Car Accident Attorney in Baltimore100 International Drive, Suite 2332
Baltimore, MD 21202
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Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer
Baltimore presents a tale of two cities when it comes to car accident statistics. On the one hand, the city reports the number of car accidents is more than 150 percent above the national average. Baltimore is where three major interstates meet (70, 83, and 95) which contributes to a significant percentage of the vehicle collision data. The city also experiences traffic congestion that rivals its sister city to the southwest, Washington, D.C. Although the car accident rate in Baltimore is higher than the national average, the city reports just nine percent of Maryland’s auto crash fatalities.
Sustaining one or more injuries as the result of a car accident can cause a considerable amount of financial distress. Medical expenses rapidly mount, and if you cannot work, you find yourself in a Catch-22 with no income to cover the rapidly growing debt. If you do not take steps to recover financial losses, you might fall into a deep financial hole from which there is no way to climb out. A vehicle collision that produces severe injuries can lead to financial distress issues that require dramatic intervention, such as filing for bankruptcy to get the opportunity to start over with your finances.
After a vehicle collision, you must follow a series of steps to build a strong enough case to gain approval for an insurance claim, and if warranted, a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. The most important step involves getting in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney provides several types of legal support, which includes conducting an extensive investigation and interacting with the insurance adjuster processing your claim. Without legal representation, the insurance company processing your claim might try to take advantage of you. Far too many insurance companies deny valid claims or approve claims valued far below what they are worth.
Since 1988, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have represented clients that filed insurance claims and civil lawsuits that sought monetary damages. We have recovered more than $15 billion in compensation for our clients that filed personal injury lawsuits, with a large percentage of the financial awards coming from favorable car accident judgments. Our personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay upfront fees to receive legal support from an experienced car accident lawyer.
Discover how Morgan and Morgan can help you recover from the financial losses generated as the result of a vehicle collision by scheduling a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer.
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What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Baltimore?
Traffic congestion alone does not cause auto crashes in the greater Baltimore, Maryland metro area. The accidents reported on crowded Baltimore roads and highways result from one of three common causes. Your car accident lawyer needs to determine the cause of the vehicle collision that produced your injuries to discover whether another party committed one or more acts of negligence.
Congested roads and highways can motivate drivers to take risks to make up for lost time. The types of reckless driving tactics used by stressed-out motorists include speeding, failing to yield, and weaving in and out of traffic lanes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorists that violate speed ordinances account for causing more than 25 percent of all fatal auto crashes. Speeding motorists have less time to react to sudden threats, such as another vehicle merging into traffic on I-95 in downtown Baltimore. Accidents that involve at least one motorist speeding produce stronger impacts than collisions in which all drivers involved operated their vehicles at or below the posted speed limit.
Footage captured from a traffic camera can provide your car accident lawyer with enough evidence to prove another party committed an act of negligence by recklessly operating a motor vehicle.
Operating a motor vehicle around the labyrinth of roads and highways that encircle Baltimore is difficult enough without having to contend with a distraction. Old-school distractions such as food, makeup, and glove compartments remain a viable safety hazard for distracted drivers. However, the digital era has ushered in another type of distraction called a cell phone. Maryland law prohibits all drivers from using a cell phone without the help of a hands-free device. The fine for breaking the cell phone law is $40 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses, which is not much of a deterrent for most motorists. Texting and driving is an especially dangerous distraction, as a motorist who texts while driving does not have any type of sight line on the road in front of the vehicle.
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol remains a huge problem in Maryland despite the passage of strict laws. Any driver who measures a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08 or refuses to submit to a chemical test for drug and/or alcohol use receives an Order of Suspension and any relevant traffic citations. Driving while intoxicated is a bad idea for two reasons. First, motorists under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol make poor operating choices, such as failing to use a traffic signal when making a turn. Second, reaction times decrease to the point when it is difficult, if not impossible to stop in time to avoid a collision.
As with distraction and recklessness, any motorist charged with driving under the influence has committed at least one act of negligence.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
The way you respond to a vehicle collision determines the outcome of an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Although you do not refer to the same template on how to react for every type of auto crash, the following steps should help you build a strong enough case to receive compensation for your injuries.
Contacting a local law enforcement agency to respond after an auto crash accomplishes two important objectives. First, law enforcement personnel secure the accident scene to prevent other accidents from occurring. The confusion that typically develops after a car accident can create conditions that lead to additional traumatic events. Second, the responding law enforcement agency is responsible for submitting a formal police report. A formal police report describes in detail what caused the car accident, as well as includes a section that presents physical evidence.
Your attorney refers to the formal police report to decide whether another party committed one or more acts of negligence. Without establishing negligence, you do not have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Receive Medical Care
Unless you received just a few bumps and bruises caused by a fender bender, getting medical attention is the second item on your to-do list after a vehicle collision. The results of diagnostic tests combined with records that describe your treatment program represent the types of persuasive physical evidence that boost your chances of receiving compensation. If you feel healthy enough to remain at the scene of the accident, you should eventually receive care from a healthcare provider to build a strong insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit.
If you wait too long to receive medical care, the insurance adjuster processing your claim, and the other party’s attorney might claim you did not sustain serious enough injuries to warrant compensation.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer From Morgan and Morgan
Before you speak with a representative from your insurance company, you should schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you gather additional physical evidence to strengthen your insurance claim and a personal injury lawsuit. A car accident lawyer returns to the accident scene to take more photographs, as well as request the photos captured by the team of mechanics repairing your motor vehicle. Reviewing the photographic evidence presented in the formal police report such as tire tracks and road conditions also helps your attorney build a strong enough case for you to receive compensation.
Interviewing witnesses can provide the type of legal support that boosts the credibility of the physical evidence acquired by your car accident lawyer.
How Does My Car Accident Lawyer Prove Negligence?
When you file an insurance claim, you do not have to prove the other party caused the car accident. This is especially true if you live in a no-fault insurance state such as Florida. On the other hand, to file a successful civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, your car accident lawyer must prove the presence of the four elements that constitute negligence.
Duty of Care
Proving the presence of the duty of care doctrine represents the easiest element of negligence to prove. Every motorist who operates a vehicle has a duty of care to protect other drivers and passengers from getting hurt. This means the other party involved in the car accident assumed a duty of care to prevent you from sustaining one or more injuries.
Breaching the Duty of Care Doctrine
The second element of proving negligence is the element demonstrating another party committed one or more acts that caused you harm. For example, a driver who exceeded the speed limit by 20 miles per hour right before impact breached the duty of care doctrine by committing a serious traffic offense. This is the element that requires your car accident lawyer to present convincing physical evidence, as well as the statements made by witnesses that boost the strength of your case.
Causation is a legal term that requires your car accident attorney to submit evidence that shows the auto crash caused your injuries. Submitting a copy of the formal police report and copies of medical records can persuade an insurance adjuster and/or a civil court judge that the car accident produced your injuries. The other party’s attorney might argue that you sustained your injuries as the result of another event.
The final element of negligence to prove involves connecting your injuries with financial losses. Copies of bank statements, as well as employer timekeeping records, should be enough evidence to prove you suffered substantial financial losses as a result of treating and rehabilitating your injuries. This also is the element that allows your car accident lawyer to calculate a reasonable value for compensation.
Although Maryland law grants you three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should act with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation today with a car accident lawyer from Morgan and Morgan.