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Maryland and Virginia Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to hold that person responsible for the accident through an insurance claim or, a personal injury lawsuit if the matter cannot be resolved out-of-court. Car accidents commonly result in serious injuries, and even minor injuries can be expensive to treat. You should not be liable for expenses that you have incurred because of another person’s misconduct.
By pursuing a claim you can look to recover compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, inconvenience, aggravation, stress, disruption of your life, and other losses. At The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C., we have a long track record of success in helping car accident victims in Virginia and Maryland seek the financial relief they deserve. We understand how an automobile crash can dramatically upend your life, and we are committed to helping you get back to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.
While you focus on your recovery, we will handle every aspect of your auto accident case for you, from collecting evidence to acting as your personal advocate throughout the claims process. If necessary, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and fight your case in court.
Contact our Virginia and Maryland auto accident lawyers today by calling 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515 for a free, no-risk advisory meeting to discuss your legal rights and options.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries that car accident victims suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
- Accidental amputation
If you were injured in a car accident, you should seek prompt medical attention. This is vital not just for the sake of your health but also for your legal claim. The longer you wait to get medical care the more difficult it is to believe you were injured.
If you wait too long to seek medical attention, the at-fault party’s insurance company could reject your claim, arguing that your injuries simply weren’t that serious or that you sustained the injuries in some manner other than the accident. Remember, insurance adjusters are trained to look out for the company’s bottom line, so they will use any excuse they can find to deny your claim. Don’t give them an excuse by delaying medical treatment.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can have a broad range of causes, but driver negligence is usually the reason. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to obey traffic laws and signage
If you were injured in a car accident and another person’s negligence is responsible you have a legal right to recover compensation from them. In both Maryland and Virginia, people who cause accidents can be held accountable.
Compensation You Could Be Eligible to Receive After a Car Accident
Depending on the specifics of your case, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your financial and non-financial losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative care costs
- Lost income
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages, if applicable
If you were involved in an accident that was caused by another motorist, a representative from their insurance company will likely reach out to you in the days following the accident. When you speak to the claims adjuster, there are a few points that you should keep in mind. My general rule is simply, do not talk to them. You cannot suffer by delaying that conversation for a few weeks to allow you to assess your situation. Call The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, and we will be happy to help you and guide you, for free, at this initial point in the process.
Next, if you do talk to the other person’s insurance, do not allow them to record the telephone call. If you are certain that the other person is 100% at fault, do not discuss how the accident happened … only, talk about how and when they are going to repair your car. Do not be swayed by the adjuster’s insistence that you must answer their questions.
Continuing, make sure that you keep detailed notes of any conversations you have with the insurance claims adjuster. If the insurance adjuster asks to take a statement or record you, say “no” … politely. You should never sign any documents or agree to a settlement without first consulting an experienced car accident lawyer. Unlike the insurance adjuster, your attorney will act with your best interests in mind.
What is, and How Does Contributory Negligence Work?
Both Maryland and Virginia are “contributory negligence” states. They are two of only five contributory negligence states left in the United States. In both states, car accident victims are prevented from recovering compensation if they contributed to the accident in any way. In other words, even if you were found to be one percent at fault for the accident, and the other motorist was found to be 99 percent at fault, you would still be barred from pursuing compensation. It is a harsh law and efforts are being made in both states to change the law.
Steps to Take If You Were Injured in a Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident, there are many important steps you should take right away to protect your health and your rights:
- Call 911 – Call the police or have someone else call if you are injured and unable to do so. Even if you were in a minor fender bender, you could protect yourself and your ability to pursue a claim by calling law enforcement to the scene. At the scene, authorities will create an accident report, which can be used to verify your version of events.
- Document the scene – If you are physically able to, you should document the scene of the accident by taking pictures of your injuries, damage to your car, etc. You should also jot down notes about the accident while the events leading up to the crash are still fresh in your mind. For instance, if the person who hit you appeared to be distracted or drunk, be sure to document that in your written account. Make notes about the weather at the time of the accident and the location where the accident occurred.
- Obtain witness contact information – If anyone happened to witness the accident, you should speak to them if possible and get their contact information. You should also get contact information for anyone involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, etc.
- Seek medical attention – You should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, whether in the ER, at an urgent care facility, or by visiting your primary care physician. Once you have been diagnosed, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders and attend follow-up exams.
- Avoid social media – Do not post comments or photos, describe, or speculate about the accident on any social media platform while your claim is being processed. Claims adjusters are known for browsing claimants’ social media profiles, searching for evidence they can use to reduce or deny claims. A good rule of thumb is to stay off social media until your case is resolved.
Finally, you should seek out an experienced attorney to help you navigate the insurance claims process. Your attorney can serve as your personal representative in settlement negotiations with the insurance company. If needed, they will also represent you and defend your rights in court.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits
Laws in all states provide for a time limit to resolve your case. Most cases do resolve in a relatively short period of time after all medical care is completed. Nonetheless, some cases take longer. The concern for the time limit is simply that individuals who would be responsible have a right to have the claims against them resolved in a reasonable time. What is reasonable varies by state.
In Virginia, the time deadline, called the Statute of Limitations, is two years. This means the injured person must resolve their case before the two years, or, file a lawsuit before the two year deadline. In Maryland, the time deadline is three years. If you fail to settle your case or file a lawsuit within the time frame set out by state law, you will be barred from recovering compensation through the courts.
The only exception is in the case of a minor who is injured – someone under the age of eighteen years old. For minors, the time clock “starts” running on that person’s 18th birthday, meaning that they then have two years from their birthday in Virginia, or three years in Maryland. Their “deadline” would be the day before their 20th birthday in Virginia, or the day before their 21st birthday in Maryland.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a car accident that occurred through no fault of your own, contact a Virginia and Maryland car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. for a free, no-risk advisor meeting and case evaluation. We have the necessary skills and resources to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. We serve auto accident victims in Virginia and Maryland, with Virginia offices in Tyson’s Corner and Manassas, and Maryland offices in Baltimore, Wheaton, and Frederick. Call us today at 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.
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