Montgomery County Car Accidents: Damages

Montgomery County car accident claims are filed just like they are anywhere else in Maryland. Oftentimes, it will be for the injured person’s benefit to initiate a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, initially advising them of the injuries, the extent of the injuries, and the current course of treatment. If a resolution of the case cannot be obtained initially then the injured person must decide if they intend to pursue the claim further. If they do not intend to pursue the claim any further, there’s nothing that can be done to force the at-fault insurance company to pay the claim. The only thing that can be done to require payment is to file a lawsuit. Claims are filed either in a district court or the circuit court for Montgomery County and then proceed through litigation.

Paying For Property Damages

Property damage is an area that is completely separate and apart from bodily injury. Oftentimes, insurance companies will agree, among themselves, who is going to pay property damage. If the insurance companies cannot agree as to who will pay the property damage, in Maryland, there is a law that requires most insurance companies to go to binding arbitration. The outcome of binding arbitration, meaning which insurance company has to pay property damage, has zero impact on the injured person’s personal injury claim. This means that the fact that the other person’s insurance company paid to repair your vehicle cannot be used as evidence to establish liability in your personal injury case.

Recoverable Damages for Car Accidents

Damages that are typically recovered in a car accident case in Montgomery County are property damage claims and bodily injury claims. Property damage claims deal with property damage only. Bodily injury claims consist of multiple layers of damages. There are economic damages, which typically consist of medical bills, lost time from work, or other objective and more easily calculated damages. There are also non-economic damages, which typically consist of pain, suffering and inconvenience or other more subjective damages.

Unfortunately, there is a statutory cap on non-economic damages in Montgomery County. This means that the judge or jury would ultimately be limited in the amount of damages that could provide for non-economic damages. There is no cap on economic damages. A person’s automobile insurance carrier typically covers economic and non-economic damages, as well as property damage up to the insurance policy limits.

Montgomery County Car Accident Attorney’s Role

A Montgomery County car accident attorney will advise the client on the types of injuries that are recoverable based upon that person’s specific circumstance. A lawyer will also advise the client on the insurance policy limits available for that particular claim. The benefit of having a lawyer is that the injured person will have someone who’s experienced in handling these claims, who will be able to investigate the applicable insurance policy. Someone’s car accident attorney will deal with that insurance company to determine what, if any, amount they’re willing to pay for the claim and the attorney will be able to present the relevant documentation to best advance their claim given the particular circumstances.

Initially, a car accident attorney works with the injured person to document any missed time from work as well as their current medical treatment. Initially, there’s a lot of coordination between the injured person and the attorney to keep the attorney informed on the injured person’s current medical treatment, their likely overall course of treatment, and their overall likelihood of recovery. This typically occurs in correspondence with calculating any missed time from work and any potential, future, or additional missed time from work that has not yet occurred.