When faced with the aftermath of a car accident, having a skilled and experienced Maryland personal injury attorney by your side is crucial. The personal injury lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling Law are here to help you navigate car accident cases. With a dedicated legal team of professionals, the firm has earned a reputation for having success with car accident lawsuits and injured victims.
Zirkin & Schmerling Baltimore Car Accident Attorney
Insurance carriers often take advantage of unrepresented individuals. Their first settlement typically falls short of fair compensation and pressures you to sign away your right for additional compensation.
A car accident attorney ensures victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses in most car accidents.
Zirkin & Schmerling Law’s experienced car accident attorneys know Maryland’s car accident laws. From investigating car accidents to negotiating with insurance companies and representing clients in court, our accident lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 410-753-4611 for a free consultation.
Steps a Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer Takes When Filing Cases
A Baltimore car accident lawyer will follow a series of steps to assist you in filing an insurance claim:
- Initial Consultation: During this meeting, the car accident lawyer will gather information about the accident, injuries sustained, and other relevant details.
- Investigation and Gathering Evidence: This step may involve collecting police reports, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and any available surveillance footage.
- Assessment of Damages: Your car accident lawyer will evaluate the extent of your damages, including medical expenses stemming from seeking treatment from medical professionals, property damage, lost wages, and any other losses resulting from the accident. This assessment helps in determining the appropriate compensation to seek. (We will also pursue compensation for medical malpractice if you did not receive appropriate medical treatment or diagnosis after your accident.)
- Communication with Insurance Companies: The Baltimore car accident lawyer will handle all communication with insurance companies on your behalf. This includes negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company to secure a fair settlement.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your Baltimore car accident lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf. This formal legal action initiates the court process.
- Discovery Process: During the lawsuit, both parties engage in the discovery process. This involves exchanging information, documents, and evidence relevant to the case.
- Settlement Negotiations or Trial Preparation: Even after filing a lawsuit, many cases are resolved through settlement negotiations. Your lawyer will continue to negotiate for a fair settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, they will prepare for trial.
- Trial: If the case proceeds to trial, your personal injury lawyers will present your case in court. This includes examining witnesses, presenting evidence, and making legal arguments. Your personal injury lawyer will prepare you for this stage.
- Post-Trial or Settlement Phase: If the case goes to trial, your car accidents lawyer will handle any post-trial matters. If a settlement is reached, they will assist with finalization, ensuring that you receive the agreed-upon compensation.
- Case Conclusion: After either a trial verdict or a settlement agreement, your car accidents lawyer will conclude the case. This may involve disbursing settlement funds, ensuring liens are satisfied, and addressing any remaining legal matters.
Throughout the entire process, a Zirkin & Schmerling Baltimore car accident lawyer will protect your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Specific steps may vary based on the circumstances of your car accident case.
What Are the Most Dangerous Baltimore Intersections?
Driving in Maryland can be challenging, between the big-city congestion of Baltimore and the proximity to Washington D.C. The risk is highest at intersections, where 40% of all car accidents occur. In these car crash cases, a distracted or negligent driver and sometimes poor planning by the Maryland Department of Transportation can lead to car accidents.
In the Baltimore County area, certain intersections are more dangerous than others.
These five intersections are the most dangerous according to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration:
#5: South Monroe Street/Washington Boulevard
South of Carroll Park, the intersection of South Monroe Street and Washington Boulevard is confusing. With four lights and five lanes of traffic arriving from four directions, drivers sometimes fail to yield when turning left. A typical year sees 20 or more car accidents at this intersection.
#4: Orleans/Gay/Ensor Streets
Just west of the Jones Falls Expressway in Baltimore is the congested area of Orleans, Gay, and Ensor Streets. Anyone unfamiliar with how the streets split at this place can easily be caught off guard. More than 30 car accidents occur here in a typical year.
#3: Jones Falls Expressway/West Cold Spring Lane
Where West Cold Spring Lane joins the Jones Fall Expressway, the split exit creates congestion and confusion. When workday traffic hits the expressway at 5 p.m., traffic clogs and drivers grow impatient. It’s common to have more than 30 car accidents here in a year, especially side-swipes.
#2: Jones Falls Expressway/Northern Parkway
Another Jones Falls Expressway exit with plenty of collisions is the Northern Parkway. Vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed on both highways come together where the two meet. Almost every time of day is busy and risky here, contributing to more than 35 crashes in a typical year.
#1: Gwynns Falls Parkway/Reisterstown Road
Finally, statistics show the number one most dangerous intersection in Maryland is Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Road. Anyone who’s driven through this area has probably seen drivers ignoring traffic signals, accelerating impatiently, and creating havoc. There are more than 45 crashes at this intersection each year.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Baltimore Car Accident Lawsuit?
Understanding the time limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is crucial. Zirkin & Schmerling Law ensures compliance with the statute of limitations and ensures legal actions are initiated within the specified timeframe. This deadline in a Maryland car accident lawsuit is governed by the statute of limitations of three years. This means a lawsuit must be initiated within three years of the accident if a settlement is not achieved.
