Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers
What is Our Mission?
At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, satisfaction is our top priority. We are committed to treating each client with the highest level of respect while providing unsurpassed service with accountability, ethical behavior, and the best result. Our team of experienced Baltimore Accident Lawyers have the resources needed to fight for you, so you can focus on recovering.
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What are Our Main Areas of Practice?
From car accidents and truck accidents to Workers’ Compensation and medical malpractice, our skilled legal team has a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for clients across Maryland. Using state-of-the-art legal tactics, we work tirelessly to protect victims’ rights and fight for the compensation they deserve. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers offer personalized, dedicated, and cutting-edge legal assistance in the following practice areas:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workers’ Compensation
- Personal Injury
- Criminal Defense
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Social Security Disability
We work with clients to ensure that we understand each case and proceed when we have evidence that compels us to take the case forward. Because we have been working in Maryland for such a long time, we will use our vast knowledge of the court system in the state to assist our clients. We also ensure that clients understand what is happening during every step of the legal process.
How Do We Serve Victims of Car Accidents?
Our personal injury lawyers represent victims who have been injured in a wide range of accidents, including the following:
- Aggressive driving
- Auto defects
- Bus accidents
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk driving
- Emergency vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Poor weather conditions
- Rear-end collisions
- Reckless driving
- Rideshare vehicles
- Texting while driving
- Uninsured/underinsured drivers
Car accidents can cause lifelong injuries, disability, and even death. These accidents could include chain reactions where drivers are caught in the middle of a multi-vehicle accident, or they could be victims of road rage. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers will fight for you if you’ve been injured in an accident. The following are the most common issues for drivers:
Distracted driving: This is one of the most common causes of accidents for teenagers and working adults. Working adults feel the need to answer emails and respond to texts in the car. Adults might take calls in the car, talk with their hands, or interact with other passengers while they are chatting. Another driver could take their eyes off the road for a second, and that is all it takes to cause an accident.
Aggressive driving: This occurs when a driver is truly enraged by the people around them when driving. Road rage can escalate to the point at which a driver is involved in an accident or attacked by another driver.
Rear-end collisions: These accidents occur because people cannot make emergency stops, are not paying attention, or because they were rear-ended by someone else. Even a slow-moving accident could cause whiplash, severe neck pain, and possible disability. No matter the nature of the accident, we will help victims recover damages caused by the accident.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you should do the following:
- Check for injuries. You should check if you, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident are injured.
- Check for damage. If it is not extensive and your car is drivable, pull the vehicle over to the side of the road in a safe spot away from traffic. If the other driver can, they should move their vehicle to a safe spot as well. Anyone involved in the crash should move off to the side of the road as well.
- Call 911 for help. This will bring the police out to the scene, and their accident investigation might be helpful for your claim.
- Accept all medical care at the scene. A lot of people think they can tough it out after a car accident, or they may believe that their injuries are minor, but diagnostic tests will be able to determine if there are injuries. Getting checked out by a doctor will not only inform you of injuries, but it will help you figure out what can be done to treat them.
- Take pictures of everything. Since you or someone else in the car likely has a cellphone handy, use it to document injuries, property damage, and the accident scene. Do not be afraid to take pictures. Pictures will only help the insurance companies and/or courts make their decision.
- Get insurance information from the other driver. Write down their license plate, make, and model of the car. This is another situation where the cellphone’s camera can be put to good use. You can have digital records of this important information.
- Get information from witnesses. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. The insurance company or a Baltimore car accident lawyer will want to speak with someone who saw the collision but was not involved in it directly.
- Do not admit fault. Do not get into any unnecessary conversations with anyone involved. Do not assume guilt or apologize to the other driver.
- Call your insurance company. Tell your company about the accident. You should inform them where the accident happened, who was involved if people were hurt, if the property was damaged, and what preceded the accident. Then, you will need to provide the insurance information and make and model of the other cars involved.
- Call a car accident lawyer. You should remember that most settlements offered by insurance companies do not cover the expenses that can result from an accident, such as long-term medical costs. Your Baltimore car accident lawyer will argue your side of the story. Your lawyer is there to advocate for you and to get the best possible outcome for you. To do this, your car accident lawyer needs to know what happened before, during, and after the collision.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Some people involved in a car accident may assume that they do not need emergency medical care because they are able to walk away from the crash. However, a good rule of thumb is that if the car is damaged, you may be injured as well.
Not all injuries are obvious, and some are more common than others. Some common car accident injuries include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash can be remarkably painful and results from the upper part of the body being jerked around by the impact of a collision. This kind of injury might be treated with over-the-counter pain medications and ice, but physical therapy may be required to regain strength to the injured muscles. When physical therapy and over-the-counter medicines do not work, prescription medications may be the recommended treatment.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to a lifelong disability. Any injury to the head needs to be evaluated and treated by a doctor.
