From the moment of impact, your life is changed forever. Motorcycle accidents are almost always more severe than car accidents, frequently resulting in serious injuries and, in a lot of cases, the loss of your bike. Motorist insurance will cover some of the costs, but keep one thing in mind: the insurance companies are not on your side and will try to avoid paying a claim.
Your actions after a Maryland motorcycle accident could mean the difference between receiving compensation or walking away with bills and injuries that could last a lifetime.
Here’s a look at what to do after a motorcycle accident, and just as importantly, what not to do.
DO: Report the Accident
If the other party is insisting on handling the claim privately, you may be tempted to not report the accident. No matter what the other party says about payments and settlements, always report the accident to have a legal police document regarding the incident. Evaluate yourself and the other driver, and call for emergency medical services if necessary.
DO NOT: Drive Away
Leaving the scene of an accident is a big no-no that will land you in legal trouble. Stay at the scene and await police, even if the other party leaves or insists that notifying the authorities isn’t necessary.
DO: Collect All Information
You don’t need to wait on the police for this step, provided it is safe to communicate with the other driver, your injuries aren’t severe, and you are both calm. Make sure to take pictures of the car, your bike, and the other party’s license, registration, and insurance information. If possible, snap a few pictures of the entire car, not just the damaged areas, to protect yourself from fraudulent claims of damages after the incident.
DO NOT: Underestimate The Severity of Your Injuries
Even if you are walking around following the accident and feeling unhurt, it’s good practice to have a followup with a physician within a day or two of the accident. Many injuries aren’t felt immediately, and will worsen over time. Not having a doctor evaluate your injuries as soon as possible following the accident can interfere with the damages you are seeking following a motorcycle accident in Maryland.
DO: Seek Witnesses
Finding a witness to the accident will help you prove your claim. Make sure to get the witness’ contact information, and inform the police that there is someone who can verify the details of the accident.
DO NOT: Claim Fault
It’s a tricky situation; the natural instinct after an accident is to apologize. Try to avoid generalizations such as “I’m sorry,” and never say anything that could be construed as claiming fault, like “I wasn’t looking” or “I didn’t see you.”
DO: Notify Your Insurance Company
Regardless of fault, your insurance company needs to be notified about the incident. It’s your responsibility to file a claim, even if it “seems” obvious the accident was the other party’s fault.
DO NOT: Talk Directly to The Other Party’s Insurance Company
It’s important not to engage with the other driver’s insurance company without a legally prepared statement. Remember that insurance companies aren’t on your side, and a claim can be denied based on something you inadvertently said or implied.
DO: Get Legal Help Immediately
A lot of things are going on after a motorcycle accident in Maryland, and it’s an overwhelming process full of potential mistakes that could result in your claim being denied. It’s important to retain legal counsel immediately after the accident to protect your legal rights.
DO NOT: Hire an Inexperienced Attorney
Not all attorneys specialize in personal injury and accident litigation. It’s important to find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent you, handling the insurance companies and paperwork for you to ensure you are properly compensated.
DO: Call Arthur C. Crum, Jr.
Arthur C. Crum, Jr. is a practicing motorcycle injury lawyer, serving areas of Western and Central Maryland including Frederick, Hagerstown, Frostburg, and more. To discuss your case, call the law office of Arthur C. Crum, Jr., today. We offer free consultations and there are no legal fees or costs unless we recover for you. Contact us at 301-662-4088.
Nothing can take away the pain of losing a loved one, but the victim’s family members may be eligible to sue for damages relating to the loss. Wrongful death claims are the avenue for recouping all losses, financial and otherwise, related to the incident, vehicle accident, or motorcycle crash that led to the death of an individual.
The term “wrongful death” indicates a death caused by the negligence of another person. This applies to someone who caused a fatal accident, or even a mechanical defect or malfunction that led to the victim’s death.
Motorcycle Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims: What is Covered?
