Damages in a Maryland Car Accident Case

After being involved in an auto accident, there are many processes that need to take place in order to determine the at-fault party, how damages are to be allocated, and how the recovery process will be handled. Based on the severity of the case and the parties involved, the damages in a Maryland car accident case can vary greatly.

If you have found yourself struggling to determine how to proceed legally after a car accident in Maryland, it is pertinent that you hire an experienced attorney immediately.

At-Fault Party’s Responsibility

The at-fault party is responsible for paying for the property damage. However, this does not mean they are always the first company to pay for the property damage. If the at-fault party is taking the position that they have to investigate the accident, and it is going to take some time before they make their decision of accepting responsibility for the accident, the injured party’s own insurance company is responsible for paying for that property damage. This is so as not to let storage charges and other charges rack up too heavily.

The injured party’s insurance company will then go after the at-fault party’s insurance company by way of an agreement once the at-fault party’s company has made the decision to accept the responsibility. Further, they may go through intra-insurance company arbitration that they set up to seek reimbursement from the at-fault party’s company for what they have paid.

Possible Damages

Damages that can be recovered after a car accident case in Maryland include the economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expense. Also, there are the noneconomic damages, which are the mental anguish and physical pain, inconvenience, and other intangible harms and losses that have been caused by the accident.

In Maryland, there are caps on noneconomic damages after a car accident case. Currently, the cap on noneconomic damages in Bethesda and Maryland in car accident cases is about $800,000.

Insurance Coverage

The at-fault party’s insurance company is ultimately responsible for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, mental anguish, suffering, and any other type of noneconomic damages. There are two general categories of damages in a Maryland car accident case: Economic and non-economic damages. In Maryland, an individual can purchase personal injury protection coverage, a minimum coverage of which is $2,500, which under an individual’s own policy, can cover medical expenses and lost wages.

This can be helpful in an auto accident, or any type of accident, because if an individual is out of work immediately after an accident and unable to pay any medical bills, they are covered under their own policy. This has no effect on the fact that someone else is at fault. An individual has purchased it to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, and to reimburse them for lost wages since an individual is not going to receive a recovery in the case until they have completed all of their medical treatment. There can be a gap while an individual is being treated whereby they aren’t working, and does not have any source of compensation at that point in time. That coverage can be important to purchase under an individual’s own policy in the event that they are involved in an accident.

Role of an Attorney

From the moment of representation, the attorney is going to do everything that is associated with pursuing a claim. This includes tasks such as:

  • Establishing the claim
  • Establishing communication with the insurance company
  • Investigating the accident and its circumstances
  • Following up that medical care is being received
  • Obtaining the medical bills and medical records
  • Gathering all the evidence necessary to pursue the claim
  • Presenting the claim properly to the insurance company for consideration of settlement

Overall, the attorney is dealing with the insurance company on the injured party’s behalf and seeking reasonable compensation which maximizes their recovery. Ultimately, if a settlement cannot be reached, they pursue the claim by way of a lawsuit in court. The attorney provides representation at every step of the claim process, interfacing with the insurance company and for lawyers on the injured party’s behalf.

Attorney’s Role in Recovering Damages

The attorney establishes communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to obtain any damages from a Maryland car accident case. They do this by sending a letter of representation. The attorney obtains any investigative reports by the police, and any other entities that have been involved in investigating the accident. The attorney notifies the injured party’s medical providers of their involvement so that they can receive copies of medical bills and medical records of treatment. The attorney provides the appropriate information necessary for the insurance company to properly process the claim.

Once treatment is finished, the attorney will submit a demand package to the insurance company with the position regarding liability, and the value of the case for purposes of settlement with the insurance company to try to resolve the claim and to maximize recovery. If the matter settles, the attorney will make sure that any liens and balances of the medical providers are paid. If the case does not settle, they can pursue the case by way of a lawsuit in court.