You take your car to work, take the kids to school, or run to the store, and you unexpectedly become involved in an auto accident. Now, you find yourself unable to work, visiting different medical providers for treatment, and the bills for car repairs, health care, and more keep coming in, all the while you’re wondering how to cover your basic necessities with no paycheck. What do you do?
This is when you need to call a College Park car accident lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your unique crash and residual injuries and the legal options available to you under Maryland law.
Types of Automobile Collisions We Take On
The kinds of car wrecks we handle at GDH Law take on many shapes and sizes, with some of the most frequent being those that commonly result in catastrophic injuries, including:
- Head-on crashes: These often occur when a driver’s vehicle travels over a median or center line into oncoming traffic. These are also sometimes known as wrong-way accidents when the motorist causes the crash because they traveled in the incorrect direction on a one-way road, like an interstate off-bound ramp.
- T-bone accidents: These happen at intersections, such as when a motorist anticipates having enough time to make a left turn, but ultimately doesn’t gauge the distance correctly, leading to a collision with the vehicle going straight, oftentimes with significant force. These wrecks can occur at intersections with both traffic lights and signs.
- Rear-end collisions: These are most common at intersections, especially when a motorist in front of another suddenly applies their brakes at a stop sign or signal instead of proceeding through the intersection. Accidents known as fender-benders, which typically occur in bumper-to-bumper or heavily congested traffic, may also fall into this category.
Contributing Factors That Cause Motor Vehicle Crashes
Maryland is an at-fault insurance and pure contributory negligence state, which means that in order to be eligible to collect any compensation for your injuries or seek reimbursement for your lost wages, you must be able to show that another party is wholly responsible for your losses. Some of the factors that you may be able to attribute your accident’s occurrence to include:
- Speeding: You’ve probably heard the saying “speed kills.” This saying refers to how much more catastrophic damages are to a vehicle, and thus its occupants, the faster one of the vehicles is traveling when the impact occurs. Motorists engaging in road rage or drag racing and those who are running late are just a few examples of those prone to causing speed-related accidents.
- Distracted driving: From phones to the radio to conversations with others, these are some distractions that take drivers’ focus off the road and cause them to become more consumed with other things, potentially putting them at risk for a wreck. Teen drivers are vulnerable to distractions, especially if accompanied by their peers.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving: Motorists will often try to push just a little further to make it a certain distance when setting out on a trip, or individuals will work long hours and then get behind the wheel of their car and attempt to drive home. These are just two examples of when drivers may be too tired to operate their vehicle without endangering others, as fatigue can lead a driver to fall asleep at the wheel or, at the very least, to have slower-than-usual reaction times.
- Drunk driving: A visit to a club, a bar, a party, a hang-out at a friend’s home, an entertainment venue, or even just a meal at a restaurant can lead to someone becoming too intoxicated to safely operate a vehicle. Many motorists take their chances and drive home because they feel their commute is short enough that nothing bad will happen or because they don’t feel they have anyone to be their designated driver, and then serious accidents occur. Drunk driving can cause blurry vision, meaning a driver may not clearly see pedestrians and others entering their path. It can also affect hand-eye coordination, meaning when a motorist does see something, their steering to avoid a crash may be delayed.
Many of the factors described above fall into the category of reckless driving. This is the same category as other types of unsafe and often unlawful driving habits, including:
- Failing to yield to another driver’s right of way
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Running traffic lights
- Making aggressive turns
Also, while seldom spoken about, another factor that is often found to be a contributing factor to accidents is vehicle mechanical failures. For example, a vehicle’s brakes may fail because a motorist failed to properly service their vehicle, leading to them being unable to stop their vehicle to avoid causing a wreck.
Again, determining the cause of a collision is a key factor that decides whether you might have a viable case to pursue. A College Park car accident lawyer can help you sort causation for your crash and advise you of your rights to file an insurance claim accordingly. Contact our law firm for a complimentary case review.
Compensation You May Qualify to Receive by Filing an Insurance Claim
Vehicle collisions can be life-altering. Injuries can be so serious that they leave a victim with permanent injuries that require them to retrain for a different career or leave them so disabled that they can no longer work. In addition, car crashes often prove fatal. When they do, they prematurely deprive families of their main breadwinner or a valuable source of counsel.
Our civil law system in Maryland exists to aid those who have suffered harm and help them make their lives whole once again. While that objective may seem a bit elusive, the point is that damages awarded by filing claims or lawsuits are intended to provide some semblance of justice for what happened.
By filing a car accident claim, you can recover compensation for a variety of losses, such as:
- Medical bills: This includes current and future expenses like ambulance, emergency room, surgical, physical therapy, follow-up care, and all other types of visits. Transportation to these appointments, the purchase of medical devices or aids, at-home nursing care, and other related healthcare costs may also be compensable.
- Lost wages: Again, this may include both past or accumulated lost pay as well as future losses of income.
- Pain and suffering: Severe injuries often carry with them long recovery times and be accompanied by both physical discomfort as well as mental anguish or emotional turmoil. Crash victims may be able to demand compensation for both physical and emotional pain in their cases.
It’s also possible to recover a settlement that includes damages to your vehicle.
And, if a wreck caused the passing of a family member, you may be able to demand funeral and burial costs, in addition to the other noneconomic losses mentioned above, by filing a wrongful death lawsuit or survival action.
How Car Crash Attorneys in College Park Help Clients with Their Cases
There are certain elements of negligence that every plaintiff must establish to be eligible to file suit.
Central to proving negligence is establishing that the person who struck you owed you a duty of care and violated it, causing you some type of quantifiable harm. Determining causation, i.e.: which of the contributory factors above led to the crash, is key, and this is where having an experienced College Park car accident lawyer is critical.
We know how to show causation and establish negligence, which is necessary to build an airtight case that commands a settlement in your favor. And, should negligent parties fight liability, we’ll aggressively pursue them to the fullest extent the law allows, including taking the case against them to trial.
If you want a competent, unrelenting advocate on your side, contact our firm to speak with an attorney in a free initial consultation. We’re ready to get to work for you.