Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers
Maryland’s leading automobile, truck and motorcycle accident lawyers
Over $100 million recovered for our clients
LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. will give you the decisive edge when handling your claim for personal injury in any motor vehicle accident. Our experience, know-how, reputation, and resources will help win your case. We are very proud of a track record of success. In fact, last year, our lawyers obtained the highest jury verdict in Maryland in an auto accident case (over $4 million). Our record of collecting over $100 million in cash settlements for our clients assures you that LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are the three names you can trust.
Insurance companies do their very best to limit the amount of money you will recover from your accident, often trying to force a quick settlement for much less than you deserve by discouraging you from contacting an attorney. LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. has aggressively and successfully dealt with insurance companies, their adjusters, and defense lawyers since the 1980s.
Whether it’s claiming lost wages, arranging for a rental car, setting up your doctor’s appointments, filing for Personal Injury Protection benefits, going toe-to-toe with the insurance company over property damage, or negotiating a settlement for the maximum value for your injuries, our skilled attorneys will work for you. Our attorneys and staff are committed to providing personalized and prompt service. We will keep you informed and up-to-date as the case develops. Our goal is to exceed your expectations.
If you have been injured in an accident, please contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) to discuss your case with one of our Maryland car accident lawyers. The initial consultation is always free and, of course, there is no fee or expense whatsoever until we win your case. We look forward to including you among our many thousands of extremely satisfied accident clients.
Frequently asked questions about automobile accidents
- My vehicle was damaged in an accident. What do I do?
- Who pays for repairs after an auto accident?
- Can I get a rental car while my car is being repaired?
- How can I best protect my case?
- Will your office refer me to a doctor to treat me for my accident-related injuries?
- How are my medical bills handled?
- What is PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and how does it affect my case?
- Do I still have a claim if my medical bills were paid by insurance?
- What is Maryland’s collateral source rule and how does it affect my case?
- What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and why is it important?
- What if I am struck by a hit-and-run driver?
- How long will the claim process take?
- When will my case be submitted for settlement?
- What is the value of my claim?
- Is it ever too late to submit a claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident and have also sustained property damage or loss, CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY. We will arrange to have your vehicle examined by either your own insurance company or by the “at fault” party’s company as soon after the accident as possible. When necessary, we will work with you to arrange to have an independent body shop prepare an estimate of the repair cost.
If your damaged vehicle was towed to a storage lot after the accident, we will assist you in having your vehicle moved as soon as possible to a repair facility. While the insurance company may give you a few suggestions on where to take your car to be repaired, ultimately you retain the right to take it to the facility of your choice. If the vehicle is not moved, you may incur high storage fees that could be your responsibility to pay since you are under a legal duty to mitigate your damage.
The insurance company, regardless of whether it’s yours or the “at fault” party’s, will pay you the lesser amount between the vehicle’s repair cost and its fair market value. The law does not require the insurance company to replace your vehicle or consider your loan balance. In most cases they will just issue a check made payable to you and the repair facility, your bank, or your finance company. If the repair cost of your vehicle exceeds 75% of its Fair Market Value, the insurance company has the right to declare your car a total loss.
If necessary, you may be able to secure a rental through your insurance company, if you have the appropriate coverage, or through that of the “at fault” party. Some carriers agree to pay the rental company directly, while others may require you to pay for the rental up front and will reimburse you at a later date. Our accident attorneys and staff will assist you with this process.
CALL US IMMEDIATELY!!!
- Do not sign anything without consulting with us first.
- Do not discuss your case with anyone other than us. If anyone asks you questions or requests written information about your accident, tell them to contact us immediately.
- Prepare a brief written statement of the incident as soon as possible. Provide specific and detailed information about the date, time, and location of the incident. Include a diagram that can help to illustrate how the accident or injury occurred. Identify witnesses and provide us with their addresses and telephone numbers so that we can contact them immediately.
- Review the police report of your accident with us. The police report is often the starting point for an insurance company to determine liability. It is important that you review with us the police report and note any errors or discrepancies. If appropriate, we will dispatch our office investigator to get written statements from any witness listed on that report.
- Take color photographs of your injuries. It is essential that we have photos of any bruising, swelling, discoloration, breaks, or bleeding immediately after the incident or as soon after as possible. You should also take photographs of any damage to your car or other property as soon as possible. Provide color photos and/or film negatives to our auto accident attorneys immediately. If you prefer, let us know and we will make arrangements to take the photographs for you.
- Keep all appointments. Write down the names, dates, and times of all your appointments with the doctor, auto body repair shop, or other parties related to the incident/injuries. If you have any activities that you must cancel because of your injuries, please make a note of them.
- Keep us informed of your medical/chiropractic treatment.
- Provide the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all doctors, chiropractors, hospitals, and clinics you visit for evaluation and/or treatment. When you are finished with your treatment, call us at once.
- Keep all bills and receipts. If you incur any additional costs or out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident, it is essential that you forward all receipts and bills to us for review and submission to the adverse insurance company.
- Document lost wages. If you are unable to work due to accident-related injuries, make sure that you ask your doctor to give you a “disability certificate.” Please provide us with a copy of this certificate upon receipt. When you return to work, we will contact your employer and obtain a typed statement on company letterhead documenting your job title, position, dates of absence, number of days you normally worked per week, number of hours you normally worked per day, and your rate of pay, including commission. Finally, the letter should be signed by a company official.
Lost wages will only be considered if your doctor confirms that you are unable to work and your job verifies your absence.
- Scheduling appointments: If we need to meet with you, we will contact you to schedule an appointment. If you wish to meet with us, please call and make an appointment for a specific date and time. We are always ready to answer questions regarding your case, and encourage clients to stay in regular contact with their attorney.
