Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers
Serving Our Community and Neighbors Since 1987
Getting into a car accident is a shocking experience. However, it is important to promptly take steps to protect your health and your legal claim. Maryland imposes a three-year statute of limitations on filing a claim for most car collisions. In addition, your insurance policy may have strict deadlines for notifying the company about your accident. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with one of our Baltimore car accident lawyers as soon as possible.
Since 1987, LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton has helped people injured in auto, trucking, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers have successfully won more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for thousands of clients. We are focused on helping you recover your rightful compensation from your insurance company and the defendants.
A Lawyer’s Advice is Invaluable When Negotiating a Settlement
Most insurance companies are more concerned about earning profits than they are about serving their policyholders. Your agent may try to persuade you to settle your claim quickly and for less than it is worth. Do not sign any documents or make a statement until you have spoken with our personal injury lawyers. Once you sign an agreement, you waive your rights to pursue further damages. Statements you make while upset or under the influence of painkillers prescribed to you after your accident may jeopardize your case.
Negotiating with the Auto Insurance Company
Our firm settles most of our claims for maximum possible damages. We know you are anxious to get paid, especially if you have lost wages and accumulated bills because of your motor vehicle crash. For this reason, our Baltimore personal injury lawyers push your case along aggressively. In cases regarding serious injuries, however, it takes additional time to fully understand the extent of your injuries, associated disabilities, and long-term care needs. We take every step necessary to protect you from settling for less than you deserve.
Taking Your Car Crash Case to Court
We are a team of seasoned litigators with a polished courtroom demeanor and extensive skills needed to convince a jury and judge that you deserve compensation for your car accident injuries. Our thoughtful, thorough participation in the discovery process gives us an advantage during negotiations.
Establishing Fault and Contributory Negligence
Determining liability in a car accident may be complicated. An auto accident defendant in Maryland may present a contributory negligence defense, which bars the plaintiff from collecting damages if the defendant can prove that the plaintiff is partly to blame. This can unfairly deny a plaintiff rightful recovery for being only one percent at-fault. Our lawyers are proactive about protecting your rights to recover damages. If you are the one being sued, we investigate whether you have a valid reason to assert the contributory defense.
Even if you think you are at-fault for an accident, our attorneys can review your claim and protect your rights. You may not be legally liable for the car wreck, and we can successfully challenge the claims made against you. Also, you may be entitled to payment under your own automobile insurance policy, regardless of fault.
You need zealous representation when you are injured due to the actions of a careless or reckless motorist. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton we represent individuals who have suffered harm due to:
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
The World Health Organization reports that approximately 1.25 million people are killed in car accidents, and up to 50 million suffer injuries each year. The victims and their families often suffer devastating financial losses resulting from these accidents, including property damage, loss wages, and costly medical bills associated with the injuries. Many of these accidents are preventable if motorists make safety a priority. By understanding the most common causes of car accidents, drivers can take the appropriate steps to avoid them. The following are examples of the leading causes of car accidents:
- Distracted Driving: Any behavior that takes a motorist’s attention away from the road is dangerous, but smart phones are one of the main culprits when it comes to distracted driving. From talking on the phone to texting and checking social media while driving, too many drivers do not think twice about making a phone call or checking a text while driving, despite the fact that talking on the phone while driving has been shown to quadruple the risk of being involved in a car accident. Using a hands-free device is not as safe as people might think. Other common distractions include the following:
– Applying makeup
– Reaching for something on the floor or in the backseat
– Interacting with other passengers
– Changing the radio station
– Dealing with children who are in the back seat
- Drowsy Driving: Another common, yet completely avoidable cause of car accidents is drowsy driving. At some point, most motorists will drive when they are tired. However, when they are so fatigued that it affects their ability to safely operate motor vehicles, this can be extremely dangerous, both to the driver and other motorists sharing the road. Sleep deprivation can impair concentration, cause reduced vigilance, and impact a driver’s ability to react to a situation. Approximately 25 percent of fatal traffic accidents are caused by drowsy driving.
- Drunk Driving: Even a relatively small amount of alcohol can impair a person’s ability to concentrate, make sound judgments, and react quickly to unexpected situations. In 2016, close to 10,500 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States. Far too many motorists continue to get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol.
