In an instant, a painful and disabling neck injury can change your life. One moment you’re riding along in traffic, then suddenly you’re suffering extreme neck pain from the impact of a crash. The neck injury lawyers of Zirkin & Schmerling Law created this guide to explain the legal aspects of traffic accident-related neck injuries in Maryland. We invite you to read the information on this page and contact us for an initial consultation about your specific situation.
Neck injuries are among the worst injuries that happen in car accidents. Although a neck injury like whiplash is sometimes viewed as a minor nuisance, it can be excruciatingly painful with a long recovery period.
More severe neck injuries come with issues that compromise your health, like back pain, a spinal cord injury, and even traumatic brain injuries. Never assume your neck injury is no big deal until you’ve been examined by a qualified medical professional.
How Do I Choose a Maryland Attorney to Help With My Neck Injury Case?
Choosing the right attorney to help you with your neck injury case is essential. You need an attorney who will listen carefully and help you understand what happened in your motor vehicle accident and what your options are.
Your attorney must have a thorough knowledge of Maryland’s personal injury laws, plus the perseverance to pursue an insurance claim, the diplomacy to negotiate a settlement, and the aggressiveness to go to court if necessary and plead your case. Your attorney must work hard on your behalf so you can focus on your physical therapy and medical treatment.
Consider these factors:
Experience. There’s no second chance in a situation like this. Your attorney’s level of knowledge and experience could impact your ability to secure compensation after a neck injury. Make sure your attorney has many years of experience handling cases like yours.
Results. You want results. Zirkin & Schmerling Law has a proven track record in neck injury cases. See for yourself in our testimonials from clients.
Reputation. In these cases, reputation matters. Your attorney must have a stellar reputation within Maryland’s legal community and beyond. The insurance company should see a law firm’s name and realize you mean business. Make sure your lawyer has a strong reputation for obtaining positive outcomes in situations that involve neck injuries from car accidents.
We Get Results
We invite you to view our results page and see for yourself that the law office of Zirkin & Schmerling gets results in a wide variety of personal injury cases. Here are some examples:
$1.85 Million Car Accident Settlement
A flying piece of aluminum struck our client’s vehicle. He received an original offer of $0 – that’s right ZERO dollars! – before we joined the case. We did extensive work on the case and helped him secure $1.85 million that will assist him in his long-term recovery so he can finally move forward from the accident.
$375,000 Car Accident Settlement
A husband and wife were in a rear-end auto accident where the insurance company initially decided they deserved merely $5,000 each. Following extensive litigation and skillful work by Zirkin & Schmerling Law, our clients received a much higher amount of $375,000.
$167,000 Car Accident Settlement
This accident was considered a minor fender bender, but our client had a significant pre-existing injury that was made much worse by this accident. After receiving the first offer of just $5,000, our client later secured $167,000 with the help of Zirkin & Schmerling Law.
$150,000 Car Accident Settlement
A woman was injured in a parking lot crash. The insurance refused to take responsibility and 6 weeks before trial the case settled for $150,000.
$245,000 Car Accident Settlement
A man was driving his vehicle and there was work being done on Baltimore City street. While the work was being done there was a huge hole in the street and the street wasn’t properly closed to the public. Our client drove straight into the hole and was hurt. Prior to filing suit against Baltimore City, liability was denied. A couple of weeks before trial the case settled for $245,000.
$200,000 Car Accident Settlement
A husband and wife were both hurt in a car crash. A prior law firm was representing the clients, but their cases were being denied. In addition, the expert doctor that the prior law firm hired stated in writing that the clients’ injuries were not from the crash. Zirkin and Schmerling Law took over the case and turned things around, settling the case while in litigation for $200,000 for the husband and $200,000 for the wife.
$450,000 Car Accident Settlement
Our client was in a serious car accident. Within almost one year we were able to put the entire case together and get it settled for $450,000.
What are Common Neck Injuries in Car Accidents?
Every accident is unique, but neck injuries tend to fall into certain categories. Here are some of the most common types of neck injuries that arise from car accidents:
Whiplash occurs when the head whips around during a crash, causing damage to the neck. Studies have found that up to 69% of people injured in car accidents experience some level of whiplash because even in low-speed crashes under 15 miles per hour, whiplash is possible.
Whiplash Vision Changes, Hearing Changes, and Migraines
In addition to whiplash alone, there can be related health problems that arise from damage to the neck. People with whiplash sometimes experience hearing loss, blurry vision, dizziness, and headaches that are directly attributable to whiplash from a car accident.
Vocal Cord Damage
Many people don’t realize that a neck injury can cause vocal cord damage. It’s a serious issue for anyone, but especially people who rely on their voice as an essential part of their work, like public speakers, teachers, and singers.
