Salisbury Car Accident Attorneys
What should I do after getting in a car accident?
If you were hurt in a car wreck or if your loved one was killed in a crash, you are not alone. Hearne & Bailey, P.A., in Salisbury, is available to provide assistance and support as you seek just compensation. Car accidents (also called traffic collisions, auto accidents, road accidents, personal injury collisions, motor vehicle accidents and crashes) kill and injure thousands of people every year. After an auto accident, it is important to discover the true causes of the collision, which may have involved another automobile, a telephone pole, a building or a tree.
Getting in a car accident is a frightening and stressful experience, and it can be hard to think clearly afterwards. But there are several things you should do immediately after getting in an accident:
First of all, if possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, off the road or on the shoulder, where it won’t be in the way of oncoming traffic.
Next, call 9-1-1 to report the incident and bring the police to the scene, if necessary. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may give your report to a police officer in person, or over the phone. Either way, give as much detail as possible and be honest. The police report will serve as a basis for any legal action you take regarding the accident, and will inform any settlement you receive from insurance. Be sure to get the reporting officer’s name, as you may need to contact him or her later on for details about the incident, especially if you decide to go to court.
If necessary, call an ambulance, or if your injuries are more minor, visit an emergency care center immediately after leaving the scene of the accident. Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, you should visit a care center to find out if you sustained any injuries. Often, these don’t manifest until later.
It’s important not to talk about the accident with anyone other than police, medical providers, and your lawyer. Giving a statement to your insurance provider before consulting a lawyer could greatly damage your case.
Finally, before leaving the scene of the accident, ensure that you’ve collected all the contact information for everyone involved, including witnesses to the incident. Get their names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, and the names of their insurance companies.
Starting a claim
There are many reasons why you may not receive a sufficient settlement after a car accident. Most of the time, it’s simply because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to settle for as little as possible, which often means that the settlement they offer won’t be enough to cover all your expenses related to the incident. The at-fault driver may not have insurance at all, or he or she may not have enough insurance to offer a sufficient settlement. Whatever the case, consulting an attorney is the best way to ensure you receive the fairest treatment from the insurance company for your accident. In some cases, an attorney may advise you to negotiate a settlement without taking your claim to court. In other cases, they may counsel you to file a lawsuit.
How is a settlement amount determined?
A settlement must compensate victims of a car accident for all relevant expenses. This can include the price of medical treatment for accident-related injuries, wages lost for time taken off work resulting from the accident, lost earning ability due to injuries sustained in the accident, and, of course, damage done to the vehicle, which may require repairs or replacement. Carefully recording all of your expenses related to the accident will help you recover the right amount.
What are common car accident injuries?
Injuries from car accidents can be temporary, long-term, or even permanent. They may be minor and heal quickly, or they may be heavily debilitating and cause pain for years to come. The most common injuries sustained in car accidents include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, burns, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents can also cause psychological trauma.
How do I know if I have a case?
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident, and the accident was caused by someone else, you may have a case. Whether or not you do depends on a variety of factors, including:
What caused the accident?
Whether or not you have a case depends in large measure on what caused the accident. A common cause is distracted driving; another is driving drunk or driving under the influence of drugs. Car accidents may also be caused by unsafe roads or vehicle malfunctions. If your accident was caused by any of these factors, you should file a personal injury claim after consulting a lawyer.
What is the extent of the damages?
In general, greater damages sustained in an accident means a higher settlement amount. Settlement also depends on the amount of losses you sustained and how effectively you can verify them. As mentioned above, damages can refer to both past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How quickly did you act after the accident?
If you are considering making a claim, you should act as soon as possible, since personal injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time following an accident.
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Accidents
- Frequently Asked Questions: Student Driver Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
Contact an Experienced Salisbury Car Accident Attorney
A personal injury lawyer at our Maryland law firm can help determine the cause of your car accident. Was another driver inattentive? Was he or she distracted by texting while driving? Did an air bag or seat belt malfunction and turn a minor fender bender into a serious accident? Our attorneys are prepared to look hard for the key to success in your case.
Unfamiliarity with the roads and conditions has caused quite a few car and truck accidents involving out-of-towners. Certain areas, such as the intersection of Carroll Street and Route 13 in Salisbury, see more than their fair share of crashes. Traffic congestion is often cited as a factor, but human error is to blame more often than not. Confirming and documenting the cause can help build a strong injury claim or lawsuit.
