Pinder Plotkin’s Baltimore car accident lawyers are experienced at representing injured victims and their families to seek the compensation they deserve after an accident. Many auto accidents in Baltimore result in severe injuries, which could have life-changing consequences for both the victims and their families. Accidents are the third leading cause for deaths in the U.S.

In case you have been injured in a car accident, the premier injury attorneys in Baltimore at Pinder Plotkin can provide you with the legal support and guidance you need while going through the complex, confusing, and often frustrating process of filing an accident claim.

Table of Contents

What Are The Main Causes of Baltimore Auto Accidents?

There are a wide variety of conditions that could lead to accidents on the road. However, driver negligence, including distraction, texting, driving under the influence (DUI) of intoxicants, and sleepiness remain among the top common causes of collisions on the road. Some other common causes include:

  • Roadwork and construction
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Vehicle malfunctioning
  • Impaired nighttime vision
  • Road rage

The SHA crews are currently conducting roadwork in two dozen counties within the State of Maryland, which require traffic lanes to be closed. Potholes are a key problem statewide, and the roadwork that’s associated with repairing highways can be quite hazardous for drivers. Key highways, such as the Capital Beltway (I-495) and U.S. Route 1 are already subject to congestion, and both pose a problem for the residents and commuter alike. Sometimes, collisions happen between cars on the highway and others on the shoulder of the road.

What Are The Most Common Injuries Seen in Car Accidents?

There are certain injuries that are sustained in car accidents that can temporarily or permanently hinder your quality of life. some of the most common auto accident injuries include:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Brain trauma
  • Back, neck, or spine damage
  • Concussions
  • Internal injuries

Some of these conditions can easily result in the need for ongoing medical treatment and cause a lack of mobility. Anyone who has to get extended medical care or suffers from a lack of mobility is also likely to be affected by:

  • Job loss
  • Expensive hospital bills
  • Depression
  • Lost wages
  • Inability to perform routine tasks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A 2020 study conducted by the Maryland Department of Transportation showed there were over 33,000 injuries caused by car accidents in 2018.

Maryland Auto Accident Statistics

Maryland is no stranger to car accidents. In fact, a study conducted by the Maryland Department of Transportation showed there were over 28,000 injuries caused by car accidents in 2021. That number included 524 fatal accidents. The total number of car accidents was 108,656 for that same year, with more than 80,000 of those accidents resulting in property damage. 

Baltimore’s Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections

According to data provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation, Baltimore County is the second most dangerous in the state, accounting for 63 fatal accidents on the county’s roads–second only to Prince George’s County.
The majority of accidents occur close to city lines, and the highest number of them tend to happen in the afternoons and during the evening rush hour. I-695 is one of the roads where multiple accidents occurred, and 44 of the 63 fatal crashes occurred on state highways. 

What Kind Of Damages Can be Sought in a Car Accident Case?

While every car accident is unique, a field as well litigated as car accident cases has a large number of factors that can have a significant influence on the likelihood and the number of potential settlements with the party at fault or their insurer.

The actual amount of money you receive in settlement will depend on the circumstances of your case, as determined by the insurance company or the jury. Keep in mind that if your case doesn’t go to court, your settlement amount will be solely based on the negotiations between your auto accident attorney and the insurance company of the defendant. As such, you should take your time to look for an attorney that you can trust and work with during the process.

Some of the aspects that you should consider when determining the value of your settlement include the following:

  • Extent, severity, and duration of the injuries
  • Property damage to each vehicle
  • Mechanism of injury
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Whether the injuries are temporary or permanent
  • Whether the injuries are directly related to the car crash
  • Time lost from work
  • The credibility of each driver

In Baltimore, juries are typically not given knowledge of whether the defendant has an insurance policy (or not) that can contribute towards the settlement. Another factor that will impact the compensation amount is the venue or location of the scheduled trial. The nature and attitude of the jury will differ in urban areas (like Baltimore City) and the rural areas like Washington and Wicomico.

Related: Recovering Damages After a Car Accident

How Much is my Car Accident Case Worth?

It can be extremely difficult to predict the value of a settlement in any personal injury case, including those involving an auto accident. Even the most experienced car accident attorneys in Baltimore will only be able to calculate a rough estimate due to many factors that come into play for such cases, especially those that have to be examined by the defendant’s insurance company, the jury, or both.

