The days and weeks after a car accident can be overwhelming. Even if you were not seriously injured, you need to deal with the insurance company to repair your vehicle or replace your vehicle. You may miss work while you recuperate. If this is your first car accident, you may not know what steps to take to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. One step you can take that can make things easier for you is to contact a Maryland attorney for help.
Should I Hire a Maryland Attorney After a Car Accident?
Hiring a Maryland attorney after a car accident has several benefits. Some of the things that your attorney handles for you include:
- Investigating the accident scene to secure evidence that proves fault
- Gathers medical records and works with your doctors to obtain evidence of your injuries
- Interviews eyewitnesses to obtain statements and evidence
- Identify the responsible parties and insurance coverage
- File notices of claims with responsible parties and insurance companies
- Communicate with the insurance adjuster and other parties on your behalf
- Prepare a demand for settlement
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider
- File a personal injury lawsuit if the other party denies fault or the insurance company fails to negotiate a settlement in good faith
A Maryland attorney works to prove that the other driver was at fault and is responsible for your damages. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot recover compensation for damages. Working with an experienced Maryland attorney increases your chance of recovering maximum compensation because your attorney understands the laws governing car accident claims and how to gather evidence that can support your allegation that the other driver was responsible for causing the crash.
Calculating the Correct Value of Your Car Accident Claim
In addition to investigating the car crash and gathering evidence to prove fault, your attorney also calculates the value of your injury claim. Accident victims are entitled to receive compensation for financial and non-economic damages under Maryland’s personal injury laws. However, the statutes do not provide a formula for calculating how much a car accident claim is worth. An attorney uses several factors to calculate the value of an accident claim.
Calculating Special Damages
Special damages are economic or financial damages incurred because of a car accident. Examples of special damages in a car accident claim include:
- Cost of medical care
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Personal care, including help with household chores and childcare
- Medical equipment and medications
- Physical therapy
- Travel expenses
- Other out-of-pocket losses
Calculating financial losses is simple, provided that you have proof of all economic damages. It is important to document financial losses carefully to recover full compensation for these expenses.
Calculating General Damages
General damages are also known as pain and suffering damages. These damages are more difficult to calculate because they are subjective. Examples of non-economic or general damages include:
- Physical suffering and pain
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Emotional distress
- PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
Because there is not a formula for calculating general damages and there are no “bills” for these damages, many insurance companies use a multiplier or a per diem for calculating pain and suffering damages. The multiplier method uses the total of financial losses times a number, usually between 1.5 and 5, to calculate non-economic losses. The per diem method uses the person’s average wages to calculate a daily rate for losses. The daily rate is multiplied by the number of days from the date of the accident through the recovery date to arrive at a figure for pain and suffering damages.
An experienced Maryland attorney understands the various factors that impact the value of a car accident claim and how to use the evidence and factors in a case to maximize the amount of money you may receive for your claim. If you trust an insurance adjuster for the other drive instead of consulting a Maryland attorney about the value of your claim, you may receive far less than your claim is worth.
Contact a Maryland Attorney for More Information
If you are unsure what steps to take after a car accident, the Pinder Plotkin legal team can help. During your free consultation, our Maryland attorney discusses the steps necessary to protect your legal rights after a car accident. The attorney also discusses personal injury claims and your options for recovering compensation for your injuries and losses.
Call Pinder Plotkin at 410-661-9440 now to schedule a free case review with an experienced Maryland attorney.