After a motorcycle accident, wrongful death claims can be filed to cover a wide variety of expenses and losses. Some of these include:
- The victim’s hospital and medical care prior to death
- Lost earnings and economic support, both past and future
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim and the victim’s family
- Funeral expenses such as burial and cemetery costs
- Loss of solace, guidance, consortium, and companionship
- Punitive damages that allow the victim’s family to seek justice for the death
Wrongful death settlements are generally paid out by insurance companies, and insurance companies are in no hurry to pay. It’s always better to hire a motorcycle accident attorney rather than try to take on a wrongful death claim on your own.
Motorcycle Accidents & Wrongful Death Claims: Who Can File?
Every state has different requirements and limitations for who can file a wrongful death claim following a motorcycle accident.
Maryland allows these claims to be filed by a parent, child, or spouse of the motorcycle crash victim. These immediate family members are called “primary plaintiffs.”
If the victim had no parents, spouse, or children a wrongful death claim may be filed by any other family member who depended on the victim and is related by blood or marriage. These “secondary” plaintiffs are only qualified to file if there is no primary plaintiff.
It’s important to understand that not all deaths qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to file a wrongful death claim following a motorcycle accident, there are four things that must be proven:
- Negligence: The defendant’s actions caused the death
- Causation: How the negligence caused the death
- Breach of duty: The defendant had a duty to act, and by failing to do so, caused the death (in a motorcycle accident wrongful death suit for instance, the driver if the other vehicle has a duty to drive responsibly and safely)
- Damages: The victim’s loss has placed hardship on the survivors through mental anguish, financial losses, medical bills, burial expenses, etc.
Courts in Maryland will only allow one wrongful death claim to be filed on behalf of the victim. If the decedent had a will, a probate estate must be opened and the estate’s executor can bring the wrongful death lawsuit.
There is a statute of limitations in Maryland; generally, the wrongful death claim must be filed three years or less following the victim’s death. There are some exceptions, but there are very specific guidelines that must be met to qualify for them.
Why do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed in a civil court, not a criminal court. What this means is that the “bar” for proving guilt is set lower than a criminal suit, but the entire process is still quite complex.
The case will go through many stages including discovery and investigation, strategy planning, expert testimony, witness statements, and tort law research specific to proving the incident was caused by the defendant.
Because the suit is heard in a civil court, the success of the suit is based on the quality of the argument and the credibility of the claim rather than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard necessary to prove criminal wrongdoing. For wrongful death suits, the preponderance of evidence standard is applied; this means that evidence presented can convince the court that there is a 50% or greater chance that the claim is true. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney is necessary to build the wrongful death case to ensure that this burden of proof is met.
Sometimes, the legal process can involve mediation and out-of-court settlements. If a settlement is not an option, the suit will move into the courtroom. It’s important to remember that wrongful death settlements are generally paid out by insurance companies, and insurance companies are in no hurry to pay.
A wrongful death lawyer is one who specializes in these claims, protecting the victim’s family and ensuring they receive the compensation they are entitled to. For more on our personal injury, motorcycle accident and wrongful death legal services, see our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us now.
For motorcyclists, spring and the open roads are calling. Warm, dry weather should mean clear roads for bikers, right? Surprisingly though, 63% of motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 occurred between May and September. Weather, it turns out, has less to do with accidents than you might think. Instead, studies suggest it’s the time of day you choose to ride that holds the highest risk for motorcycle safety.
The most dangerous times of day to ride your bike will be rush hour and weekend nights. Your biggest risk for motorcycle accidents are on weekdays between 3:00pm and 9:00pm. Weekend motorcycle accidents occurring after 6:00pm, however, accounted for 48% of motorcycle deaths. That means that the highest concentration of accidents occur on weekend nights.
Hitting the streets during times of sun glare and direct sunlight pose significant risks as well. Sun glare causes hundreds of accidents per year, whether from driving into direct sunlight in the morning hours, or dealing with the light transition as it sets in the evening. Riding at dusk carries increased risks of glare when oncoming traffic begins to use headlights.
Sobering Facts About Motorcycle Safety
You already understand that riding your bike increases your risk of accidents as well as your odds of suffering severe injuries from those accidents. Some sobering facts about motorcycle safety:
- A motorcyclist is 29 times more likely to suffer a fatality than occupants in cars.