Keep in mind that the jury uses human logic and reasoning, along with the guidance of a judge to assess these factors, while the insurance companies make use of standardized software with predetermined formulas to do the same. Ultimately, any prediction will be made on a fact-intensive investigation about the circumstances surrounding your case, including how the accident happened, and the damage, injuries, and treatment that resulted thereafter.

If you have been involved in an auto accident in Baltimore, get in touch with a specialized attorney at Pinder Plotkin as soon as possible.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer Infographic

Related: Do’s and Don’ts After Car Accident

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

When you’re involved in a crash that resulted in injuries, you’ll want to make sure you seek medical attention immediately, and if possible, contact the local law enforcement. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you still feel fine after the crash, symptoms of injuries could appear later, and your body or your car could be damaged in ways that aren’t obvious immediately after the crash. In case you develop the symptoms of injury later, you should get medical attention immediately.

While at the scene of the accident, make sure you take photos of the vehicles and jot down some notes. This will help to preserve time-sensitive evidence, which will help you keep an accurate account of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Some of the useful details include:

  • Your condition
  • Details of the weather, traffic, and road conditions leading up to the crash
  • The precise date and time of the crash
  • The names, vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers, and car insurance information of all the drivers involved
  • The condition of your car

When Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Baltimore?

It is almost always advisable to hire an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney for your car accident. They will discuss your legal rights, options, and potential steps with you, and they will accurately assess the full value of your damages. They will research the law that applies to your case, and they will provide sound legal advice about how the law applies to your specific set of facts and circumstances.
It is particularly important to hire a lawyer for your Baltimore car accident case if you have suffered extensive injuries or if your financial losses are significant. Not only will a lawyer preserve important evidence in your case, but they will also negotiate with the other parties and their insurance companies on your behalf, working towards a fair and reasonable settlement offer.
Hiring a lawyer is also important when multiple parties may be at fault or where the facts are particularly tangled or complicated. Issues of liability, damages, and negligence can quickly become complex, and a knowledgeable car accident attorney can be invaluable in guiding you through the process of recovering compensation for your injuries. 

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?

Representing yourself in court can be extremely stressful, even for the most confident among us, and especially someone who has just experienced the trauma associated with being involved in a car accident. Insurance companies often deploy some questionable strategies in their efforts to protect their profits, including denying or delaying payments, with some attempting to grossly underpay the injured parties.

Hiring a Baltimore car accident lawyer is one of the best ways of taking the guesswork out of the legal process and maximizing your chances of receiving compensation. Getting compensated for your injuries will ideally serve several purposes:

  • It gives you the support you need and deserve as you heal and rebuild your life
  • It makes sure that the parties at-fault take responsibility for causing the injuries through their negligence

Obtaining skilled and experienced legal representation will also help make sure that:

  • All time-sensitive evidence is prepared and handled in an effective way
  • Your injuries and their causes are thoroughly investigated
  • You are well-prepared and confident when it’s time to face the jury 

Maryland Car Accident Facts Infographic

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Baltimore Car Accident Attorney?

At Pinder Plotkin, the initial consultation with all clients is free of charge, whether it’s done by phone or in person. At this meeting, we’ll go through details regarding the circumstances leading to and surrounding your car accident. We’ll then provide you with a general assessment of your case, and strategies that we can pursue should you choose to retain our legal services.

We represent clients who’ve been hurt in auto accidents or families whose loved ones lost their lives in auto accidents on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only charge you after we recover compensation on your behalf, where we typically charge 33% of your jury award or insurance settlement. There won’t be any charges if we don’t win.

Should I Speak Directly to the Insurance Company?

Whenever you’re dealing with such an issue, your best bet is to retain a dedicated Baltimore car accident lawyer as soon as you can. If you choose to work with us, we’ll handle all the necessary discussions and negotiations with the insurance companies, which will help relieve you of a great deal of stress.

We generally advise our clients against speaking with the insurance companies, as they will most likely make an immediate settlement offer that’s way below the true cost of the damages, so as to keep their profit margins healthy. With us, you can be sure that we’re devoted to making sure that you’re well compensated and you are protected from being victimized in the claims process.

Baltimore Car Accident Attorney - Pinder Plotkin

Should I Accept an Offer from the Insurance Company?

