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Bowie Car Accident Lawyer
You can make a personal injury claim for negligence in a car accident in Bowie, Maryland. Car accidents can result in significant damages and life-altering injuries. Several factors are at play to qualify for a viable car accident injury claim in Bowie. First and most importantly, the other driver must be at fault. In most cases, if you are even 1% negligent, you cannot prevail in a negligence action in Bowie or any other city in Maryland. Of course, there are exceptions. To determine if you qualify for one of these exceptions, you can quickly contact a seasoned Bowie car accident lawyer.
Of course, car accidents are not only caused by negligence. Negligence is merely the most common cause of action for a car accident in Bowie. But car accidents can also be due to reckless or intentional conduct. While there are several torts you can commit with someone’s car, the two related to a car accident in Bowie are assault and battery. Meanwhile, some negligent acts are so egregious that they rise to recklessness. Recklessness is a different legal standard in Maryland.
Types of Car Accidents
Remember that while we handle predominantly car accident cases, car accidents often involve various other aspects of the law and colliding with different types of motor vehicles.
What Should I Do After I’ve Been In A Car Accident?
Car Accident Lawyer in Bowie, Maryland
When we begin working with a new client, we first ensure that the client gets proper medical attention. This is important for a few reasons. First, it is generally necessary following a serious car accident. Bowie car accidents can lead to severe, life-altering impairments. Second, clients often need clarification on undergoing medical treatment, even when related to a car accident, because they are worried about cost. This is a fair concern, given how expensive medical treatment can be. However, under traditional tort law and in Bowie, the defendant who hit you in the car accident is liable for your medical expenses.
Next, before filing suit, we allow you to recover from your car accident. This is imperative for one fundamental reason. If our Bowie car accident lawyers file suit and go to trial within a year of your accident, depending on the severity of your accident, you may still need to be done treatment. If we wrap up your trial and obtain a great judgment, it might only cover some of your medical expenses. And we frequently have clients who take over one year to recover fully. By suing before you are fully healthy, you are undercutting the value of your recovery. Additionally, you are placing additional financial strain on yourself for short-term financial fulfillment.
Bowie Car Accident Lawyer
Next, once you have fully recovered or reached the point of maximum medical improvement, we send a demand letter to the adverse driver’s insurance company. Most likely, the defendant will be represented, and legal counsel almost always comes from the defendant’s insurance company. They also have a stake in the game; they want to pay you, the plaintiff, as little money as possible.
First, our Bowie car accident lawyers generally look to settle the case. If the insurance company misunderstands the value of your case and offers more than it is worth, it would be foolish not to accept the offer. However, this is rare. Sometimes, we can settle the case if the adverse insurance company wants to make reasonable offers. However, if they are not, we file suit, and the court of law in Bowie will require them to pay you your total and fair compensation.
What Is My Case Worth?
Many factors dictate what a case is worth. Even with the same facts, one jury may award a different amount than another on the same case. But in general, you should receive total compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages so long as they meet a few qualifications.
First, your treating medical provider must relate the injuries to the car accident within a reasonable degree of medical certainty. Something critical that only a reputable and experienced Bowie car accident lawyer would consider is the possibility of future medical expenses. Past medical expenses should always be covered. However, proving and obtaining compensation for future medical expenses is more complex yet essential. Our goal is always to win your case. That means not leaving you to dry after you sign your release and receive your settlement check. After a thorough analysis of your medical records, if we and our medical consultants determine you may need future treatment because of your car accident, we will fight to get you additional compensation.
After a severe car accident, you may be unable to work. Many of our clients work for Uber or Lyft, making working after a car accident in Bowie particularly challenging. Whether you cannot work due to injury or inability to use your vehicle, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We work because we have bills we need to pay to survive. If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is unjust that you cannot now work to support yourself or your family. We understand your pressure and will work tirelessly to cover your lost wages.