If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a passenger or a driver, contact us by phone at 410-749-5144. We are here to help and advocate for you.
Hit and Run Accidents in Maryland
Information To Know About Hit and Run In Maryland
Being involved in an accident is bad enough, but when you’ve sustained an injury and the person responsible didn’t even bother to wait and see how you are doing, things can quickly go from bad to worse.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 11 percent of all crashes reported by the police involved at least one driver who leaves the scene of the accident. For that reason, when you have been involved in a hit and run accident and want to make a successful personal injury claim, you must be sure to follow due procedure.
How Most Hit and Run Accidents Occur
About 58 percent of all fatal hit and run accidents occur on a weekend (from Friday to Saturday) between the hours of 9 pm and 3 am. Accidents that occur around this time of the night are commonly believed to be caused drivers performing some sort of illegal activity such as drinking, texting, or being under the influence of drugs while driving.
While most hit and run accidents are direct collisions, they can occur indirectly as well. This type of accident occurs, for example, when a driver cuts off the vehicle behind them, causing another accident. The driver causing the chain reaction may continue driving, not knowing that their negligence has just resulted in a fatal accident. Some might know this, and yet, still drive off simply because their car was not damaged.
There are certain protocols that have been put in place whenever an accident happens in the state of Maryland. A driver that commits a hit and run offense are in direct violation of these protocols. The DMV breaks these protocols down into the following steps:
- Both drivers involved in the car accident should pull over
- They are both expected to assess the damage done
- They are also to administer help in any way they can to one another
- They should contact the authorities i.e. 911
- They should exchange information which will help settle insurance issues etc.
In the case of a hit and run, where the driver at fault is nowhere to be found, it is important for you to first get yourself to safety, then contact the authorities and try to piece together any information you can remember.
Common Accidents Resulting from Hit and Run Car Accidents
Hit and run car accidents, like every other road accident, can result in life-threatening injuries that are both emotionally and financially draining. These accidents can occur at both high and low speeds, and the level of impact will differ considerably depending on a variety of factors.
Nevertheless, the most common types of injuries associated with a hit and run road accidents include:
Neck injuries: Whether you’re using a seatbelt or not, your neck is one area of your body that is most prone to injuries. One of the most common types of a neck injury sustained is whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. These symptoms can last for up to a year.
Head injuries: Another common occurrence in hit and run accidents. Concussions are very common, and could lead to long-term memory loss in some extreme cases. In addition to this, more life-threatening situations could arise from a sustained head injury, such as internal bleeding.
Back and spinal cord injuries: The risk of undergoing numerous surgeries, chronic back pain and even stroke make back injuries associated with car accidents very serious.
You will need an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe you suffered a head, neck or back injury as a result of a hit and run accident that occurred and want to seek compensation for your injuries.
What to Do When You Are the Victim of a Hit and Run
Unfortunately, there is often nothing you can do to prevent an accident from happening. What you can do instead is plan ahead, and know necessary steps and actions to take after an accident.
When you are the victim of a hit and run accident and you intend on filing a personal injury or insurance claims, you should consider taking the following steps:
- Call the authorities: It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, so the first thing you should do is to call 911. Wait for the police to arrive and give them your statement. They will create a police report and begin an investigation into the accident.
- Gather evidence: Try to remember as many details as you can about the offending vehicle. If there are witnesses around, speak to them and see what they remember, and collect their details to act as witnesses if you bring your case to trial.
- Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced attorney to advise you on filing a claim for your injuries and financial loses. Another benefit of getting an attorney is to increase your chances of getting compensation.
- File a claim: If the investigation was able to yield any positive results and the responsible party was traced and apprehended, then you may be able to file a claim against the person. But when this is not possible, the state of Maryland treats such cases as an uninsured motorist (UIM) case. This coverage allows you to file a claim against your own insurance policy.
In instances where filing a claim against both the responsible party and the uninsured motorist coverage is impossible, a third option is the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). The MAIF is a publicly-funded insurance that people who have either been turned down by other insurance companies or involved in a hit and run situation can turn to. You will need a lawyer if you want to successfully claim this insurance fund.