- 80% of motorcycle accidents will result in injuries with 45% of those injuries severe.
- Two-thirds of single-vehicle motorcycle (no other drivers involved) accidents occur because of speeding.
- Over 50% of multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents (involving other drivers) happen at intersections.
- 40% of all single vehicle motorcycle fatalities occur at corners and when turning.
- In 2019, 34% of motorcycle fatalities involved sport and supersport motorcycles.
- The fatality rate of sport motorcyclists is twice that of conventional motorcyclists while the death rate of supersport riders is four times that of conventional bikes.
- Drunk driving is responsible for one-third of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Safety On The Road
To stay safe on the road, it’s advised to avoid rush hour and weekend evenings as well as times when sunlight will interfere with your vision. Since this isn’t always possible, here are a few motorcycle safety tips to keep you safe.
1. Wear Protective Gear
Motorcycle helmets can lower your risk of a head injury by 69%, and decrease your risk of death by over 50%. When choosing a helmet, the National Highway Safety Administration stresses the importance of having the right fit.
Always wear sunglasses or protective goggles as well as long pants, boots, gloves, and a heavy jacket. Avoid loose-fitting clothing, and choose bright, highly visible colors. Since the majority of motorcycle accidents happen close to home and on short trips, get in the habit of wearing your protective gear every time you hit the road.
2. Obey Traffic Laws
Stop at lights and stop signs, use your turn signals, and obey speed limits. All traffic laws apply to motorcycles as well as cars.
Drive defensively and always assume that other vehicles can’t see you on the road. This means using extra caution when making lane changes and turns. Try to keep yourself out of a driver’s blind spot, and always be alert to unexpected turns, stops, and lane changes.
Lane splitting for any reason is illegal in Maryland. If you must pass a vehicle, follow the same traffic laws that apply for passing in a car.
3. Avoid Distractions
Distractions when driving in a car are bad enough, but being distracted on your motorcycle can be fatal. When riding your bike, avoid:
- Using electronics
- Adjusting your music while in motion
4. Keep Your Bike Maintained
Routine maintenance of your bike is a crucial part of motorcycle safety. Low tire pressure, cracked hoses, leaking gas tanks, and poorly lubed chains can all result in a situation where your bike fails you, and when it does, it will be at the worst possible time.
Seasonal maintenance is important to keep your bike running safely and reliably.
5. Ride Sober
Motorcycle safety can be complicated enough when you’re sober. Don’t drive drunk, or even tipsy. Accounting for a third of all motorcycle accidents, drunk driving is not just unsafe; it’s illegal.
It’s not just alcohol that can land you in big trouble; Maryland recognizes “Drugged Driving” as cause for a DUI. In other words, a DUI covers any substance that impairs your judgement, slows your response time, and clouds your thought processes.
Stay Safe on the Road
With more bikes gearing up for the warm weather, motorcycle safety is more important than ever. Stay visible, stay alert, and stay safe.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, warmer temperatures mean you’ll be able to take your bike out more often for longer periods of time. Take the time now while the weather is still transitional to do those all-important safety checks to ensure your motorcycle meets all the basic requirements.
Brakes: The ability to stop your bike isn’t really optional, is it? So test the front and rear brakes separately, making sure each feels firm and holds the motorcycle when the brake is pushed down the whole way.
Tires: Good tread is key to driving your motorcycle safely through spring storms and summer thundershowers. Start your tire evaluation by checking the tread on your tires. Look for all types of damage, including cracking and spots where the rubber has dried out. Got good tread? Next, check the pressure in your tires. Keeping the pressure at recommended levels has a big impact on how safely your bike handles.
Lights: Because motorcycle safety depends on visibility, testing your bike’s lights is critically important. Test your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals—and don’t forget your four-way flashers and your dash indicators.
Horn: Alerting other drivers of where you are on the road requires a working horn. Make sure it works before you need it.
Fluids: Read your owner’s manual to be sure you’re filling up and topping off your fluid levels properly, including your oil. Like worn down tire tread, having fluid gauges that are not filled correctly will negatively affect how well your bike handles as well as engine performance.
