Baltimore Car Accident Attorney
Ken C. GauveyPersonal Injury Attorney
Most of us drive every day. We drive our cars to work, to the grocery store, we drive our children to school and to playgrounds. We take it for granted that we will arrive at our destination safely. Most of the time, we do.
Unfortunately, however, automobile accidents also happen every day. Every year thousands of people are injured or killed in Maryland because of an automobile accident. If an accident has affected you or one of your loved ones, you may incur emergency medical expenses and require ongoing treatment and physical therapy. You may miss time from work. Your vehicle may require repairs or be totaled. Your health and wellbeing might be affected forever. The driver who caused the accident will be represented by a lawyer. His lawyer’s job is to minimize what the insurance company pays you for your injuries and damages. If you want to receive what you are entitled to, you should also have a lawyer, one who will advocate on your behalf to make sure that you are treated fairly.
The Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey will see to it that you receive every penny you are owed.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Baltimore, MD
If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Right after the accident, move your vehicle to a safe place if you can.
- Contact the police. Even if it seems clear that the other driver is responsible for causing the accident, a police report can be invaluable in obtaining a fair resolution of your claim later on.
- Gather information from the other driver. Get his name, address, phone number, the name of his insurer, the license plate number of his vehicle, and the make and model of his vehicle. Write down the name, address and phone number of any witnesses to the accident. This includes passengers in all of the vehicles involved. Write down the time of the accident and its location. Get the name and badge number of any police officers at the scene, as well as the police report number, if possible.
- If you have a smartphone, take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved.
- Take care of yourself and other people involved in the accident! It rarely makes sense to decline emergency medical care. Remember that in the aftermath of a collision you may not realize how serious your injuries are. Go to the emergency room. If you absolutely cannot do that for some reason, make an appointment to see your family physician as soon as you can.
- When you speak with the police officer, tell him what you observed before, during and after the accident. Don’t guess or speculate. If you can’t remember something, or aren’t sure, it’s best not to venture a guess.
- Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. Be prepared with the information you gathered at the scene.
- Understand that you may be entitled to certain insurance benefits from your own insurance carrier. In Maryland this may include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, coverage for expenses related to a rental vehicle, and coverage for repairs to your vehicle. You may also be entitled to coverage if the other driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance coverage.
- Keep a file or a notebook. Keep track of your expenses, of conversations with the other driver or his insurance carrier, doctor’s appointments, and so forth. The days and weeks after an accident can be a confusing time. Don’t rely on your memory. Keep this information all in one place for safe keeping.
- Retain a lawyer right away! The other driver’s insurance company will want to interview you about the accident, and whatever you say can and will be used against you to try to defeat your claim. The Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey will immediately start working for you to protect your interests.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Recover After an Baltimore Car Crash?
In Maryland, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Property Damage. This includes damage to your vehicle and to other property if you can prove it was damaged in the accident.
- Lost Wages. If you miss time for work because of the accident or because of the time you must spend recovering from your injuries or seeing medical doctors, you may be paid for wages you lost.
- Medical Expenses. If you incur medical expenses and bills for healthcare treatment, you are entitled to be compensated for your expenses. This is true EVEN IF YOUR HEALTHCARE INSURER COVERS YOUR EXPENSES.
- Pain and Suffering. You most likely will experience physical pain after the automobile accident. For some people, pain and other symptoms will continue for many years, or for the rest of their lives. You may recover compensation for your pain and suffering and for any permanent disability or disfigurement you experience as a result of the accident.
Yes. Under Maryland law there is a “cap” on the amount of damages that may be awarded for “non-economic” injuries such as pain and suffering. The cap does not apply to “economic” injuries such as wages lost. A jury is not told about the cap when it is asked to render a verdict in your case. However, after the verdict is reported the judge is required to reduce any sum awarded for non-economic damages to the sum permitted by the cap statute. The amount of the cap is determined based upon the date on which the cause of action arises (for example, the date of an automobile accident).
There are other limitations to be aware of. For example, there are certain limitations that apply to damages awarded in medical malpractice cases specifically. Additionally, under federal law, if your health insurer pays for medical treatment related to an accident and you are later awarded (either at trial or by way of settlement) a sum of money for your medical expenses, your health insurer must be paid back. This is known as a lien. Other limitations on damages apply if the defendant in your case is a state or local governmental entity, or an employee of such an entity.
Statute of Limitations on Maryland Car Accident Claims
In Maryland, a claim for injury suffered in an automobile accident must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. It’s best if you act sooner than that, however, because witnesses sometimes move, or evidence or documents may be lost. Contact the Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey as soon as possible after you’ve been involved in an accident to ensure that your right to recovery is fully protected.