Contact Us Today
At Hearne & Bailey, P.A., we have years of experience in handling hit and run collisions and are able to answer all your questions and concerns. We have an excellent track record of helping victims get duly compensated, and we will work to do the same for you too. Contact us at 410-749-5144 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Accidents
Maryland Auto Accident FAQs
Accidents can cause panic and commotion—unforeseeable in most normal circumstances—all because they were unexpected. When faced with accidents, people often make very important decisions poorly due to a lack of proper information. If you or a loved one are the victim of a car accident, then you can possibly be compensated thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars depending on the circumstances and the extent of your injuries.
However, the key to a successful auto accident claim is taking the right steps after the accident occurs. Based on our decades of collective experience, as well as a survey of common concerns amongst our former clients, the attorneys of Hearne & Bailey are pleased to present to you the most Frequently Asked Questions about car accidents in the state of Maryland.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Confusion often sets in after a car accident. The first thing to do after a car accident is to get to a safe place and check for any injuries on your body. Whether you have sustained an injury or not, try and call 911 immediately. If you have sustained an injury, do not take any actions that may aggravate it further—we recommend finding somewhere safe and relaxed to recuperate and begin noting important details pertinent to your case.
While waiting for the police and the ambulance, if you are physically able to (and if the other driver didn’t commit a hit and run), approach and chat with the other driver to find out if they’ll admit to causing the accident or not. At this point, it is critical to begin collecting as much evidence as possible, noting the road and weather conditions, the names of those involved, tag numbers, insurance information of everyone involved, and the names, statements, and contact information of any eyewitnesses. If you can, try to take as many pictures as you can on your mobile phone. All of this evidence will come in handy when building your case because it can help you to prove the other driver’s fault in court in the event that they decide not to settle.
Should I Talk to the Police When They Arrive?
Absolutely. As long as you have done nothing wrong and are solely the victim, feel free to speak with the police. The police report containing your statement and that of the other driver’s will be collected and used as part of building a case against the at-fault driver. The police report will prove to be a useful piece of evidence in proving the other driver’s negligence, and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
When talking to the police about your injuries, however, be careful with what you say. Remember that the police report can work both ways; for example, if you tell the police you have no injuries and that you feel fine in the initial report, only to be diagnosed with a concussion a few days later, you may not be able to receive full compensation for that injury in your case. Concussions resulting from whiplash, head and neck injuries are very common and not readily discernable immediately after an accident, so it is advised that you tell the police you cannot give a definite answer until you receive medical attention.
Should I Tell My Insurance Company about the Accident?
You are obligated to cooperate with your insurance company and provide them with all relevant information related to the accident. Most insurance companies, in fact, require policyholders to report any car accident—no matter how minor—in a timely manner. Many of these insurance companies even go a step further to ensure that policyholders who do not report any auto accident in a timely manner risk the loss of coverage for the accident.
When discussing the accident with anyone, you should avoid making any verbal remarks as to who was responsible for the accident, as something you accidentally say might make you appear partially negligent; instead, you should only relate the facts surrounding the accident to them. We encourage you to contact us before providing any sensitive information to your insurance company or to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Additionally, you should NOT talk to the at-fault’s driver’s insurance company—under any circumstances—without a lawyer present.
Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver for the Accident?
Yes, you can and you should. Every driver has a duty to pedestrians and other motorists to be responsible and not behave in a negligent manner. Certain negligent behaviors that drivers are expected to avoid includes:
- Distracted Driving: This is a common cause of road accidents across Maryland. Texting, eating, or making a phone call while driving are all examples of distracted driving behaviors that result in accidents. Driving when tired—thereby resulting in sleeping behind the wheel—is also an example of distracted driving.
- Driving Under the Influence: Another common cause of road accidents across Maryland. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is against the law and punishable with years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
- Reckless Endangerment: This includes speeding, tailgating, failure to indicate before breaking or making a turn and other aggressive and reckless driving behaviors can all be categorized under reckless endangerment.
Whenever it can be proven that a driver is guilty of any or all of these negligent behaviors, he or she will be held responsible for any resulting accident. An investigation will take place to determine which party is at-fault, but be assured that Hearne & Bailey’s attorneys have the experience necessary to prove the other driver is at-fault, and are committed to helping you claim the compensation you rightfully deserve.
What kind of damages can I expect to recover from the at-fault driver?