- Dislocated joints: This type of injury is usually felt immediately. Some telltale signs of a dislocated joint include limited range of motion, bruising or redness to the joint, weakened muscle strength, joint instability, deformity of the joint, and pain that does not go away.
- Bone fractures: Many bone fractures will be obvious, but some may be hidden. This is why it is always important to get medically evaluated after a car accident.
- Herniated discs: Discs act as cushions that separate vertebrae in the spine. Displacement of these discs comes with acute pain in the affected area and can even potentially restrict movement temporarily. Numbness, tingling, weakened back muscles, digestive issues, and bladder problems may result from a herniated disc. If the injury is in the upper region of the spine around the neck, it may impact vision.
- Emotional injuries: Many people who are involved in a car accident suffer from severe anxiety for multiple weeks. Some people may have dreams about the accident, relive the whole event during the day, and will purposefully avoid the area where the accident happened.
To recover from an injury, medical care is needed, which can be costly. A Baltimore car accident lawyer will be able to determine if you are eligible for compensation. For this reason, you should speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Across Maryland on any given day, car accidents and injuries happen. When you are involved in an accident, you may think that the best course of action is to go through the auto insurance process first. However, you should keep in mind that Maryland applies “pure” contributory negligence. This means that if a plaintiff is even one percent at fault for a car accident, they are barred from collecting any compensation.
A Baltimore car accident lawyer can help you prove fault of the other driver. If you can prove fault, you will have three options:
- File a claim under your own insurance.
- File a claim against the other driver’s insurance.
- File a claim against the at-fault driver in court.
Maryland’s car accident laws are uniquely strict to those who are seeking compensation for injuries or property damage. In fact, most of the country does not follow contributory negligence. Maryland is one of only four states that applies this legal concept.
A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process you must take following a collision. It is difficult for most drivers in Maryland to obtain compensation for damages, but a Baltimore car accident lawyer can help you significantly.
How Long After a Car Accident Can I Sue?
Each state has a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Maryland, you have three years from the time of the accident to file a suit. This may seem like a long time, but it is best not to wait. Investigating an accident scene needs to happen right away. Some evidence will disappear if you do not act quickly. Also, your memories of the accident will fade over time, which can compromise your case.
After a car accident, your first step should be to get medical care, but it is also critical that you speak with a Baltimore car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may want to accept a quick lowball settlement offer, but it may not cover the costs of your extensive medical treatment or property damage. A car accident lawyer can determine if accepting a settlement is the best course of action.
What Are Economic and Noneconomic Damages?
There are two different damages following an accident: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages refer to compensation for monetary losses, including:
- Medical care: Costs of surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, and assistance devices can be easily tallied.
- Lost wages: Some people may not be able to return to work following a crash, or they cannot work in the same capacity as before.
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to estimate because they are subjective. Noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical and mental anguish that the plaintiff experiences because of their injury.
- Loss of consortium: A car accident can have a significant affect on a spouse and their marriage. Loss of consortium compensates for the damage that the injury has caused on that spouse and their marital relationship.
It can be difficult to determine what is owed to you following a collision, which is why it is important to speak with a car accident lawyer. A Baltimore car accident attorney will be able to help you with your claim.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the person filing suit, but to punish the defendant and to deter others from doing the same egregious offense. Most Maryland personal injury cases will not award punitive damages. Unlike many other states where punitive damages can be awarded based on gross negligence or willful, wanton disregard for the safety of others, Maryland requires proof that the defendant acted with actual malice.
If you believe punitive damages might be involved in your case, you need a car accident lawyer on your side. These damages are rare in personal injury cases, but a car accident lawyer will help you with how to proceed.
How Much Can I Receive in a Car Accident Case?
Since each case is different, it is impossible to give a particular amount of what you can sue for following a collision. However, there is a limit on the amount of noneconomic damages that can be awarded. This cap is determined by the year of the injury. For cases that occur from now until October, 2022, that cap is $905,000 for a personal injury claim. That amount increases if a wrongful death claim is included. If there is a second wrongful death claim included, the amount increases as well.
A car accident lawyer can help you with a lawsuit. A Baltimore car accident lawyer can explain what is rightfully owed to you.
What Auto Insurance Is Required in Maryland?
Maryland drivers are mandated by the state to carry liability, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability insurance coverage. Maryland drivers are required to carry the following coverage amounts:
- Bodily injury: $30,000.
- Bodily injury for two or more people: $60,000.
- Property damage: $15,000.
Can I Sue if My Car Has Been Totaled?