Controls: Make sure there are no leaks or rust along the lines of your bike’s controls.
Throttle: Make sure your motorcycle’s throttle feels tight and smooth, and that it snaps back when you let go.
Mirrors: Motorcycle safety has a lot to do with controlling the things you can control. Because there’s no way you can be sure a driver is paying attention to you, your safety depends on your ability to keep track of them. So make sure you can see the lane behind you and the lane next to you and adjust your mirrors accordingly. Be sure you can move your mirrors smoothly and ensure that they lock in place.
Helmet & Gear: Once you have your bike road-ready, take a good look at your gear. Your leathers and armor should be free of damage and fit well. Your helmet should be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation and free of cracks and fit snugly. Wearing a helmet greatly increases your chance of survival if you’re in an accident.
Making sure your bike is road-ready for the spring riding season is only part of motorcycle safety. Practicing defensive riding completes the picture. Know the helmet laws—in your state and in any other state you may pass through. Get familiar with license requirements and insurance laws for motorcycles.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to call us or use the form to submit your information for a free consultation of your claim. It’s important to capture any evidence quickly, and to file claims within legal limits.
Most Marylanders didn’t see much snow last winter, but so far, 2021 has more than made up for that. The Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction of a wet, snowy winter for the mid-Atlantic region has been turned into a reality, especially in Frederick and western Maryland– bringing with it more challenges for drivers on the roads.
Driving safety experts say that drivers should prepare for snow and ice on the roads early so that a sudden winter storm isn’t a dangerous surprise. Let’s talk about a few things you can do to be ready to drive safely this winter:
Put snow tires on your car.
Experts recommend you get four snow tires put on your care to give you better traction and maximize your steering/braking ability in the snow, ice, and slush – thus reducing your chances of a car accident.
Check your engine.
Cold weather is hard on your car engine, so pay a bit of extra attention to it to keep it running smoothly this winter. Keep the coolant, oil, and other fluids at recommended levels, either by checking them yourself or bringing your car in for regular maintenance.
Top up windshield wiper fluid.
Visibility in bad weather is critically important, so do your part by replenishing your windshield wiper fluid regularly. Most windshield wiper fluids contain a de-icer as well, which is handy in a sudden ice storm or snow shower until you have time to physically clean your windshield. Road salt, along with additional dirt, slush and grime from wintery roads, can make it especially difficult to see – so keep a spare bottle of windshield wiper fluid on hand in case you run out.
Check regularly for any headlights, signal lights or taillights that have burned out. Strong light signals go a long way to alerting other cars of your intentions on the road, especially in poor visibility.
Have a winter storm survival kit.
You don’t have to live on Mount Washington to run the risk of getting stuck in bad weather or having to sit out a rough spot on the side of the road. Packing the basics like a shovel, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, water, and snacks is a good idea. Add a cell phone charger, jumper cable, flares– even a bit of sand or cat litter to give tires better traction if needed– round out a well-supplied emergency kit.
Falling snow is beautiful, especially if you’re safe at home with nowhere to go. But if you must brave the roads, or if a fast moving storm comes on by surprise – having your car equipped properly in advance will help keep you, your vehicles, and those you are sharing the road with safe and sound.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 11,000 tire-related automobile crashes on our county’s network of roads and highways every year. You might be surprised at how little time it takes to keep up with good tire safety practices.
Do a Regular “Walk-Around”
There can be visible signs of problems with your tires long before the pressure gets out of whack or the treads wear down. While you’re filling your car with gas, get in the habit of walking around your vehicle and looking for signs of damage or nails embedded. Check the sidewalls for any bulges, missing rubbers, or deep scrapes. If you can see a lump or bulge, it often means your tire has a broken cord. If there’s an abrasion or divot out of the sidewall, you are well on your way to what could be a dangerous tire failure.
