Automobile Accidents in the State of Maryland
How is fault determined in an automobile accident?
Automobile accidents usually happen because a driver is negligent. This means that the driver operated his or her vehicle in an unsafe manner. Usually, auto accidents occur because a driver has been negligent, meaning that he or she has operated a vehicle in a careless and unsafe manner. Drivers must exercise “reasonable care” when driving, but “negligence” may occur if a driver is distracted while driving, such as talking on a cell phone or applying makeup, and many accidents are caused because a driver did not follow traffic laws, such as ignoring signals and speed limits. It is up to the injured party to prove that the other driver was negligent and that the other driver’s negligence caused the injuries.
What monetary damages am I entitled to if I am injured in a car accident?
Auto accident victims generally are entitled to recover damages for all losses and expenses they incur because of an accident. Such compensation may include recovery for:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages – Including Overtime
- Pain and Suffering
- Disfigurement and Permanent Scars
- Loss of Love and Affection
- and other Incidental Expenses Related to the Injury
How long do I have to file a lawsuit if I am injured in a car accident?
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. In Maryland, the time limitation for filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. If a municipality or government entity was involved, the time limit is usually shorter and it is always best to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to insure that action is taken within the proper time limits.
What are subrogation rights?
If your health insurance covers medical bills that were the result of an automobile accident and you subsequently recover damages from the at-fault driver, your health insurance company could be entitled to recover some or all of the amount it paid for your medical bills. It would be wise to discuss the issue of subrogation with an experienced accident attorney.
Should I give an at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster a copy of my medical records?
No, you should never give your medical records to another driver’s insurance company and you should not let the adjuster pressure you into doing so. Medical records are confidential and certain steps have to be taken in order to get your records released. It is advisable to consult an accident attorney before signing any releases or even making a statement to an insurance adjuster.