There may be a case where your car is totaled and the other driver has minimal damage. While it may seem like a natural choice for an insurance company or a court to decide the driver of the totaled car receives compensation, the other party may distort the truth. That is why an investigation is so important following a crash.
Another concern may be that the insurance company’s offer is not enough. Insurance companies pay fair market value, which may not seem like a fair price at all. That price will not be the value you paid for the car, but the car’s value at the time of the accident.
Depending on the depreciation value of the vehicle, the fair market value of the car may not be enough to pay off the lease or loan for the car. If you elected what is referred to as gap insurance when getting your auto insurance coverage, that extra feature will cover the cost left on the loan or lease. The settlement amount from the insurance company for fair market value of your car can be used toward your next vehicle.
Besides filing suit, the driver of the totaled car could draw from their collision coverage. Collision coverage can help pay for you to either fix the car or get a new one. However, going to your own collision coverage does not hold the at-fault party responsible for the damages. A lawsuit against the other driver for damages will accomplish this. A car accident lawyer will explain your options. A Baltimore car accident lawyer will help you get the damages that are owed to you.
Can I Sue if I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident?
If you are injured in a car accident in Maryland as a passenger, you may be able to cover your medical bills and other damages by filing a claim against the at-fault driver. A car accident lawyer can help you with a claim.
In a multi-vehicle car accident, it is likely that there are multiple contributing factors that caused the collision. In this case, the passenger might be able to seek damages from different at-fault parties. These cases are complicated, but a car accident lawyer can help.
Do I Need to Call the Police if an Accident Is Minor?
Some drivers will hesitate to call 911 following a car accident. Many people hope to address the matter privately, or if it appears that damage is minimal or non-existent, just move on completely. However, there can be repercussions for doing this.
In Maryland, you are not legally obligated to report a minor fender bender, assuming no one is hurt. However, there may be a contractual obligation to report the accident to your insurance company.
It is recommended that you still contact the police following an accident because you may find out that someone is injured after the fact. Often, people find out about injuries after the adrenaline has worn off, and that could be a couple of hours after a car accident. If there are injuries or property damage, it will be considered irresponsible by an insurance company or a court that no call was made for emergency help.
It is also important to get a police report following a collision, which is another reason why you should call 911. A police report will have details of the accident and can help determine what or who caused the accident. A car accident lawyer will be able to review the report as well. A car accident lawyer might be able to use details from the report to help determine negligence.
How Long Do I Have to Report an Accident to My Insurance Company?
You will want to contact your insurance company right away, as the other driver involved may want to file a claim regarding the accident. Police may respond to the scene, even if they are not called to do so. It will look badly for you in court or with your insurance company if they are not contacted about the incident.
You should check your insurance policy to determine when an accident should be reported. Most insurance policies have this spelled out for policyholders in an agreement. If you do not report the accident within the timeframe, the insurer may deny coverage later, even if your claim is otherwise legitimate.
After you speak with your insurance company, it is important to speak with an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer, especially before signing anything or accepting a settlement. A car accident lawyer will protect your rights.
What if a Friend Was Driving My Car at the Time of the Accident?
While many people allow friends to drive their cars, insurance companies may not cover accidents that occur. Generally, insurance policies cover the insured person’s spouse and family members who live in the same house. While a policy may cover other people whom the insured lists as allowed to drive the car, they may provide a lower compensation limit or a higher deductible for such cases.
Something else to keep in mind is that insurance companies may not cover unlicensed drivers or those who are very inexperienced. As a result, letting your neighbor’s teenager learn to drive using your vehicle may seem nice, but it could easily become a nightmare for you.
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional causes a patient harm or death due to substandard treatment, failure to give appropriate treatment, or when they omit to take appropriate action. Medical professionals are held to a high standard of ethics. There is a duty of care that doctors, nurses, staff, and medical facilities are expected to offer patients, and when that does not happen, it needs to be addressed.
In Maryland, you must meet special requirements if you have a medical malpractice claim that involves damages that exceed $30,000. A lawyer will be able to help you with these requirements.
When a worker has been hurt on the job, they will likely have medical bills and need time to recuperate, which may also lead to lost income. Fortunately, most workers in Maryland are covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance starting from their first day on the job. Workers’ Compensation covers medical bills and a portion of lost income.
If you are injured on the job or while performing your job duties, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation. However, there are situations where claims are denied. This may happen if a worker has an occupational illness. An occupational illness may take time to develop. As a result, a Workers’ Compensation claim may be questioned.
If you have problems with your Workers’ Compensation claim, a lawyer can help. A lawyer can review your case, help you with an appeal, and advocate for you.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are Ready to Assist Clients Today
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Protecting your rights is our top priority, and we will continue to fight for you until we obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.