Monitor Tire Pressure Closely
Low tire pressure is the most significant cause of tire-related accidents. Over-inflated tires can cause premature wear on your tire treads or bulging along the tire walls—which can also lead to tire failure. Newer vehicles have Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that light up on your dashboard if your tire pressure is low, but they do not detect over-inflated tires. That’s why many auto safety experts suggest relying on the old school way of keeping tabs on tire pressure. Keep a stick-style pressure gauge in your car so you can monitor your tire pressure manually at least once a month.
So what’s the right tire pressure for your vehicle? It depends. The recommended pressure for your tires can be found either inside the driver’s side door or in your Owner’s Manual. Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure is best for safety and fuel consumption.
Check for Worn Treads
All tires have a bar in the groove that is molded to a height of 2/32nd of an inch. treads worn to less than that can contribute to tire failure. But who knows what 2/32nd of an inch looks like? Try sliding a penny into your tire treads with the Abraham Lincoln side facing you. If you can see the entire top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.
Watch for Uneven Wear
Uneven wear to your tires sometimes means your vehicle has a mechanical issue, like misalignment or worn suspension. Have your tires rotated every 3,000 to 4,000 miles to prevent uneven wear on tires.
How Old are Your Tires?
Aging tires can potentially cause a tire blowout, resulting in the driver’s loss of control, serious injury, or even fatalities. There is no specific age at which tire problems happen. However, a joint report from Ford, GM, Chrysler, and others—as reported last year by ABC News—urged “all motorists to replace tires that are six years of age or older because of the possibility the rubber in them could degrade and create a dangerous situation in which the tire loses its tread.”
After you replace your tires, continuing to head off dangerous tire failure means keeping up to date with the manufacturer. Register your tires so you can be contacted if there’s a recall on them.
Keep all these safety and maintenance tips in mind to avoid dangerous tire failure—not only will you have a safer experience, you’re also likely to save on fuel consumption.
If you have been in an accident because of tire failure, contact The Law Offices of Arthur Crum for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The best time to learn about what to do in the event of an emergency is before it happens. Just as it’s not very effective to try to piece together what you have seen about doing CPR while you are with someone who has had a heart attack, neither does it make sense to try to remember how you should respond on the scene after you have been in an automobile or motorcycle accident.
We urge you to take a moment now in advance of a vehicle accident to learn and understand the three most important things you can do to preserve evidence that might be helpful before its integrity is compromised.
DOCUMENT. If you are physically able and will not be putting yourself in danger, take photos of the scene and make notes if you can. If you have a smartphone, this will be easier. In addition to using the built-in camera, you can also use the “voice memo” app. Just open it and narrate what happened before, during and after—it can be transcribed later. Focus on documenting the following:
- Physical damage to any vehicles and surrounding structures.
- Injuries you, your passengers, and others have suffered.
- Road debris from the vehicles involved. Knowing how far items from the vehicles involved were thrown from the scene can assist an investigator in figuring out how fast the vehicles were going prior to impact.
- Skid marks on the road and/or any property damage incurred can help determine the angle from which your car may have been struck.
- Witnesses. Look for people who may have seen the accident. Ask them for their names and contact information so they can be contacted if needed. It is often impossible to locate witnesses after they have left the scene, so it’s important to talk to them at the time of the accident.
Again, if you are physically able to do so without putting yourself in danger, taking the time to create this sort of documentation of the accident will give your attorney the information they need to build a strong case if the circumstances demand it.
RECOVER. Your car accident attorney may need to help obtain the following types of information, but recovering it can be critically important in validating your case and defending your insurance claim if needed:
- Video Footage. You may not have ever noticed them before, but many buildings have video cameras integrated into their security system. When it’s likely these cameras recorded your accident as it occurred, this evidence will help your attorney understand what happened and build your case accordingly if it is warranted.
- Onboard E-Data. Commercial trucks and even some newer private vehicles record data electronically such as the speed of the vehicle prior to the crash that we may be able to obtain through legal channels.
CONSULT/HIRE. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to gather, investigate, preserve, and present the evidence needed to represent your vehicle collision claim in the applicable jurisdiction. For example, one thing an attorney may do is send a “letter of spoliation” to the other party involved to keep them from tampering with or destroying evidence. These types of letters frequently request that the other vehicle not be fixed until your legal team has been able to take pictures.