- Contact us if you change your address or phone number. It is important that you contact us at once if you change your address or telephone number or if you expect to be out of town for an extended period of time.
Yes. Choice of physician is always the client’s decision; however, we can, and routinely do, refer clients to physicians. Over the years we have developed strong relationships with many of the premier medical groups throughout Maryland specializing in the treatment of accident victims. These groups readily accept our clients as patients and often work with us on billing issues. Not only do these groups provide our clients with the best possible medical care, but they also work with us to present medical issues in a way that reinforces our ability to maximize the value of the claim.
FILING PIP OR MEDPAY CLAIMS:
If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payment (MEDPAY) under your insurance policy, your insurance company must be notified of the accident. If you do not own a vehicle but live with someone who owns an insured vehicle, you may still be entitled to receive PIP or MEDPAY benefits. Speak with us about your eligibility.
If you would like for us to handle your PIP or MEDPAY claim, we will contact your insurance company to obtain the appropriate claim forms. If you receive these or other related materials, forward them to us immediately. We will complete and execute the documents on your behalf as well as provide all supporting documentation necessary to make the claim.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an optional coverage that you may elect to purchase as part of your own insurance policy. Its purpose is to cover the reasonable costs of accident-related medical bills and/or 85% of your lost wages up to the limits of your PIP coverage. At one time, PIP was a required coverage; however, recent changes in Maryland law allow a policy holder to reject PIP coverage by executing a written waiver. We emphatically recommend against waiving this coverage as the premium charged is nominal compared to the benefits provided. Typically the PIP coverage limit is $2500.00 but it can be for a higher amount at the option of the policy holder. It is important to note that if you do have PIP coverage, a written application for the same must be made within one (1) year of the date of the occurrence or you may be denied all PIP benefits.
In most cases, yes. You are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills regardless of whether or not they have been paid. However, your health insurance company may have a legal right to assert a lien for recovery of medical expenses paid on your behalf through a process called subrogation. You are also entitled to be compensated for other losses, including but not limited to lost earning capacity, scarring, disability, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Maryland is one of the few states to have adopted a “collateral source rule.” Simply stated, the rule permits the insured person to recover for his losses from multiple sources, if available, without offset. In other words, if your health insurance carrier has already paid your accident-related medical bills, or even if those bills have been paid under your PIP coverage, you may still recover for those same previously paid bills from the at-fault driver and essentially collect twice, or in some cases three times, for the same loss.
You may be surprised to know that even though Maryland is a mandatory liability coverage state, a large number of drivers operating vehicles in Maryland at any given time do not have liability insurance coverage. In fact, it has been reported that one in six drivers in Baltimore City lack that coverage. So what is your recourse if you are struck by an uninsured driver? Automobile policies issued in Maryland are required to provide uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage. UM coverage is applicable when the at-fault driver does not have liability insurance coverage or when the existing policy is disclaimed for any number of reasons, including the non-permissive use of the at-fault vehicle. UIM coverage is applicable when the at-fault driver’s policy is inadequate to cover the full extent of your losses but only in the instance where your UM coverage exceeds that of the at-fault driver’s policy limits.
UM/UIM coverage is not restricted to the policy holder only but, in fact, is available to family members residing in the policy holder’s household. It may be available to passengers in the policy holder’s vehicle as well. Making a UM or UIM claim can be complex. Our accident attorneys are thoroughly versed in this area of the law.
A hit-and-run accident is one in which the at-fault vehicle, commonly referred to as a “phantom,” flees the scene. The phrase “hit and run” is not totally accurate nor is it all-encompassing. In fact, under Maryland law, contact between the vehicles is not required if the at-fault driver causes you to lose control and collide with something or someone else. The so-called “phantom” is regarded as an uninsured driver and, and even under these circumstances, you may still recover for your injuries and other losses under the uninsured motorist coverage provided by your own policy.
It is our objective to settle claims as quickly as possible, and many cases are settled within 5 to 8 weeks after discharge from medical treatment. However, each case is unique and has its own timeline. Some cases may proceed to trial, a process that can take a year or more.
Rest assured that we will do everything possible to expedite the resolution of your claim for its maximum value. That is our commitment to you. NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS!
There is a lot to take care of following an accident. Our experienced attorneys will submit your case for settlement as soon as you’ve completed any prescribed medical/chiropractic treatment and we have received all supporting paperwork including medical records, disability ratings, if any, bills, receipts, and, of course, lost wage information.
There is no instant or easy answer to this question. Putting a value on your claim is a complex calculation that depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to the nature and extent of your injury, any permanent disability, the likelihood and cost of future medical care, the type of medical treatment you received and its cost, your economic loss, and how strong your case is from the standpoint of liability.
Once all factors are thoroughly analyzed, we will then be in a position to offer you an opinion regarding the value of your claim for settlement. Of course, the final decision to accept an offer of settlement or to take your case to trial is always yours.
While the vast majority of cases settle for fair value, LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. has an extremely successful Litigation Department. If a settlement offer is rejected for any reason, we will promptly file suit and take the case to court. This is one reason why we are able to obtain top dollar settlements for our clients. Insurance companies know that we have no hesitation to take a case to court. IN FACT, LAST YEAR, OUR FIRM OBTAINED THE HIGHEST JURY VERDICT IN MARYLAND FOR AN AUTO ACCIDENT CASE, OVER $4 MILLION!!!
Yes. In Maryland, in most cases, you have a maximum of three (3) years from the date of the occurrence to file suit. This is called the statute of limitations. In fact, every state has a statute of limitations or a limit on the time in which certain kinds of claims arising from your accident must be brought. Statutes often change, so be sure to contact us for the most up-to-date information.
As a more practical matter, as time passes, memory fades and evidence is lost, making it more difficult to effectively prosecute a claim. We obtain the very best results for those clients who contact us immediately.