How Car Accident Claims in Baltimore are Handled

Knowing how to process a car accident claim can be difficult. For guidance and knowledge throughout the process, speak with an experienced Baltimore car accident attorney who can describe the process for how these claims are handled, how contributory negligence can affect someone’s claims, and why it is important to retain the services of local counsel.

Car accident claims in Baltimore are handled much like they are throughout the rest of Maryland. However, in Baltimore there are aspects of the claim that are unique to the circuit court for Baltimore City.

Likewise, the circuit court in Baltimore County has unique ways of handling their claims. Typically, both circuit court jurisdictions require the parties to attend a settlement conference before the case is scheduled for trial. When a person has retained an experienced Baltimore car accident attorney, the attorney will inform them of these meeting dates and work with them as to what to expect and describe fully what they should anticipate when they attend these meetings.

Contributory Negligence as a Factor

Contributory negligence is always a factor in automobile cases in Baltimore. Contributory negligence is a legal theory that is unique to a few jurisdictions in the country, Maryland being one of them. Contributory negligence means that the injured person who is initiating the claim – the plaintiff – cannot be negligent in the happening of the accident or they will not be able to recover any damages.

If the jury determines that the injured person was even one percent negligent, their claim is barred and they would receive no recovery. Conversely, the majority of the country follows comparative negligence where the jury is allowed to consider the actions of the plaintiff and determine the percentage of culpability by the plaintiff in proportion to the damages of the defendant.

For example, if the plaintiff and the defendant were both equally responsible for the accident in a comparative negligence jurisdiction, the jury would provide the plaintiff with one-half of the compensation because that plaintiff was 50 percent negligent in the happening of the accident. If you had that same situation in Baltimore, a contributory negligence jurisdiction, the plaintiff would recover zero compensation.

In Maryland, it is always very important to evaluate the facts surrounding how the accident occurred so that the attorney representing the injured person can advise them on whether or not there is a likelihood that the defense will raise contributory negligence at trial.

What Everyone Should Know About Baltimore Car Accident Claims

Everyone should understand that each case is unique and the individual facts and circumstances of each case should be evaluated by an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer who practices primarily in the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. The other issue that an injured person should be aware of is the fact that the claims can take a significant amount of time to work their way through the process to completion.

There are instances where some cases are resolved faster than others, but even the most straightforward cases can take a significant amount of time in order to fully investigate, allow for the complete recovery of the injured person and be presented properly to the opposing party’s insurance company.

Importance of Contacting a Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer

It is important to contact a Baltimore car accident attorney early on in the case so that the attorney can begin investigating the claim. It is best to collect information regarding how the accident occurred, photographs, and to speak with any witnesses who may have seen the accident as soon as possible once an accident has occurred.

These claims can take a significant amount of time and as time goes by, contact may be lost with witnesses and people’s memories may fade. It is important to lock down as much information as possible soon after the accident has occurred so that the information can be properly documented and utilized later on as the claim progresses.