can assist you after a car crash by calling (844) 808-7529 as soon as possible.