Car accidents happen every day, and while some can be just minor fender benders with little to no injury, many wrecks cause devastating damage. Bowie may be considered a smaller city, with a population just above 56,000, but accidents can still happen here, just like anywhere else. In 2022, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) reported 28,015 injury crashes and 532 fatal crashes.
Prince George’s County accounted for 3,855 of those injuries and 116 of those fatalities.
You never anticipate a car accident, but when you’re involved in one, even something minor, it’s important to know the law and what you should do in the immediate aftermath. It’s equally important to understand that a qualified Bowie car accident lawyer from GDH Law is available to answer any questions you may have about your accident, and help you pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
According to the Fatal Crash Dashboard from MDOT, there have already been 592 fatal crashes across the state of Maryland in 2023, with 120 of those occurring in Prince George’s County.
The top causes of these devastating accidents and the corresponding number of fatalities include:
- Distracted driving: 50
- Speeding: 40
- Aggressive driving: 22
- Impaired driving (under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescriptions): 15
These accident causes aren’t limited to Bowie or the state of Maryland. In fact, 2021 reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveal that 12,330 (29%) of fatal crashes nationwide were caused by speeding, and 3,349 fatal crashes were due to driver distraction.
What To Remember After a Car Wreck
In the event that you are in a car accident, we know you may be disoriented and traumatized, but it’s a good idea to do the following as best you can:
- Get to safety
- Call 9-1-1
- Exchange information with the other driver(s)
- Seek medical attention
- Contact a car accident attorney
While it may not be possible to do everything on that list, any driver involved in a car accident should at least call 9-1-1 and exchange information with the other driver(s).
As part of their MOVE IT vehicle collision policy, the State of Maryland created a helpful form that drivers can fill out to expedite the exchange of information in the aftermath of an accident. The form also has a list of situations when you’re required to call the police, such as if the vehicles are immobile, as well as other important safety tips.
Important Auto Accident Laws and Maryland’s Statute of Limitations
It’s imperative for all Maryland residents who have a valid driver’s license to know Maryland driver laws, preferably before an accident occurs, so that proper safety is followed.
State law requires that an accident be reported to police if there are any injuries (no matter how minor), fatalities, property damage, or if the damaged vehicles are impeding the roadway and cannot be moved.
The law also requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage.
Additionally, Maryland is an at-fault state, meaning that the driver responsible for the accident is usually held liable for any damages that occur due to their negligence. However, our state also holds to a contributory negligence doctrine, which means that any involved drivers who’re proven to have some degree of fault for the accident may not be able to recover damages from the other drivers, no matter who has the majority percentage of fault.
The statute of limitations, or the amount of time you have to file a claim, for car accidents in Maryland is usually three years from the date of your accident.
This kind of case can be complex and time-consuming, which is why it is vital to the success of your case that you contact an attorney who has the experience to handle it. Your lawyer will make the entire process much easier for you by gathering evidence, filing the necessary documentation, contacting the other driver’s insurance and/or lawyer, and ensuring your case is filed on time to ensure a favorable resolution.
Common Injuries and Recoverable Damages
Even a small fender-bender can cause long-term injury, which is why seeking medical attention is always a good idea, even if you think your accident wasn’t that bad.
Common injuries from car accidents are:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bruises and cuts
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Although exact compensation amounts vary from case to case, your lawyer from GDH Law will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for these injuries or any others not listed. Compensation may include:
- All medical bills connected to the accident
- Property damage
- Emotional or mental trauma (such as post-traumatic stress)
- Loss of income
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral or burial costs
Why Choose GHD Law?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may know that you have legal recourse available, but pursuing a claim can be overwhelming, especially if you’re still healing from your injuries.
This is where our lawyers come in. We can handle your case and all the details of the legal process for you so that you can continue to recover without added stress. Our attorneys at GDH Law represent those involved in car accidents in Bowie or anywhere in the Old-Line State, and we pride ourselves on looking at every case that comes to us with compassion and a sense of justice.
Reach out to our office today and get the compensation you deserve.