Once they review the demand package, the insurer’s adjuster may choose to accept or deny liability. If they accept liability, an initial settlement offer may be put on the table. This initial offer is in most cases very low, and it doesn’t represent what the case is actually worth. In many cases, the negotiations between the lawyers and the adjuster will go back and forth for a few months before the parties reach a stalemate or settle. At this point, the personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit in the circuit or district court based on the number of damages being demanded and the value of the case.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Generally speaking, the statute of limitations sets the time period by which your claim must be filed to be considered timely. In Baltimore, you’re given three years to file a suit from the date of the accident. When this period expires, you are forever barred from filing suit on the same. 

This means that you will be barred from receiving any compensation if you file a lawsuit, even a day after the statute expires. It’s important that you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer and discuss the statute of limitations that applies to your claims so that you can act promptly to ensure you don’t miss out on potentially receiving compensation. 

How is a Car Accident Claim Filed?

Filing an auto accident claim with the insurance company means sending a demand package or a special package to the insurance adjuster. You can also have a lawyer submit the demand package to the insurance adjuster on your behalf. However, the specials package shouldn’t be submitted until the client has finished undergoing treatment for the injuries sustained. The package typically comes with a cover letter outlining a demand amount, and ideally delineates the amounts in damages being claimed, such as the medicals, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.

Medical bills and records lost wage documentation, physical therapy records, along with other relevant documentation is also attached. At Pinder Plotkin, we will work to obtain any missing medical treatment bills or records and submit them in due course to the adjuster, after submitting the initial demand letter.

Who’s Responsible for My Baltimore Car Accident Injuries?

Generally speaking, in Baltimore, you can sue anyone who was a direct cause of your car accident and led to your injuries. Most car accident cases involve a negligence claim. This requires the plaintiff to prove four elements:

  • The defendant owed a duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff
  • The defendant breached that duty of care
  • The breach directly resulted in an injury to the plaintiff
  • The plaintiff suffered damages or financial losses

Issues of liability can quickly become complex, and they are very rarely clear-cut. There may be multiple parties involved, for example, and it may be difficult to determine the extent of each party’s fault for the accident. Moreover, a Baltimore personal injury claim will involve not only the parties who may be at fault for your accident but also their insurance companies. 

What If I Share the Blame for a Crash in Baltimore?

If you are partially liable for the accident, your recovery of damages may be reduced by the extent of your liability. The Contributory Negligence rule is applicable in Baltimore, and it applies to cases where multiple parties — including the plaintiff — may be at fault for an accident. According to that rule, a victim’s settlement can be reduced based on the amount of fault the court says the plaintiff bears in causing the accident and their subsequent injuries or losses.

In other words, in Baltimore, if the victim bears even 1% of the blame for the accident, then he or she can altogether be barred from getting compensation from the party that shoulders the most responsibility for the accident. As you might imagine, this is a difficult rule to fight. Our team of legal experts will analyze the facts of your case to determine if you shoulder any blame and whether that might affect your claim in any way.

What Happens if My Car Accident Case Goes to Court?

The short answer is that the case is now in the court system. A copy of the lawsuit will be sent to the adjuster, and the adjuster will then refer the case to the house counsel, or to a private law firm or attorney, who will then file an answer on the defendant’s behalf. The case will then be taken through the oral and written discovery process, and it eventually settles or is otherwise proceeded to trial. Most auto accident cases settle before they ever go to trial. Even with a trial date set, a case can settle at any time, sometimes even on the day of the trial.

Why Choose Pinder Plotkin to Handle Your Baltimore Car Accident Claim?

Pinder Plotkin’s Baltimore car accident lawyers are experienced at representing injured victims and their families to seek the compensation they deserve after an accident. Our legal team will pursue your claim tirelessly by diligently investigating the underlying circumstances of the crash.

We assess every detail when determining the cause of the crash and identifying the liable parties. We’ll work to gather the necessary evidence to prove liability and fault so that you can receive the compensation you rightfully deserve and move on with your life.

Don’t try to go up against the large insurance companies on your own. Let Pinder Plotkin take up the fight for you. In case your insurance company is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement, we’re more than ready to file a lawsuit and hold the party at fault liable for all the losses and injuries you sustained as a result of their negligence

Contact us at (410) 525-5337 to schedule a free consultation with a Baltimore car accident lawyer.

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