- Aggressive Driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving occurs when a driver commits one or more moving traffic offenses with the intent of endangering another motorist or their property. When drivers become stressed, frustrated, or angry, they often take it out on other motorists by doing things like tailgating, lane blocking, and failing to yield to the right of way. The most common form of aggressive driving is speeding, which can increase the severity of an accident due to the force of impact.
Car Accident Statistics
Even with the advances in safety technology, car accidents continue to be an unfortunate reality across the country. Human error, inclement weather, and poor road conditions are just a few factors that contribute to the number of car accidents that occur. The following statistics provide a closer look at the number of car accidents that occur in Maryland:
- In 2017, Maryland had the most car accident fatalities since 2009. This is likely due to the lower gas prices, which caused less people to carpool or use public transportation, and more people to drive.
- The following number of people were killed in car accidents in Maryland in three years:
– In 2015, there were 521 fatalities
– In 2016, there were 522 fatalities
– In 2017, there were 557 fatalities
- Since 2014, the number of traffic fatalities in Maryland has increased every year up to 2017.
The following statistics reflect car accidents that occur nationwide:
- In the United States, 40,200 people died in car accidents in 2016, which is the most car accident-related deaths since 2007. This is likely due to the number of drivers who were distracted by talking or texting while driving.
- Car accidents cost approximately $250 billion in property damage, lost wages, medical bills and other costs related to the accident.
- Speeding has a major impact on the seriousness of the accident and resulting injuries.
Steps to Take After an Accident
Despite their best efforts to drive responsibly, and make safety a top priority, motorists can be involved in a car accident when they least expect it. Whether it is a minor fender bender, or a serious accident involving injuries, it is important to know the steps to take to ensure the claims process is successful. Being familiar with these steps ahead of time can make the situation less stressful in the event of an accident.
- Check for injuries. Check yourself first to determine whether you have any serious injuries. If you are unable to move, or you suffered a head or neck injury, wait for emergency personnel to arrive. If you are able, check to see if the other passengers in your vehicle or the other motorists involved are hurt.
- Move to a safe spot. If staying where you are puts you in danger of being hit by an oncoming vehicle, try to move to safety. If your vehicle is safe to drive, move it to the side of the road, particularly if leaving it in the road causes a hazard. If it is unsafe to move, leave it where it is and get to a safe spot.
- Call 911. This is crucial, regardless of how serious the accident may be. Dispatch will send an officer to the accident scene, where they will document the scene and fill out an accident report. If there are injuries, an ambulance will also be sent to the scene and transport injured victims to the closest emergency room. You can obtain a copy of the accident report to send to your insurance company when you begin the claims process.
- Exchange information. Make sure that you exchange the following information with the other motorists involved in the accident:
– Contact information
– Insurance information
– Driver’s license and license plate numbers
– Information about the vehicles involved
– Location of the accident
- Document the scene of the accident. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you obtain as much evidence as possible about the scene of the accident, including the following:
– Ask for the names and badge numbers of the responding officers
– Obtain a copy of the police report
– Take pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks, the vehicles involved, traffic lights, and road damage
– Ask for the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen
- Contact your insurance company. Your insurance agent can let you know what you will need for them to process your claim, as well as what to expect during the claims process.
Collecting Compensation After a Car Accident
Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that any driver who is considered even slightly responsible for an accident is prohibited from receiving compensation. However, if the other driver is 100 percent at-fault, you may collect damages for economic damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage, as well as non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Car accident insurance generally covers a certain amount of property damage, as well as injury costs. To ensure that you receive the maximum compensation, it is highly recommended that you obtain additional insurance, including the following:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): While not mandatory in Maryland, it ensures that you will receive at least $2,500 in coverage.
- Collision Coverage: This is also optional, but it covers damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident.
- Rental Car Coverage: This will pay for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired, or if you need to purchase a new vehicle.
Access answers to frequently asked questions regarding motor vehicle accidents in Maryland here.
Locations We Serve
At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamitlon, we represent those injured in all types of car accidents throughout the greater Baltimore area and surrounding counties, including but not limited to:
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Results for Your Car Accident Claim
If you are injured in a car wreck in Maryland, call the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. We are available 24 hours a day to respond to injured accident victims. Our firm handles auto accident cases on a contingency basis, so you owe us nothing until we recover damages on your claim. Your complete satisfaction is our law firm’s primary concern. For a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.