Whether or not you were injured in an auto accident, the fact still remains that it is an emotionally and financially draining situation; as a result, when suing the at-fault driver, he or she can be held liable for any of the following damages:
- All past and future medical expenses;
- All past and future lost income;
- All the costs associated with alleviating the pain and suffering resulting from the injury; and,
- All past and future vehicle repair or replacement expenses.
Additionally, when a driver is found to have intentionally and willfully caused an accident through gross negligence, then it is possible to collect further compensation in the form of punitive damages as well.
The at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. Is there anything else I can do?
Yes, there is. You can file a claim against your own insurance company as part of your uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM or UIM) coverage. It is quite unfortunate that many people drive around Maryland without insurance, and it is even more unfortunate that these people are often the ones who drive the most recklessly.
What are my claims options if I am a passenger in the accident and not the driver?
If you happen to be a passenger and not the driver, you might feel you have no way to claim any form of compensation. But don’t worry—if you happen to be a passenger and were injured as a result of a negligent driver, you can be compensated.
Regardless of whose car you are in, when an accident occurs, you are automatically entitled to file a claim against someone. Contacting a personal injury lawyer will give you all of the information necessary to make an informed decision, and they can help you know the right person to file your claim against. Contact us today for a free, no-strings-attached consultation to discuss your case if you were injured as a passenger in a car accident.
Can I seek damages if the other driver’s negligence caused a loved one’s death?
This is referred to as a “wrongful death” action, and it is quite similar to a personal injury case. If a loved one was killed as a result of a negligent driver’s actions, then you should contact us today to discuss the next steps towards filing a wrongful death action, in which you and other family members will be known as wrongful death claimants.
Wrongful death claimants are the rightful beneficiaries entitled to receive compensation for damages against the victim in a wrongful death case. In order to file and win a successful wrongful death claim, an attorney must be able to prove that the driver was negligent and caused the accident that resulted in a wrongful death, and more importantly, that the wrongful death claimants suffered a huge loss due to their financial and emotional dependence on the deceased.
Is there a statute of limitations to filing a personal injury lawsuit as a result of a car accident?
Yes, there is but it differs from state to state. In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitation is three years. This means that you have three years from the time of the accident to file a claim in the proper venue. If you are thinking about filing a claim, speak to one of our experienced lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you after a car accident.
Frequently Asked Questions: Student Driver Accidents
All You Need To Know About Being Hit by a Student Driver
Humans are infallible and prone to making mistakes, even if those mistakes result in car accidents. This is especially true when it comes to learning how to drive, as accidents are bound to occur if the necessary precautions are not taken.
Things can quickly get complicated when those learning to drive (referred to as student drivers) causes an accident while partaking in their driving lessons alongside their instructor. When that happens, who should be held responsible for the damages and injuries caused by the student driver? Is it the student driver, the driving school, or the driving instructor?
Unfortunately, there isn’t necessarily a straightforward answer. Liability claims vary on the peculiarities of this type of accident, and determine if a claim is to be brought against the driving instructor, the driving school or the student driver.
Below are some examples of when each party would be liable in an accident:
When is the Student Driver at Fault?
Student drivers are not expected to be experts on the road, but they do have a certain measure of obligation to drive in a reasonably safe manner on all roads and highways.
They are expected to obey traffic signals, stop signs, speed limits, check before changing lanes, and obey other road rules. If a student driver fails to adhere to such rules, and was not driving in a reasonably safe manner as a result, they can be held liable for any injuries or damage caused by a car accident.
The lawsuit or claim brought against the student driver when seeking compensation follows the legal theory called negligence. This is because student drivers are expected to show the same level of care or precaution expected of regular road users.
If the student driver is uninsured, you can seek compensation directly; otherwise, you can seek compensation from their insurer if they have an insurance cover. If the student driver is a minor, which is likely the case in Maryland, you can seek compensation from their parents or guardian.
When is the Driving Instructor at Fault?
The driving instructor is the person supervising the student driver and is expected to have control of the vehicle to an extent; as such, the same laws—such as not drinking while driving or using a mobile phone—that apply to every driver are applicable to the instructor too.
The driving instructor has a duty to watch for road hazards, prevent the student driver from dangerous driving, and intervene in an emergency situation. If the instructor fails on his or her duties and an accident occurs as a result, the instructor will be held liable.
Usually, the vehicle for the driving lessons is a dual control car, which gives the driving instructor the ability to prevent accidents to some extent; for instance, a driving instructor who was distracted by their phone while their student driver ran a red light or went over the speed limit could be regarded as negligent.