To be clear, you still must mitigate your damages. That means you cannot skip work merely because you are hurt and do not feel like working. Usually, you need a disability slip from a doctor stating that you cannot work for a given period due to the injuries you suffered from the car accident. If you miss work beyond the period excused by your doctor, asking your doctor for a note excused from work may be worthwhile. However, doctors do not typically give out a disability slip merely because you asked. And if they thought you needed one for a given period, they would have already given it.
The other thing to know is that the law affords you a reasonable amount of time to get your car fixed following a car accident. If you earn an income with your car, that means delivery work or Uber/Lyft, that should also entitle you to a lost wage claim. But we need to be able to substantiate your average weekly wage. For example, you do not get compensation for $2,000 because you earned $2,000 on your best week. Instead, we will take your average wage from the last two months.
Can I Settle My Bowie Car Accident Case?
About 97% of personal injury cases settle before litigation. But that does not mean yours will. There are two most common reasons why car accident cases do not settle in Bowie. The first reason is that there is a liability dispute. When this happens, we must go to trial to prove each element of the applicable cause of action. This is the less common reason why we file suit, though. Generally, we explain the law to the insurance adjusters, who knowingly have a weaker understanding of tort law than our attorneys and the issue is resolved. However, there is sometimes a dispute about the facts of the case. For example, the defendant, their insured, might claim that the plaintiff was entering their lane when our client is claiming they were cut off. Sometimes, the way the cars are scratched can tell the story.
The second reason a case does not settle prior to litigation is due to a disagreement on the value of the case. Insurance companies have constructed rules, such as devaluing medical expenses, which do not occur in courts. You will not find a judge in Bowie who will discount your medical expenses so long as they are related to the accident. But insurance companies use this move to offer less on your case. This is unacceptable because it puts our clients in the position of covering their medical expenses when their client caused the injury. We do not stand for this. Beyond that, evaluating the exact amount of a case can be tricky.
With over 70 years of experience evaluating cases, we are exceptionally good at this. But insurance companies are not always quite so good. When an insurance company does not offer a fair amount to settle your case, we must file suit.
The Role of the Insurance Company in Determining Your Settlement Value
When someone hits your car in a car accident in Bowie, we typically assume that the defendant does not have sufficient to cover your damages. This knowledge comes from decades of experience practicing personal injury law. Thus, we communicate directly with the defendant’s insurance provider to cover your damages. So, the insurance company’s role in determining your settlement value is critical. Unless we go to trial, which we typically do not, the insurance company is who we have to convince that your case is worth a lot. Fortunately, we do this every day and are quite good at it.
Additionally, the amount of coverage in the insurance company’s policy plays a critical role in determining your settlement value. This is based on the type of policy the defendant elected to pay for when he signed his insurance contract. Even if you suffer $100,000 in damages, if it is only a $30,000 limit policy, that is all you can get from that insurer. Of course, you may take other steps to cover the remaining $70,000 in value.
Your Own Insurance Company
Apart from the defendant’s insurance company, your insurance company sometimes comes into play. There are three ways this tends to happen. The first is for an uninsured motorist claim. In this instance, a defendant driver hits you and is legally at fault but has no insurance to cover your damages. Here, you may use your insurance by making an uninsured motorist claim. As your Bowie car accident lawyers, we handle these cases like we do for a typical bodily injury claim. The second instance your insurance company plays a role is an underinsured motorist claim. This is exemplified above, where you suffer $100,000 in damages, but the defendant only has $30,000 in coverage. Here, you may make an underinsured motorist claim to cover the difference between the damages you suffered and the coverage from the defendant. How much underinsured coverage you have is dependent on your policy.
The third instance where your insurance company comes into play is for property damage. Sometimes, it is the adverse insurance company that handles this. But they are not always immediately willing to. Sometimes, they require additional evidence before deciding on liability. In this instance, you can have your insurance company handle your property damage, and they will receive compensation from the adverse insurer. This is relatively easy because it is a flat fee from the autobody shop. It is far simpler to calculate than a personal injury. Accordingly, we do not charge you a legal fee for handling this.
Contact a Bowie Car Accident Lawyer
Our Bowie car accident lawyers always offer free consultations. If you have any questions about your case, please don’t hesitate to call us today. We look forward to hearing from you.
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