Why You Need to Find a Baltimore Car Accident Attorney Quickly
Timely initiation of the lawsuit well before the Maryland car accident claim statute of limitations expires is a crucial step in winning your personal injury car accident case. It is common for individuals to try to negotiate with insurance adjusters, only to realize that securing a reasonable settlement from the insurance company is unlikely.
Contacting Baltimore car accident lawyers a day or two before the limitations period is risky and may limit the options available for accident claims.
Many car and auto accident, attorneys in Maryland are hesitant to take on cases with short deadlines, as personal injury cases are often more complex than anticipated. Even seemingly straightforward Maryland auto accident cases necessitate thorough research before filing an injury claim.
In some instances for personal injury and accident lawyers, filing a lawsuit well in advance of the deadline becomes essential to facilitate discovery through the legal process and ensure the identification of all pertinent defendants.
Is the Car Accident Statute of Limitations Different for Minors?
It’s crucial to note that the statute of limitations for car accident claims in Maryland is different for minors. Children (those under 18) have until they turn 21 to file a lawsuit, with the deadline expiring on their 21st birthday. Notably, minors born on February 29 with a 21st birthday not falling in a leap year have a deadline of March 1 (Mason v. Board of Education of Baltimore County, 375 Md. 504 (2003), overruled by Maryland Code, Article 1, 37).
In cases where accident victims need to make a claim against their insurance company for uninsured or underinsured benefits, a three-year time limit applies. However, this limitations period is calculated from the date the victim becomes aware or should have known about their claim against the insurance company.
An experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer can help you determine unique aspects of your case that may impact your filing deadline.
Available Damages to Car Accident Victims in Baltimore
Victims in car accidents often wonder about the compensation they can receive. Zirkin & Schmerling Law lists the damages available, including medical bills and expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
How to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement
Navigating the complexities of a serious insurance settlement requires strategic approaches. Your Zirkin & Schmerling personal injury lawyer will provide personalized advice maximizing a car accident settlement.
Here are a few tips your Baltimore car accident lawyer will likely recommend:
Don’t let insurance adjusters pressure you to settle right away: This seems like a simple thing, but it’s not. Insurance companies will reach out with an early settlement offer and their goal is to settle your case as soon as possible – before you find out what your case is worth.
In most cases, you can almost always get more money than the insurance company is offering you at this early stage. A good attorney can help you increase the value of your case if you don’t give in to the pressure of an early settlement.
Expect this to take a long time: Personal injury cases can take many months to settle, and some can take years before a successful resolution is reached. Every case is different, and how long your case takes depends greatly on the facts of the crash, the extent of your injuries, and the extent of the treatment you need.
Once you’ve engaged a personal injury lawyer, they can give you a sense of what to expect based on the complexity of your case, the willingness of the insurance adjuster to work with you, and any additional factors that may bog down your case.
Don’t go at this alone: Can you handle your case by yourself? Yes, but that does not necessarily mean you should. Insurance adjusters know that an injured person handling their case may not know as much about the settlement process or be able to negotiate as well as a lawyer or an industry insider, and therefore they may be more likely to settle for less.
A good Baltimore MD lawyer can bring a wealth of information and skills to a personal injury case, and with some exceptions, can help you get more for your case than you would otherwise. This leads us directly to the next point.
Put your case in experienced hands: Hire an attorney with a track record of success in trial proceedings to enhance your chances of securing the best possible settlement. Insurance companies are well aware of lawyers with a history of taking cases to trial and winning, making them more likely to offer larger settlements to avoid litigation risks.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand better the factors that affect the value of your case. They are far less likely to miss important details because they didn’t ask the right questions.
Pick an advocate, not just someone who wants the paycheck: Ensure your attorney genuinely believes in your case, fostering a stronger advocate-client relationship. During discussions, it’s crucial to sense your personal injury lawyer’s belief in you and your case.
Lawyers who focus on addressing weaknesses in the case rather than dwelling on the negatives can often secure more favorable outcomes for their clients.
Don’t put off medical testing or treatment: Make sure you seek medical attention for your injuries and follow through on any treatment that your doctors recommend. Under the law, you (the injured person) have the burden of proving your damages – that is, proving how badly you were injured and how much medical care it took to treat your injuries. If you want your medical bills paid for, seeking medical treatment immediately is crucial.
Let this process take as long as your doctors think is needed. Your medical records, bills, and doctors’ opinions will prove your case, and more importantly, get you the care you need to get better.
Put your cards on the table: Indicate to the insurance company that you are prepared to pursue legal action by proactively initiating the litigation process alongside settlement negotiations. Providing the necessary paperwork for potential lawsuits with your demand packages signals your readiness.
Being open about your unwillingness to get lowballed by an insurance adjuster captures the insurance company’s attention and streamlines the filing process if negotiations break down.
Stick to the truth: Maintain honesty throughout the negotiation process, emphasizing the importance of truthfulness in personal injury settlement discussions. Upholding the truth about the facts builds credibility with insurance companies, even if there are disagreements on settlement values.
You and your car accident lawyer committing to honesty throughout the process ensures a strong foundation for negotiations, enhancing the overall credibility of your case.
Don’t take the first offer: Initial settlement offers are usually quite low, and insurance companies seldom make their best and top offer at the start of negotiations. In most cases, the insurance company can and will pay more than they originally offered to settle your case. But you should be mentally prepared for negotiations to take some time.
Remember, the insurance adjuster is not trying to pay you what your case is worth. They are trying to save their company money.
Baltimore Car Accident FAQs
The most crucial step is to say as little as possible while gathering as much information as you can. Notify the police about the incident, providing concise details. Avoid unnecessary disclosures to the other driver. Collect essential information, delegate tasks if injured, and involve the police for an unbiased report. Setting up your accident claim correctly from the start is vital for maximizing its value.
While insurance companies may request recorded statements, it’s not obligatory. Consult your attorney before providing one to ensure the protection of your rights after car accidents.
The at-fault driver engages in actions that a reasonably prudent driver would avoid, leading to severe injuries to other road users. Proving fault is generally straightforward, with the maximum compensation amount varying based on injury severity and legal representation.
Immediate consultation accident lawyers is wise, especially for serious injuries. Attorneys help reduce financial burdens and recover costs. In more minor injuries and cases, the necessity of legal representation varies.
In most cases, Maryland law provides three years from the accident date to file a claim. Consult an attorney early to determine specific timeframes and any notification requirements.
Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts after car accidents. Victims and lawyers must actively negotiate for a fair offer.
Immediate, serious medical treatment and professional attention is crucial after car accidents for both health and legal purposes. Zirkin & Schmerling Law advises seeking medical care promptly after an accident to ensure your medical bills get paid.
Navigating settlement offers requires caution. Zirkin & Schmerling Law guides clients in evaluating and negotiating settlement offers with the insurance company to ensure fair compensation. Call the firm today at 410-753-4611 for a free consultation.
In the state of Maryland, the potential settlement figure resulting from car accidents is contingent upon several factors, including the nature and extent of injuries sustained, the extent of property damage incurred, and the overall repercussions of motor vehicle accidents on the car wreck victim’s life. The financial compensation awarded in car accident settlements across Maryland exhibits considerable variability, spanning from around $15,000 for relatively minor cases to as high as $100,000.
It is essential to recognize that the severity of both the auto accident claim and the ensuing injuries plays a pivotal role in determining the settlement amount. As a general principle, more substantial auto accidents and injuries typically correlate with higher settlement figures, reflecting the increased impact on the victim’s well-being and the resultant financial, physical, and emotional challenges they must navigate.
In the event of any motor vehicle accident seek immediate medical attention. Prioritizing your health and well-being after an accident is essential for a thorough evaluation medical treatment by a medical professional of potential injuries, even if they may initially appear minor.
If, however, the auto accident report involves an uninsured driver, it is crucial to take swift action. Notifying law enforcement promptly ensures an official record of the incident, aiding in legal processes and potential insurance claims.
Simultaneously, contacting your insurance company without delay is equally vital, allowing them to gather essential information, assess the situation, and guide you through the necessary steps to navigate an uninsured motorist insurance claim more effectively.
Acting promptly ensures that both your immediate health concerns and the subsequent legal and insurance aspects are addressed.
Distracted driving poses a constant and significant threat on the roads, manifesting in three primary forms, each with dangerous implications. Visual distraction occurs when a driver diverts their gaze away from the road, manual distraction involves removing hands from the steering wheel, and cognitive distraction refers to a lapse in mental focus on driving tasks.
This dangerous behavior has become increasingly prevalent, particularly with the widespread use of mobile phones, earning it the ominous moniker of “the new drunk driving.” Studies have drawn alarming parallels between distracted driving and impaired driving, revealing comparable impacts on driving abilities.
Engaging in activities like texting or talking on the phone while driving compromises a driver’s ability to react swiftly in emergencies and car accidents are more likely.
Drivers diverting their attention from the road for critical seconds is the root cause of numerous Baltimore car accident injuries.
Maryland’s cell phone laws prohibit handheld devices for all drivers while driving. Hands-free options, such as speakerphones, Bluetooth devices, or wired headsets, are permissible. Drivers under 18 are strictly prohibited from using mobile devices, and texting while driving is forbidden.
The penalties for violating these laws range from a $75 fine for a first offense to a $175 fine for subsequent offenses. Notably, these violations are considered primary offenses, enabling law enforcement to initiate a traffic stop solely based on witnessing handheld device use or texting while driving.
Beyond fines, distracted driving violations can lead to misdemeanor convictions, resulting in additional points on the driver’s license. However, if a distracted driver causes an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death, the consequences for drunk drivers can escalate significantly. In such Baltimore MD cases, a conviction may result in up to one year of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers | Zirkin & Schmerling
In the aftermath of an accident, securing legal representation to recover compensation for your Baltimore car accident case. Zirkin & Schmerling, personal injury lawyers stand ready to advocate for your rights and guide you through the legal process. Contact their experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers for a free consultation and we will show you how to get the compensation you deserve.
With a proven track record of guiding injury victims of car accidents to success, choosing to seek legal advice from our Baltimore MD accident lawyers’ commitment to justice sets them apart in the whole auto accident legal landscape.