Howard County Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident in Howard County, it is imperative you consult with a Howard County car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin filing a claim. An attorney can help determine what damages you are owed and what other parties may be liable. For more specific information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Howard County injury lawyer today.

Types of Car Accidents

There are many different ways car accidents occur in Howard County. Often times, the aftermath of an accident will involve a lot of his word against mine situations. However, regardless of the type of accident, there are certain best practices to keep in mind. Common types of car accidents include:

Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident the first thing you need to do is protect yourself and make sure that you document as much as possible so that you can explain what took place. You can do that by taking pictures at the scene of the accident, by making sure you document the damage to your car and their car, and finding any witnesses.

Another important step to take following a car accident is to follow up with any kind of medical or healthcare professional for any injuries you may have. Sometimes even a seemingly minor car accident can have a lasting and long term effects on someone in terms of injuries. If you hit your head, you definitely need to keep tabs more so than any other injury because that could have the most profound and damaging effects on you.  Head injuries can involve loss of consciousness, concussions or brain damage so those injuries need to be addressed immediately and monitored closely.

Recovering Damages

You can recover damages for your property if there’s damage to your vehicle, like following a hit & run accident. Additionally,  you can recover for your medical expenses which is the total amount of charges that each doctor/hospital or health care professional has charged for any medical service that was provided to you and for future benefit of any medical expenses that a doctor thinks you’re reasonably likely to incur in the future because of your injuries. In addition, you can recover your lost wages for any time that you missed as a result of the injury that you have in the accident.

As a Howard County criminal lawyer can tell you, you may also recover for your future lost wages for any time you’re expected to miss from work because of your injuries that will persist or last into the future. You can recover for your pain and suffering up to the point of the trial, which would be how your life has been affected by the injuries you sustained in the collision. That is called your past pain and suffering. If a doctor concludes that your injuries are permanent and will persist into the future then you can recover damages for your future pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.

Caps on Damages in Car Accident Cases

There are caps on non-economic damages or pain and suffering and the caps on those damages in a case are $800,000. But that does not include economic damages; economic damages include your medical expenses and your lost wages. If you had lost wages in the amount of $900,000 and medical expense in the amount of one  million dollars, you can still recover the one million dollars in the medical expenses and the $900,000 for your lost wages because it was considered economic damage meaning that you can determine what they are and what economic value they have.

Contributory Negligence In Car Accident Cases

Contributory negligence is a defense raised by the Defendant in an attempt to get a judgment in their favor. Contributory negligence at its simplest means that the plaintiff contributed in some way to their injuries and as a result should not be able to recover for their injuries. By law, if a plaintiff contributes as little as 1% to the causing of an accident then the plaintiff cannot recover for their injuries they claim they have sustained in a collision with another driver.

Some of the ways that a police officer will attribute liability to either driver is by asking each driver their version of what happened, the position of the vehicles at the scene if they were not moved, and the location of the damage to each of the vehicles.

Where there is a dispute between the parties as to how the accident occurred, such as a he said-she said situation, where, for example, both drivers claim to have the green light and an intersection occurs in the middle of the intersection, then things like accounts from independent witnesses become extremely important. Video footage from cameras in the area also become important because they become objective independent sources of information.

Filing a Car Accident Claim

Once you’re injured after an accident and you know the other person’s insurance company, your attorney will write a settlement demand letter, detailing how the accident occurred, what the insured did wrong that contributed to the accident, that your client was free from any negligence, the injuries they sustained as a result of the collision, the medical treatment they received for those injuries and how their life has been affected by the collision. You would make a claim for damages against their insurance policy, indicating what you believe the case is worth.

You then begin negotiations to settle the claim, and if you can’t negotiate a settlement that you’re happy with or that is agreeable by all the parties then you and your Maryland car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court. The ability to file a case in the court is your leverage against the insurance companies if they try to not accurately value the worth of your case or if they try to give you a low ball offer.

Importance of Contacting a Howard County Car Accident Lawyer

The sooner you contact a car accident attorney in Howard County the sooner they can conduct their investigation and if they’re able to conduct their investigation shortly after the accident, there’s a higher chance or a higher likelihood that they’ll be able to locate any witnesses that were identified and be able to take their statements before too much time has passed. An attorney will be able to help you recover damages after a hit and run accident. Contacting a Howard County car accident attorney sooner rather than later also means that you’ll be more aware of mistakes to avoid following an accident.

They’ll also be able to make sure that all the vehicles that are involved or identified are contacted and their insurance companies are contacted to open claims against them for your injuries. Howard County auto accident lawyers will also be able to identify and obtain all your medical records so that you’ll be able to prove the extent, severity and duration of your injuries as documented by your healthcare providers.