Is the Driving School at Fault?
The driving school could also be held liable for an accident, as could the owner of the car used in learning to drive in cases where it is not a formal school.
When a driving school is liable for accident damages, there are three options available to use in pressing charges; namely, unthorough hiring procedure, vicarious liability, improper maintenance of vehicles.
- Unthorough Hiring Procedure: Driving schools are responsible for ensuring that their employees are both competent and law-abiding in their duties. If they employ someone who has a history of bad road practices, tickets, DUI, or has been involved in an accident caused by their reckless driving, then the driving school can be sued in the event of an accident.
- They must also ensure that their employees meet the age requirement and have the appropriate driving license needed to drive the type of car being used i.e. manual or automatic. It is also the responsibility of the driving school to ensure that the driving instructor has had their license for a specified number of years.
- Vicarious Liability: Since the driving school is responsible for managing and training employees, they are vicariously liable for their employees. As such, you could file an insurance claim against the driving school or a personal injury lawsuit against them for the actions of a liable instructor.
- This is especially true if the employee(s) involved were either negligent or reckless and could have prevented the accident by paying more attention. Another reason this type of proceeding works is because the driving school has a legal duty to ensure proper training and management of its employees.
- Improper Maintenance of Vehicles: The cars sent out by the driving school must be well-maintained and meet the requirements for putting a car on the road or a highway. If the car has improperly maintained brakes, tire issues, engine issues, malfunctioning headlights, and the faulty car causes an accident, then you may bring a claim against the driving school.
- Improper maintenance of vehicles is also applicable if the party involved was an individual car owner. If the car used is not road-worthy, you can easily press charges because the vehicle used in teaching the student driver posed a reasonable risk that endangered other road users.
Taking Legal Action
With all these possible legal claims that could be made against the driving school, driving instructor or student driver, it could still be a little tricky trying to figure out who is responsible and the appropriate legal course of action to take. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney will enable you to understand the possible options and most importantly, ensure your legal rights are well-protected.
In the event of an accident in which you can still move, we suggest you take pictures of the accident scene, the damage that was done to the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Also, collect the insurance information of the student driver and the driving school. Finally, visit the doctor if you sustain any kind of injury. All of this evidence will come in handy when making your claims.
Contact us today at 410-749-5144 for a free consultation to discuss your possible legal options if you or a loved one is in an accident involving a student driver.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Maryland
All You Need To Know About Drunk Driving Accidents in Maryland
Every year, the United States sees thousands of vehicle-related accidental deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving is responsible for nearly one-third of vehicular accidental deaths across the country.
In Maryland, there were about 6,266 impaired driving accidents that resulted in 1,920 injuries and 160 deaths in 2015, based on data provided in the 2017 Maryland Impaired Driving Prevention Program Area Brief. When taking the CDC’s data into account, approximately 53 deaths and 634 injuries sustained in vehicular accidents were caused by drunk driving.
To be a responsible driver who won’t put other motorists and pedestrians in danger, a fair amount of focus and self-control is required. However, alcohol impairs the brain’s ability to process information and self-control behind the wheel, thus increasing the odds of an accident occurring due to a lapse of focus and judgment.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our personal injury lawyers are here to assist you. We have dedicated our careers to helping people like you fight to recover the compensation they deserve for both physical and emotional injuries, while also working to hold the drunken drivers responsible for the devastation they’ve caused. Contact us today at 410-749-5144 to schedule a free, no-obligations consultation to discuss your options after a drunk driving accident in Maryland.
Adverse Effects of Alcohol on Driving Ability
It is inevitable to go out and have fun, but it is important to exercise caution especially when driving. Drinking alcohol affects the brain in several ways, which combine to impair the driver’s ability to drive. Some of the effects of alcohol include:
- Reduction of the brain’s ability to function;
- Impaired thinking and cognitive abilities of the driver;
- Inhibited reasoning, and therefore, impaired response time of the driver; and,
- Reduced muscle coordination, thereby limiting the capability of the driver
When alcohol enters the body, it passes from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. There, it accumulates until the liver metabolizes it, which is usually when the effects become visible. The volume of alcohol in the blood is referred to as blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and depending on how high the driver’s BAC is, alcohol affects driving abilities in different ways.
