Car Accident Injury Claims Can Be Confusing. We Can Help

Have you or someone you know been involved in a car accident? Was any sort of physical injury, property damage, or other time or material inconvenience incurred? If so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.

You can file a claim for many different types of damages. The personal injury lawyers at Houlon Berman can help you understand exactly what kinds of claims you are eligible for and how to get them. Their experience and skill could be the difference between you receiving just and full compensation for your injury and inconvenience or you receiving less than you deserve.

To speak with a personal injury lawyer about your car accident injury claim now, call our offices or contact us online. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

Car Accident Injuries

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence behind the wheel, then you are probably in a position to file a car accident injury claim. There are steps that can be taken at the time and site of the accident, and in the following days, that can make it more or less likely that your claim will be successful.

What to Do After an Accident

Always report:
Be sure to report an accident to the police. An essential part of your claim will be the use of official witnesses and documentation. The most reliable form of documentation from the scene of a car accident is the police report. Police officers are trained in observation and required to get a statement from all parties involved in the accident.  A good report can be a powerful tool for determining liability.

Visit the hospital:
You may also decide to simply see your personal physician after the accident, even if your injuries do not seem too severe. This visit can prove that you were injured in the accident and it is possible that your physician will discover an injury. It is sometimes the case that more serious injuries do not manifest themselves immediately. This initial documented visit to your doctor can lay the groundwork for demonstrating how injuries are causally related to your car accident injury claim.

Make a personal record:
A comprehensive record of the events of the accident, and the following days, can be very valuable. Record what your day was like leading up to, and following, the accident. Make sure to make note of the dates and times you visited with medical professionals. Take note of any pain, physical or emotional, and any time or opportunities that were lost due to the accident.

Value of Car Accident Injury Claims

A personal injury suit is viable when another person, or establishment, causes you injury through negligence.

The value of a claim is determined based on:

  • Medical bills incurred in the past
  • Medical expenses reasonably probable to be incurred in the future
  • Loss of wages and/or earning capacity incurred in the past
  • Loss of earnings and/or earning capacity reasonably probable to be expected in the future
  • “Noneconomic Damages” sustained in the past and reasonably probable to be incurred in the future. All damages for pain, suffering, pre-impact fright, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or other non-pecuniary damages are “Noneconomic Damages”

It is important to remember that there are things you can do, or not do, that will affect the amount of the settlement in a negative way.

Your Own Negligence:
If your own negligence in some way contributed to the accident, then your ability to collect on the car accident injury claim may be seriously affected.

Failure to Mitigate Damages:
This assumes that a reasonable and responsible person will do all they can within their power to limit the financial, physical, and emotional damages caused by an accident. If it can be shown that the victim did nothing, or did very little, and by their inaction exacerbated the damages caused in the accident, the damage award could be significantly reduced.

Vehicle Ownership and Liability

The owner of a vehicle can sometimes be liable for damages caused by an accident even if they were not personally driving the car; though a general rule is that if a person lends a car to a friend or relative, they are responsible for their own negligence. The exception to this rule is called “negligent entrustment”.

Negligent Entrustment:
If you allow a person, whom you know to be unfit, to drive your car, you should be ready to take responsibility for all of their actions. Someone could be considered “unfit” due to many factors, including:

Youth: If you let your 14 year old get behind the wheel you will be fully responsible for them

Inexperience: Allowing a driver with only a learner’s permit to drive unsupervised would revert all liability to you

Intoxication: Letting an intoxicated friend drive your car could make you responsible for their actions

Known recklessness: If you have observed your child, relative, or friend driving in a reckless manner and know that there is a history of reckless conduct, you could be liable for their accident

Sick or injured: Many people seem to underestimate the profound affect being sick or injured can have on their driving performance. Knowingly allowing such a person to operate your car could leave you at fault

Advice for Accident Injury Claims

There are huge numbers of variables that must be considered when determining liability, fault, and award amounts. Without trained legal assistance you may limit your ability to collect an appropriate damage award.

The law firm of Houlon, Berman, Finci, Levenstein, Skok & Sandler has been helping Maryland residents in Potomac, Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, Greenbelt, and College Park collect on their personal injury and car accident injury claims for over 40 years.

Contact us today to talk to a personal injury lawyer.

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