At the Law Offices of Arthur C. Crum, PA, we understand that the period following a vehicle accident is often a challenging time for you and your family. For more than 30 years, we have been helping individuals who have been injured in vehicle accidents to understand the status of their case and the path we recommend to resolve it. This includes meeting with each client to explain the legal process and review the appropriate testimony and documents so that we can have the best chance possible of obtaining all the benefits and compensation they are entitled to under the law.
Arthur C. Crum, Jr. has championed the rights of individuals who have been injured, working to ensure that they are compensated for their loss. As your legal representative, Mr. Crum calls upon more than 30 years of legal experience in cases involving workers’ compensation, serious car accidents, personal injuries, and wrongful death. For more information, call 301-662-4088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1980, Frederick Health Hospice, formerly Hospice of Frederick County, has been caring for members of our community with life-limiting illnesses and their families, and comforting those who are grieving. Thanks to generous community support, Frederick Health Hospice is able to offer a wide range of services that are not reimbursed by insurance but that are much-needed– including a Veterans Support program, grief support for perinatal and infant loss, a camp of grieving children, and support for those whose loved ones have died from suicide or overdose.
Helping our local Hospice provide compassionate care to all who need it without regard for their ability to pay is important to all of us at The Law Office of Arthur Crum. Every year, we are honored to join with dozens of other members of the Frederick Bar Association to help sponsor an Annual Goose Hunt, whose proceeds support Frederick Health Hospice. Held in memory of Judge Herb Rollins and Donald R. Grossnickle, the 9th annual event held in January of 2020 raised more than $243,000 for Frederick Health Hospice.
Over the years, Frederick Health Hospice has expanded in size and scope, but its focus remains the same: to honor each person’s journey through illness or grief with dignified care, compassionate support and gentle guidance. We look forward to doing all we can to continue to support their compassionate work with those in our community who are going through one of life’s most difficult passages.
Some people consider tractor trailer trucks the bullies of the open road. If you’ve ever had one of these big rigs bear down on you while you’re driving up Route 15-North, you might agree. But upon closer examination, more often than not, accidents between tractor trailers and automobiles are the fault of the latter. In fact, research from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration, says that car drivers are at fault nearly 80 percent of fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers.
Even though getting into a car accident with an 18-wheeler is very likely to result in death for anyone driving a car, truck safety training is rarely covered in Driver’s Education classes.
So, educate yourself. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by practicing these five tips for sharing the road with tractor trailers.
- Give Truckers Plenty of Room. Whether you’re passing or driving behind an 18-wheeler, always give them lots of room. These trucks are big, heavy, difficult to maneuver, and due to their expansive surface area, they are also likely to get blown around by the wind– resulting in swerving and unexpected drifts into the next lane over. Big rigs are also prone to tire blowouts. The worst place to be when heavy shards of tire rubber explode onto the highway is tucked up next to the semi-truck’s cab driving 70 mph. Anticipate the danger and steer clear.
- Respect the Tonnage. Tractor-trailers typically carry 80,000 pounds or more, making them roughly 30-times heavier than most passenger vehicles. It takes a fully-loaded semi-truck 4 percent longer to stop than it takes the average car or SUV. Going 65 mph in ideal road conditions, that means an 19-wheeler will take 525 feet to come to a complete stop. Think about that before you decide to slide in front of a semi-truck going downhill, especially in the rain.
- Account for Blind Spots. You know your car has blind spots, but did you know a semi-truck has blind zones, often called “no zones”? A truck’s front blind zone extends 20 feet from the front of a tractor trailer, particularly on the passenger side, while the rear blind zone extends 200-feet behind the vehicle. That means that truck drivers can’t see your car until you are at least 20 feet in front of them or 200-feet behind them. Move through these zones as quickly as you safely can. A good safety check is to look for the truck driver’s face in the side mirrors. If you can see their face, then the driver can see you.