- A BAC of 0.02 causes reduced visual function and difficulty in performing more than one task at a time. Drunk drivers who are distracted by texting have a 90% chance of being involved in an accident.
- A BAC of 0.05 causes a decline in coordination and ability to track objects that are moving, thereby reducing the driver’s response time to sudden hazardous driving scenarios, and leads to difficulty steering a vehicle that may result in an accident.
- A BAC of 0.08 causes reduced concentration, speed control and information processing, as well as loss of short-term memory in the driver.
- A BAC of 0.10 causes a combination of all previous adverse effects, and further prevents the driver from braking and staying in their lane properly.
- Finally, a BAC of 0.15 causes obvious impairment of control over the vehicle. A driver with this much alcohol in their system will pay less attention to driving tasks and process auditory and visual driving information at a much slower rate than a sober driver.
Drunk Driving Laws in Maryland
All across the country, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if your BAC is above 0.08. Nevertheless, approximately 1.1 million drivers nationwide were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics each year.
Anybody convicted of Driving under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) in Maryland will likely face criminal penalties, license restrictions, and possibly even require the use of an ignition interlock (II) device. Additionally, those convicted of drunk driving may also be required to go through an alcohol abuse assessment program. The following are criminal penalties and license restrictions that come with a DWI conviction:
- First offenders will pay up to $1,000 in fines, face up to one year in jail, 12 points against their driving record, and license revocation for six months.
- When convicted a second time, the offence carries up to $2,000 in fines, two years in jail (with a mandatory sentence of five days), 12 points against their driving record, and license revocation for one year.
- If convicted twice in a five-year period, penalties include a mandatory license suspension and several thousands of dollars in fines. Note also, that drivers under 21 years of age will face a two-year license suspension.
Since Noah’s Law went into effect in 2016, anyone convicted of either a DUI or DWI is required to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program. This requires an ignition interlock device to be installed on the offender’s vehicle for a defined period of time. Once installed, the device prevents the vehicle from being operated whenever alcohol is detected on the individual’s breath.
What Happens if You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver?
This is a common question for victims of drunk driving accidents. If you or a loved one happen to be victims of a drunk driving accident, it is critical to know what steps to take next. As in other vehicular accidents, a drunk driving accident will also rely on the insurance coverage of both parties involved (i.e., the victim and the drunken driver).
The first step to take after a drunk driving accident is to hire a lawyer, who will help establish the insurance coverage necessary for your injuries. It is important you contact experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers to help you with seeking proper compensation from the drunk driver, because their insurance company will get the best lawyers in order to ensure that they don’t have to pay a cent for your injuries.
Settlement after Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
Even though the insurance company of the drunk driver would rather not to pay any compensation, the truth is that most car accident cases will settle; in fact, 90% of accident claims are settled without having to file a lawsuit, saving you time and money.
To settle means the insurance company for the drunk driver is willing to compensate the victim financially. In order to get a settlement, however, you must first establish liability, one of the key elements of your case that will ensure the drunk driver is held accountable for their actions.
Determining liability is why it is important to have a seasoned lawyer on your side. To ensure you receive a settlement, your lawyer must immediately begin the process of proving who was at fault—or, who caused the accident—as a result of being impaired by alcohol. Keep in mind that the presence of alcohol or narcotics doesn’t immediately establish liability; however, if the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, it is safe to say that liability can be proven in most instances.
What If Your Car Was Totaled By The Drunk Driver?
There are several scenarios in which you could be involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. You could be walking as a pedestrian when the accident occurred, or you could be in your own car when the accident happened. If it was the latter scenario and your car happens to get totaled, you may suffer a number of personal injuries in the process as well.
As mentioned above, contacting a personal injury lawyer and discussing your options should be your first action following an accident. The drunk driver at fault will most likely have insurance, and therefore be responsible for repairing or replacing your vehicle.
What If You Were Hit By a Drunk Driver with No Insurance?
If you happen to be a victim of a car accident with a drunk driver without any form of insurance, then your insurance company will be the responsible for covering your damages and injury costs. Additionally, your insurance company can sue the at-fault party, i.e. the drunk driver, to recover the cost they paid for your damages and injuries.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driving accident, then you need to discuss your options with experienced lawyers immediately. You deserve compensation for your injuries and the damages to your car.
Contact Hearne & Bailey today at 410-749-5144 to schedule a free consultation.