Ten Reasons why you need a Lawyer for a Motor vehicle Accident
If you were injured in a car accident through the oversight of another driver in Maryland, then you have rights under the law. You want to make sure to protect those rights after a car wreck so you don’t end up paying- financially and personally- for someone’s careless driving behavior. In certain cases, when the insurance company is being particularly difficult, you made need to sue to protect your rights, after sustaining an injury. One important thing to bear in mind is that most personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means they earn a portion of what they collect for you. You do not have to pay them anything out of pocket and you generally do not owe any money if your case is not won. This is an important factor to understand as nobody wants to have to pay unexpected legal fees out of pocket. Keep reading for the top 10 justifications why hiring a lawyer after a auto collision will help protect and enforce your rights against the stingy corporate insurance companies.
Limited Time to File: Statute of Limitations Maryland 3 years
1. You have only a limited time to sue: In Maryland, as in many states, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is three years. If you don’t file suit within that time, you relinquish your right to sue forever. Insurance companies are not likely to give you this information because it is against their interest. Therefore, when they drag things out as they normally do, it could become a concern for an unwary party.
Prerequisites to filing suit
2. You may need to abide by certain rules in order to sue. Typically, if the government is a defendant, then
proper notice to the proper government entity is required. States other than Maryland may have additional prerequisites as well. An attorney who is experienced in handling car accident claims in Maryland will know what the laws are and can help you be sure you don’t do anything that thwarts your right to sue the party responsible for your damages.
3. Your insurer may have a different agenda: Most insurance companies try to protect their insureds and to minimize any money they have to outlay; after all, auto insurance companies are a for profit business. Therefore, their interests and your interests as an injured party are not the same. Since your agenda and your insurance company’s agenda do not align, hiring an attorney to reinforce your right is the best way to insure you have an advocate fully in your corner.
Understanding your full array of Injury and Damages as a result of the accident
4. You may not fully understand each of your potential damages: There are a slew of potential damages available to people who are harmed in a car accident. Apart from the medical bills, you may be able to recoup for lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and future damages and medical bills. Your spouse may even have the opportunity to recover for the loss of your companionship if you have become bedridden or otherwise unable to participate in household matters for any period of time. If you don’t hire a legal representative, you may not be aware of all of your legal rights to recovery and the insurance company most definitely will not explain them to you.
Proving legal responsibility
5. Proving responsibility can be complex even with witnesses and a police report declaring the other party is at fault. Proving negligence in court can be difficult. Some defendants go to great lengths to avoid taking simple responsibility for their negligent acts. Since there are many elements that go into winning a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to hire an attorney who understands the law and who can provide references to cases, citations and other sources of law that support your position.
6. The laws differ from state to state: Vehicle insurance and auto accident policies are decided by each individual state. For instance, there are a number of “no fault” states in the US in which you can not sue after a car accident except in special circumstances. Likewise, in some states, you can sue regardless of whether you were partially at fault for the accident (called comparative negligence states) while in other states, like Maryland for instance, if you contributed to causing the accident you can’t sue (called contributory negligence.) A legal representative in your area can help clarify all the nuances of the law within your jurisdiction to you, so you will fully understand all of your legal rights.
Help Settling your auto case outside of Court
7. You have to understand settlement options: The majority of cases settle out of court, which means the defendant or his insurance company is likely to make you an offer. Your attorney can help you understand the ramifications of accepting this offer, since once you accept, you surrender your right to sue forever. He can also help you to evaluate whether settling is the best option in your case or not and whether the offer that is being made is even proper under the facts of your case. This is a crucial issue because fully understanding all your damages and what you can collect for is not always clear.
Understanding the Rules of Evidence as the pertain to Vehicle Law
8. Filing a lawsuit necessitates adhering to intricate rules if you decide to sue, you will have to file the appropriate papers in the court. This is not as simple as heading to the court house and publicizing your intention to sue. A lot of complex rules exist on everything from the font size of the brief to how legal precedent is cited and what evidence is acceptable in court and tips on how to prepare that evidence prior to going to court. You will need a lawyer to guide you through the complicated process of filing suit for a case of any significance, ie. anything that is not a small claim.
9. Proving your case can be even more complex– Just as filing your case is complex, proving your case is even more so as there are distinct rules of evidence that must be complied with. You may be allowed to “discover” particular information from the other side before court, as you prepare your case and you may be limited in the types of witnesses and evidence you can ultimately present. There are even restrictions on the kind of questions and phrasing of questions you ask in court. Furthermore, extensive legal research often must be done to win over the court or jury to side with you. As such, it is very difficult to prove personal injury liability on your own.
10. If you don’t employ an attorney, you might be faced with financial loss– If you don’t sue timely, if you don’t sue for the right damages or sue the right defendants, and if you lose your case as a result of improperly presenting your information, you will be barred from ever suing again. This means you will have exhausted your only chance for recovery and you will be stuck with all the costs and bills as a result of the accident that someone else carelessly caused.