Jill Kolodner | August 24, 2020 | Car Accidents
Maryland is an at-fault state for traffic accident claims. All drivers are required to carry minimum liability car insurance in case they are involved in an accident that is their fault. Liability insurance compensates accident victims for injuries, financial losses, and other damages caused by an insured driver.
Therefore, most accident victims file an insurance claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver within a few weeks or months after a car accident. However, that does not mean that the claim is resolved quickly.
You do not want to settle an insurance claim for a car crash, motorcycle accident, or other traffic accident before you reach maximum medical improvement. Settling the injury claim too quickly can cheat you out of the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Damages Included in Personal Injury Claims for Traffic Accidents
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Broken bones and fractures
Regardless of the severity of the injuries or the amount of financial losses, a victim has a right to seek compensation for all damages caused by the accident from the party or parties who caused the crash. Filing a personal injury claim can help you recover the money you deserve after being injured by someone else’s negligence.
Seeking Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
When you file an insurance claim, the claim remains open until the insurance company agrees to a settlement or denies the claim. As stated above, you do not want to settle the claim until you complete your medical treatment.
While you are recovering from your car accident injuries, you may miss time at work. You may also incur other expenses, such as medical costs, travel expenses, and personal care. Settling a claim before you complete treatment cuts off compensation for these damages.
When you settle the insurance claim, your compensation is based on your damages as of the date of settlement. If you need additional medical treatment or miss work because of your injuries, you cannot go back to the insurance provider to demand more money.
However, if you complete medical treatment, you might be able to recover compensation for future damages based on an impairment rating.
If you sustain permanent impairments or disabilities from the pedestrian accident, car wreck, or other traffic accident, your injury claim may include compensation for future damages.
Future damages may include:
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Personal care and in-home health care
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Decreases in earning potential
In addition to the financial damages, you may also receive compensation for scarring, disfigurement, and disability. Compensation may also include the future pain and suffering caused by the impairment and the loss of quality of life you may experience because of the disability.
If you settle your insurance claim without knowing the full extent of your injuries, your compensation for injuries after a car accident may be limited.
Deadlines for Filing Lawsuits Related to Car Accidents
Even though it could take many months or even more than a year for you to complete treatment and receive an impairment rating, you do not have unlimited time to file a lawsuit related to a traffic accident. The Statute of Limitations in Maryland set deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits.
Most car accident victims have three years from the date of the wreck to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries. If you do not file a lawsuit within that time, you lose the right to pursue legal action in court. In other words, the insurance company and the at-fault driver get away with paying nothing for your claim.
Do Not Wait to Talk With an Attorney About Your Car Accident Claim
Even though three years sounds like a long time to file a lawsuit, you do not need to wait to talk to a lawyer about pursuing an injury claim. Some cases have shorter deadlines for filing claims based on the facts of the case.
For example, if your car crash involves a government employee or government vehicle, you have only 180 days from the date of the accident to file a notice of claim with the applicable government entity. Failing to file the notice of claim could result in barring your right to file a lawsuit.
Also, the sooner a lawyer is involved in your case, the sooner he can begin gathering evidence, identifying liable parties, and protecting you from bad faith insurance tactics.
Recovering maximum compensation for injuries after an accident can be challenging. Having an experienced lawyer who has the resources, knowledge, skills, and experience to handle complex claims can increase your chance of success.
At the very least, having an attorney on your side means you have the legal advice, support, and guidance you need as you continue to heal from your injuries and seek fair compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident.