We understand that being injured in a car accident can place a severe financial burden on your family. You need to settle your claim as quickly as possible. Call WGK Personal Injury Lawyers at (410) 837-2144 to discuss your case with our Baltimore car accident lawyers. Contact our Baltimore law office today and get a free initial consultation.
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Why Should You Hire the Car Accident Attorneys at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers?
Each car accident case is unique. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers strive to settle each case as quickly as possible. However, we do not sacrifice your best interests just to get a quick settlement.
Our goal is to settle your claim as quickly as possible for the maximum amount possible. In some cases, negotiations with the insurance company or other parties may fail. If so, a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary to protect your best interests.
From the beginning of your car accident case, we prepare your claim as if we are going to court. We do so for two reasons.
First, preparing a case for trial requires extensive research, investigation, and preparation. This extra work means that the demand for settlement we prepare to begin negotiations is stronger. Not all law firms operate with this mentality.
Second, if we must file a car accident lawsuit, we are ready. We do not need to worry about backtracking to tie up loose ends or gather additional evidence. The case is prepared and ready to be filed with the court.
Unfortunately, our lawyers cannot control all factors that impact the length of a car accident settlement. We understand those factors and work diligently to prevent those factors from unnecessarily delaying your car accident settlement.
What Factors Impact the Timeline for a Car Accident Settlement in Baltimore?
Car accidents are complex. There are usually a number of people involved and determining who was at fault can be problematic. There are also many possible injuries that the accident victims can sustain. All of these details will play heavily into how quickly you can get a settlement for your accident.
The Type and Severity of Your Injuries
The length of your recovery is one of the most significant factors that impact how long it takes to settle a car accident claim in Baltimore. The type and severity of your injuries generally dictate the duration of your recovery.
Common Baltimore car accident injuries include:
- Brain and Head Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Back Injuries
- Chest Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussions
- Skull Fractures
- Airbag Injuries
- Scarring and Disfigurement
You do not want to settle a car accident claim before you complete medical treatment. The reason is simple. You do not know the extent of your damages until you complete treatment.
For instance, if your doctor tells you that you need additional surgery after you settle your injury claim, you shoulder the cost of that surgery and all related financial losses. You cannot go back to the insurance company to ask for more money.
Additionally, if you sustain a permanent impairment or disability because of the crash, you may be entitled to significant damages for future loss of income, ongoing health care costs, and personal care. Your doctor cannot judge the extent of the disability until you reach maximum medical improvement. Therefore, settling your car accident claim too soon could result in the loss of hundreds or even millions of dollars in compensation.
The Circumstances of the Collision
The circumstances of the collision can impact the length of a car accident settlement in Baltimore. A thorough accident investigation must be completed to determine how the crash occurred and the parties responsible for the cause of the crash. We need evidence proving fault to recover compensation for your damages.
Some car accidents are easier to investigate. For example, someone rear-ended you at a red light. In most situations, those cases are not difficult to investigate.
However, other cases are more complicated and take longer to investigate. Examples of factors that can complicate an accident investigation include:
- Commercial Vehicles and Large Trucks
- Government Vehicles or Employees
- Accidents Involving Rental Vehicle or Out-of-State Drivers
- Accidents Involving Multiple Vehicles
- Injuries to Children
- Accidents Involving Rideshare Drivers
- Rollover Accidents
- Accidents Involving a Fatality
- Crashes Caused by a Drunk Driver
Also, cases involving “he said – she said” can take longer to investigate because there are no witnesses or videos to back up your claim. In those cases, we may need to retain experts to assist with the investigation, such as accident reconstructionists or engineers.
The Responsiveness of the Insurance Company
Some insurance companies are responsive and willing to work with us to negotiate a fair settlement. However, other companies may delay investigations and refuse to respond to us promptly.
We cannot control the timeline set by the insurance company. However, we can control our response. If the insurance company refuses to act in good faith, we can file a lawsuit for damages, including damages for bad faith.
Whether Liability is Being Disputed
When liability for the accident is disputed, it can take longer to settle a claim. The insurance company believes that it has evidence that proves that its insured driver is not at fault or that you are partially at fault for the crash.
Maryland uses a pure contributory negligence theory for compensating damages in a car accident claim. It is only one of four states and the District of Columbia that utilizes this method. Unfortunately, pure contributory negligence is the harshest method of dealing with contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence means that you have some fault for the cause of the crash. Under Maryland’s standard, victims who contributed in any way to the cause of their injuries are barred from recovering any compensation for their damages.
In other words, the insurance company believes that it can convince a jury you are partially responsible for the car accident. If so, it can get out of paying anything for your claim. In these cases, we may need to file a car accident lawsuit to prove that you had no responsibility for the cause of the crash.
Maryland Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
In most cases, car accident lawsuits must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. That deadline could be different in some cases, so it is best to talk to a Baltimore car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Once a lawsuit is filed, the timeline for settling your car accident claim must be adjusted.
What Happens if I File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Some car accident lawsuits settle within a few months because the insurance company realizes that we are not going to back down. However, that is usually not the case. In most cases, a car accident lawsuit will not settle until closer to trial, or it will not settle at all.
While each case is different, there are some basic steps in every lawsuit:
- Investigation to Gather Evidence to Prove Fault
- Documenting Injuries and Losses
- Preparing and Filing the Complaint
- Serving the Complaint on Opposing Parties
- Mediation and Negotiation
Here’s a brief overview of some of these important phases.
Filing and Responding to Lawsuits
As discussed above, our Baltimore car accident lawyers handle all cases as if we are preparing for trial. If necessary, we are prepared to draft and file a lawsuit very quickly.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the timeline for your claim is set by the lawsuit. The defendants (the parties being sued) must be allowed time to respond to the lawsuit.
In most cases, defendants in Maryland have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. However, defendants may request an extension to respond to the lawsuit. If a counterclaim is filed, we have 30 days to respond to the allegations by the defendants.
The discovery phase can last several months or longer, depending on the complexity of the lawsuit. Discovery allows each party to obtain additional evidence to support their claims through depositions, interrogatories, and other tools.
Each party learns more about the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Discovery can sometimes result in a settlement once the insurance company realizes that we have a strong case. Discovery can make mediation and negotiation more effective.
Motions and Trial
If the lawsuit is not settled, we proceed to file. Various pre-trial motions are filed and decided before the trial. At the trial, each party presents evidence and testimony for the jury to consider.
After both sides present their cases, the judge instructs jurors on the applicable laws and sends the jury to deliberate the case. In most car accident cases, the jurors decide in favor of one of the parties. However, if the jury cannot decide, the trial is declared a mistrial.
Either party may appeal the verdict if it does not like the jury’s decision. Appeals can lengthen the time it takes for a car accident case to settle in Baltimore.
We Understand You Need Help Right Now
The circumstances and facts of your case determine its timeline. Some cases require longer to complete. However, if your case warrants that time, it is best to allow us to spend the time required to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
Rushing to settlement is not advisable. It results in lower compensation for victims. However, effective case management is required to ensure that unnecessary delays are avoided.
The Baltimore car accident lawyers at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of car accident cases.
We have a system for handling cases that ensures efficient management of claims. Our goal is to get you the most money for your car accident claim in the shortest time possible, given the circumstances of your case.
Contact a Baltimore Auto Accident Lawyer for More Information
Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team. We’ll help you understand your legal rights and options for recovering fair compensation after a crash in Baltimore.