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Car accidents can be devastating. Physically, emotionally, financially – the damage a car accident can do to a person’s life is substantial. When the accident was caused by another driver, it only makes the situation worse.
Our Prince George’s County personal injury attorneys represent car accident victims throughout Maryland and the surrounding areas. We know how difficult it can be to recover following a car accident. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, we encourage you to get in touch and let us know. We are ready to go to work for you!
The impact of one car meeting another, or hitting another object, is usually enough to cause injury to the human body. Some injuries are quite severe, while others can go unnoticed for a considerable amount of time. They may only show up later, sometimes years later. Because injury after an accident is so likely, it is important to seek medical care following any car accident. A medical professional can identify injuries that may not be obvious, and will document your injuries – documentation that can be helpful when pursuing legal action.
Some of the most common type of car accident injuries include:
Injuries to the head can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is considered one of the most dangerous types of injuries. TBI can range from concussion to coma, and may include long-lasting cognitive deficiencies that make living a normal life difficult or impossible.
Back injuries can include any damage to the bones, discs, muscles, nerves, ligaments or other tissues in the back. The back’s flexibility also makes it prone to injury during an impact,, so back injuries are quite common in a car accident. Symptoms can include numbness in the extremities, shooting pains, aches and even paralysis.
The neck is often injured in car accidents through a motion commonly referred to as whiplash. The head whips back after the car comes to a sudden stop, leading to injury. Whiplash can leave the victim unable to move the head and can be extremely painful.
Trauma to the chest from a car accident can lead to a range of injuries, including broken ribs, heart attacks and collapsed lungs. Other internal organs can also sustain damage.
Hands, feet, legs and arms can all be damaged in car accidents, sometimes to the point of requiring amputation. Even if amputation is not necessary, the extremity can become painful to use or unusable depending on the injury. Motorcyclists in particular are at risk of injury to the extremities due to being relatively unprotected in accidents.
There are several different types of car accidents that can lead to legal action on the part of the injury victim, including:
Accidents between two passenger cars are common on today’s roadways. While both parties can be at fault, typically one party is more at fault than the other. Distracted driving, texting while driving, drunk driving, reckless driving – there are numerous ways for one driver to put other drivers in danger.
While accidents between passenger cars can cause significant injuries, accidents between a passenger car and a commercial truck are even more dangerous. The difference in size means that the passenger car almost always comes out the loser. Serious injuries and even fatalities are common in truck accidents.
Much as passenger cars face an increased risk of damage from commercial trucks, motorcycles are much more likely to come out the loser in an accident with passenger cars. Motorcyclists have very little protection in the event of an impact, so when an accident does happen, the rider is almost guaranteed to sustain at least some injury.
Auto accident cases and settlements are common in Prince George County, as they are throughout the state of Maryland and surrounding areas. The length of time a case takes and the way it is dealt with by the court system usually depends on the extent of the injuries and the amount of damages being sought. Small cases of $15,000 or less can avoid a jury trial and usually can be taken care of in a few months. Cases seeking damages of $30,000 or less are considered mid-level, and while they still take less time than larger cases, the fact that the case will most likely be heard by a jury means you can expect a longer wait before you get a verdict.
Larger cases are also common in Prince George County. There have been numerous cases where accident victims won significant sums, including multi-million dollar awards. The injuries sustained by the victims in such cases were substantial and life-altering, and the victim’s attorney was able to prove to the court that the injuries resulted through the negligence of the defendant – demonstrating the importance of having a skilled attorney at your side.
Accident victims often ask us how to handle insurance companies following an accident. In most circumstances you will be required per your policy to contact your own insurer and notify it of the accident. If the other driver involved in the accident had car insurance, you can also expect to be contacted by his or her insurer. In situations where you sustained injuries and the other driver was at fault, you will probably be offered a settlement.
When you talk to your own insurance company, give a straightforward account of what occurred – without taking responsibility or laying blame. When you speak to the other person’s insurance company, do not accept any settlement before you have talked to an attorney. Most of the time the insurer will attempt to settle for as little as possible. There is a strong possibility you can get more if you work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. A good lawyer can tell you if the settlement is reasonable, and can give you an idea of what your case is worth.
The state of Maryland has a three year statute of limitations on personal injury cases, including car accident cases. You have three years from the date of your injury to file a complaint in court. While three years can seem like a long time, the sooner you get started on your case the better. A lawsuit takes time to develop and to play out in the court, particularly a lawsuit that is seeking significant damages. You want to begin the process as soon as you can.
One of the reasons we stress seeing a medical professional right after the accident is to determine if you sustained injuries – even if you are not aware of them.
It is normal to want an estimate on the value of your car accident case. However, it is impossible to give an accurate estimate without thoroughly examining the circumstances of your case. We need to speak with you directly to understand what happened and to get a better idea of your legal options.