Under Maryland law, there is a deadline for filing an injury suit. This is known as the statute of limitations. In most cases, you have three years following an accident to bring a personal injury lawsuit against another. Even if you think you will only file an insurance claim, you need to leave yourself time to pursue a lawsuit if the company refuses to comply. If you fail to file within the three year timeframe, you could lose the right to have your case heard in court.
Auto insurance laws are strictly based on a “fault/at-fault” model. According to these laws, an injured party is free to file a claim with either their own insurance or the other driver’s insurance so long as they are not at fault. Furthermore, they are provided means to go to court to seek additional compensation for damages. The law requires that all drivers carry at least $30,000 in coverage for bodily injuries per person and $60,000 per accident. If a person only has the minimum and this does not cover everything, you may be able to obtain full compensation by pursuing a suit. However, you will need to demonstrate fault on their part in court.
Unfortunately, Maryland courts follow the rule of contributory negligence, which means that if you played any part in the accident that caused your injuries, you will be barred from collecting damages. For example, say you are going through an intersection and another driver speeds through a red light and slams into your car. If their insurance company could argue that you were not driving attentively, were speeding, or in any other way contributed to the accident, you would be unable to secure compensation. Despite the fact that the other driver contributed a majority of the fault, any negligence on your part will cancel out your right to damages.
Depending on the type of accident, either the other party involved or your own insurance will cover your medical bills. For example, if you are involved in a car accident and have Personal Injury Protection coverage, your own insurance will cover medical bills, regardless of who was at fault. When your bills exceed your coverage, you can then go to the other party’s insurance. In cases where you are injured while on the job, your bills may be covered by workers’ compensation. If an individual’s dog or animal attacks you, your bills may be covered under their homeowner insurance or other coverage. If none of these options are applicable, you may have to pursue damages from the at-fault party through the court.
Absolutely! In many cases, individuals may not realize how serious their injuries are or even notice that they have been hurt after a major accident. This can be due to shock, the rush of adrenaline, or undeveloped symptoms that will begin to crop up later on. Any time you have been in an accident caused by another, you should go see your doctor and keep them informed on your condition. This will not only ensure you get much needed care, but also help to document your medical condition for potential claims.
Sadly, many consumers buy into the idea that insurance companies are truly there to protect them. However, these companies are focused on one thing: their bottom line. To most companies, you are simply a number, not a person. You should never trust what the insurance company promises without caution. Knowing that they are likely thinking of their own profits first, you should always stay alert and keep an ear out for potential comments that may be misleading. While insurance companies may promise certain coverage, they are often known to give settlement offers that are much lower than deserved and expected. Before signing any documents or speaking with an adjuster, always work with a lawyer first.
At Gracia & Mintz, we believe in putting our clients first. We are truly passionate about helping injury victims recover from their accidents and move forward by obtaining the fair compensation they deserve. We are reputable trial lawyers with years of experience and proven track records. Our team genuinely seeks to understand your case by spending time with you and getting to know your situation. This helps us to present compelling cases on behalf of our clients. We also offer free consultations so that you can sit down with us to determine if we are right for your case.
Still have questions? We would be more than happy to answer them! Call us today to set up a consultation.