- Pass Quickly & Carefully. When you must pass, remember the passenger side of a semi-truck is a huge blind zone. Always pass on the left, veering as far to the outside part of the lane as you can in case the truck swerves or drifts. Pass quickly, and don’t cut back in too soon. Remember, it can take a fully-loaded truck the length of two to three football fields to come to a complete stop.
- Never Pass a Turning Truck. Despite the sign on almost all 18-wheelers warning that “This Truck Makes Wide Turns,” drivers attempting to pass a turning semi are one of the most frequent causes of accidents between cars and trucks. Be patient, wait for the driver to complete the turn, and then resume driving.
Roads in and around Frederick, Maryland are busy thoroughfares that are now handling far more traffic than they were ever designed to– which can make driving riskier, especially around fully loaded tractor trailers and other speeding vehicles. Avoid distractions, keep your eyes on the road, and drive safely for the conditions. Follow these “share the road” guidelines and do your part to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Vehicle accidents happen when you least expect them, and your commitment to driving carefully and responsibly does not insulate you from becoming the victim of one. It’s sad but true.
In the worst cases, an accident on the road can cause death—yours, or a loved one’s. In a matter of moments, car accidents can also cause injuries, complete with hardships that will affect your life for weeks, months, or even years.
That said, if you have been in a vehicle accident, you have every right to seek an attorney who can help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for the losses and hardship you have suffered. Keep in mind, however, that the law is like the field of medicine. There are specialty areas, and not every practitioner is equally talented or experienced. It’s important to take the time to research a potential personal injury attorney as carefully as you would a physician.
When hiring a personal injury attorney in Maryland after a car accident, here are five things to do:
Meet in Person
We offer a free initial consultation so we can meet potential clients and answer basic questions about Maryland accident law. We take the time to give you an overview of how we imagine proceeding through the system, and give you the opportunity to ensure that you feel comfortable interacting with us.
Agree on Goals
No matter what type of car accident you’ve had, recovering fully from it, both emotionally and physically, will take a team of people. We can be clear, however, that when it comes to recovering the funds to compensate you for losses and damages, the team member you will be relying on is your personal injury attorney.
We will help you recover the money you are entitled to based on the harm the accident has caused you. If this makes you uncomfortable, it shouldn’t. The Civil Justice system is designed to compensate you for the suffering you have experienced and the losses you have incurred. We believe our clients deserve our best efforts to balance out the hardship they have dealt with with monetary compensation.
Recovering damages after an automobile accident is no time to give your nephew who has recently passed the Bar his first chance at representing a plaintiff in a court of law. You need to select a lawyer who has years of experience representing people like you in personal injury cases, specifically cases that involve auto accidents.
A word to the wise: the attorneys with the biggest advertising budget are not your best choices. The lawyers with the billboards along the highway and 24/7 TV commercials are often not the ones who have obtained the best results for their clients—many times because the spokespeople for the firm—who appear to be seasoned veterans of the practice of law—are not the ones who actually handle the case. That critical task may go to the young associates of the firm—remember that nephew who recently passed the Bar? How do you know you know most of your case work is not being done by him, even if a more experienced lawyer actually fronts the case in court? You need an experienced lawyer dealing with your case from beginning to end.
Find Out What Others Say
While these are not foolproof, it’s a good idea to refer to review testimonials. Go to a third-party evaluation site, as the testimonials on your prospective attorney’s website have been hand selected by the practitioners themselves. Do you have a trusted friend who has used the services of a local personal injury lawyer? Ultimately, you are going to need to trust your gut after the initial consultation and your own careful research, but factoring the attorney’s recommendations from others into the mix can be helpful.
Has your prospective car accident attorney received recognition from their peers or national organizations? Recognition from the legal community can be another way to evaluate how well the lawyer is respected in their specialty area. Again, this is not a foolproof gauge, but it won’t hurt to see if your attorney has received any accolades for representing clients in cases similar to yours.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you need an attorney with extensive knowledge of auto accident claims, many years of experience in settling and trying cases, outstanding client satisfaction, and a track record of getting monetary awards for its clients.
Call Arthur Crum at 301.662.4088 or email email@example.com for a free initial consultation and start moving toward the compensation you need to get your life back after a car accident in Maryland.