Neck-Related Back and Shoulder Pain
The body’s systems and muscles are all intertwined, so damage to the neck often contributes to other problems in the body. A neck injury can cause radiating pain that goes into the spine, shoulders, and back, limiting mobility and affecting your quality of life.
In medical terminology, a broken neck is usually diagnosed as a cervical vertebrae fracture or fracture of the clavicle. These are severe injuries that put the body’s spine, brain, and central nervous system at risk of permanent damage and require physical rehabilitation.
Emotional and Psychological Injuries
Did you know car accidents are among the top causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the U.S.? You could have deep emotional and psychological damage from your crash in addition to your neck injuries.
How Can A Maryland Neck Injury Lawyer Help?
When an injury occurs, a car accident lawyer helps you with your neck injury by reviewing your accident, assessing liability, examining available routes to compensation, and laying out your options. They also help protect your rights so you don’t inadvertently do something to harm your case.
One of the first things your lawyer will do is explain the various types of evidence you’ll need to have to substantiate your case. Medical bills are essential, but so are other types of evidence like witness statements, photos, videos, and expert testimony.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that neck injury symptoms can arise hours, days, or even weeks after an accident. Don’t rush to judgment about the severity of your injuries until you’ve received a full workup from a qualified doctor.
You may need to make a claim against the at fault driver’s insurance company or your own insurance company if you are hit by a phantom vehicle or someone that doesn’t have car insurance. Either way, the only way an insurance company is going to take your injuries seriously is if they know that a bad offer will lead to litigation. If you don’t have a lawyer the insurance company knows that you have to take whatever they offer because non lawyers aren’t familiar with the process of procedure of being in court.
Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid having to make payments on expensive insurance claims. An experienced car accident lawyer knows the tactics insurance companies will try to use to avoid claims like yours, so you can stay one step ahead.
Your lawyer is trained to seek out and present evidence that supports your case, like safety reports, public information, news reports, witnesses, and experts who can provide testimony. When the other side sees you have an experienced lawyer by your side, they may suddenly become more reasonable.
Hiring a lawyer makes the other side realize you’re taking this seriously and this situation will not just magically go away. This can lead to higher compensation that covers your medical bills and perhaps other costs, helping you get back to normal after your accident.
Who is Liable for My Neck Injury?
It’s hard to say who will be held liable for your neck injury because no single person or organization is automatically responsible for compensating you. As the injured victim, it’s up to you to pursue compensation for your losses.
Your health insurance may cover some of your medical bills but you can also request reimbursement for these costs from another driver who injured you. Due to the collateral source rule, it doesn’t matter if bills were paid by health insurance or by other means. The at fault insurance company will still be held responsible for all medical bills incurred related to the crash.
Your lawyer can help you understand how liability works in Maryland car accident cases. Our state uses the contributory negligence rule, which means if someone can prove you contributed to your own injury you are barred from receiving compensation.
Still, this doesn’t automatically release someone from legal liability and it doesn’t mean you won’t secure any compensation. Your neck injury case is all about establishing the facts and your lawyer is there to help you do it skillfully.
What is the Value of My Maryland Neck Injury Case?
There is no generic answer to this question since every case is unique. Every settlement negotiation follows a back-and-forth path, and every judge or jury approaches their decision from a different perspective.
Your medical bills from your neck injury will be an important part of establishing the value of your case in terms of economic damages. Other economic damages include past and future lost wages and a loss of earnings capacity.
In terms of non-economic damages, which is better known as pain and suffering, often these damages are the most significant part of your case.
An experienced attorney knows how to look for incremental evidence of damages to add value to your case and create a higher total value. Your lawyer is there to support you and help get the best outcome possible. Contact Zirkin & Schmerling Law for a consultation about the potential value of your neck injury case.
How Long Do I Have to Start My Neck Injury Case?
You’re smart to be concerned about the deadline! You must act quickly to prevent missing the time limit for a neck injury claim in Maryland.
The statute of limitations calls for a three-year time limit. After this strict deadline passes, it is very unlikely that you could make a claim unless there were extenuating circumstances.
The faster you start your claim, the faster you may be able to receive compensation. This minimizes the impact of the accident on your life and helps prevent your finances from spinning out of control in the meantime.
Have More Questions About a Neck Injury? We Have Answers.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, contact Zirkin & Schmerling Law for a consultation that provides more details about your situation. We understand that a neck injury can be traumatic and that you may not know a lot about Maryland’s laws regarding car accidents.
Speaking with an experienced Maryland neck injury lawyer can ease your mind and help you determine a solid, practical path forward. After your neck injury, call 410-753-4611 to start a helpful conversation about your options. We’re here to help you.
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