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April 22, 2024

How to Recover Damages After an Auto Accident Injury

Aside from physical injuries, a car accident can bring financial strains, emotional trauma, and logistical complications to your life. If another driver’s negligence caused your auto accident injury, you have the legal right to seek compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Damages in Maryland

Damages, in a legal context, refer to the financial compensation you may be entitled to if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s actions. After a car accident, you may be able to recover several types of damages.  Maryland law distinguishes between two main categories:

Economic Damages

These are intended to address direct, quantifiable financial losses resulting from the accident.  They include:

  • Medical Expenses: This covers all your accident-related medical costs, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, medication, and any future medical care (Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article § 11-108).
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can claim compensation for lost income and any reduction in your future earning potential (Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article § 11-109).
  • Property Damage: The cost for repairing or replacing your vehicle or other damaged property can be recovered.

Non-Economic Damages

These seek to compensate for intangible losses that are more difficult to put a specific price tag on, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering: This encompasses the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident and your injuries (Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article § 11-108). It may also include compensation for disfigurement or disability, as well as loss of consortium (loss of companionship for a spouse).
  • Inconvenience: You may be able to recover compensation for the inconvenience caused by the accident and the changes to your routine.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or malicious, the court may order them to pay punitive damages. These are not intended to compensate the victim but rather to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. Maryland law places limits on punitive damages in most cases.

What to Do Immediately Following an Accident

The immediate aftermath of a car accident is chaotic and overwhelming. However, certain actions are crucial to protect your health and your right to potential compensation:

Step 1: Seek Immediate Care and Document the Scene

Prioritize your well-being by getting immediate medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor. Call the police to obtain an official accident report, which is crucial evidence. Take detailed photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, and any visible injuries.  Gather the other driver’s insurance information and contact details, as well as information from any witnesses.

Step 2: Consult with a Car Accident Attorney in Silver Spring

A skilled auto accident injury attorney in Silver Spring will guide you through the process, assess the potential value of your claim, and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.  Look for a personal injury attorney with a proven track record and experience in car accident cases. Don’t delay seeking legal representation – the sooner you consult with an attorney, the better positioned you’ll be to secure the compensation you deserve.

Step 3: Build Your Case

Follow your medical treatment plan diligently to document the severity of your injuries. Your auto accident injury attorney will collaborate with you to gather supporting evidence, including medical bills, police reports, witness statements, and proof of lost wages to strengthen your claim.

Step 4: Insurance Negotiations

Let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance company to avoid jeopardizing your case. Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts, but your attorney will negotiate aggressively to secure a fair settlement that covers the full extent of your losses.

Step 5: Filing a Lawsuit (If Necessary)

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney may advise filing a lawsuit. During a trial, your attorney will present your case to a judge or jury to determine the appropriate compensation you deserve.

Maryland has a strict three-year statute of limitations for filing most personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents, so don’t delay in seeking legal counsel. Be aware that Maryland’s contributory negligence laws could potentially impact your ability to recover damages. An experienced  attorney will navigate these complexities on your behalf

Contact Montero Law Group, LLC for Help

At the Montero Law Group, LLC, our Silver Spring lawyers have years of experience in helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Our compassionate attorneys will walk you through every step of the process, fighting to secure compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don’t go up against the insurance companies alone. Contact the Montero Law Group, LLC  today for a consultation to discuss your car accident case.