Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
When you’re injured in an auto accident, so many questions arise: Are your injuries permanent? How will they affect your ability to work and lead the life you were expecting to live? How will you pay for the medical bills, especially if you’ll be unable to work for an extended period of time? A qualified Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer will examine every detail of your case in order to answer your questions and get you the settlement you deserve. With the proper legal assistance, you can be fully compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, injuries, lost quality of life and more. In fact, our personal injury attorneys frequently agree on settlements well before a trial even occurs.
- Average Settlement Amounts in Car Accident Cases
- Important Factors in Auto Accident Lawsuits
- Insurance Companies and Maryland Car Accidents
Average Settlement Amounts in Car Accident Cases
It can be extremely difficult to predict the value of a settlement in a Maryland car accident lawsuit because so many factors are at play, including the insurance company, the jury (in case of a trial), the nature of your injuries and much more. The information you’ll find regarding this topic online is often skewed or outdated, which is one reason why it’s so important to consult a Maryland auto accident lawyer as quickly as possible after your crash. Doing so will bring you closer to knowing approximately how much your claim could be worth.
Despite the relative difficulty of predicting a settlement value, it’s still possible to form some basic expectations by examining a few statistics. According to a recent study, the median settlement for all personal injury cases in Maryland is just under $13,000, with 69% of plaintiffs winning their cases. For car accident suits in particular, plaintiffs win 83% of the time with a $12,000 settlement, on average. While the average settlement for a Maryland medical malpractice suit is far higher at over $800,000, only 8% of plaintiffs win in court (an unspecified percentage of plaintiffs settled before going to court).
Although an average settlement of $12,000 may seem negligible in comparison to the trials and tribulations you’ve endured resulting from your car accident, remember that this figure would be much higher if not for unskilled, inexperienced personal injury lawyers who accept the first settlement amount offered by the defendant’s insurance company. These initial offers may appreciate in value by approximately 2,000% by the time the trial comes around, which is why it’s so crucial to have a reputable Maryland auto accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and only agree to the settlement you deserve.
Important Factors in Auto Accident Lawsuits
Average settlements mean very little when you consider that all auto accident cases are unique, and your specific case could have circumstances that elevate your settlement amount well beyond the $12,000 average. The following is a list of factors that a jury will take into account when determining the value of a Maryland car accident, as well as the rightful winner of the suit:
- Who was at fault in the accident
- Whether alcohol and/or drugs were involved in the accident
- The condition of the automobiles prior to and following the crash
- Any potential defenses that could be asserted by the legal defense team
- The ease with which your Maryland auto accident attorney can refute these defenses
- The severity of your bodily injuries, particularly whether they’re permanent
- Your ability to prove that your injuries resulted directly from the crash
- Whether any witnesses observed your accident in progress, and the credibility of those witnesses
- The perceived credibility of both you and the defendant
- The pain and suffering caused to you by the crash
Another important factor that will dictate the size of your settlement is the location of your trial. Typically, juries in rural areas like Baltimore County and Wicomico County tend to award smaller settlements than juries in urban areas such as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. However, it is important that you retain a Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer who is well-versed in taking cases to trial.
Insurance Companies and Maryland Car Accidents
Initially, your auto accident settlement amount will be partly determined by software used by an insurance company. Pain and suffering is one of the primary factors that a jury may account for whereas an insurance company may minimize such damages. This is yet another reason why having an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer, who will explain your injuries and pain and suffering to a jury in the best way possible, is so crucial in personal injury cases such as these in the event a reasonable settlement can not be reached prior to trial.
Some of the specific factors that insurance company software will account for when determining an initial settlement offering include the following:
- The location of the accident and the location of the slated trial
- The overall severity of the crash
- The amount of wages you lost as a result of the crash
- Medical records listing the injuries resulting from the accident
- Any data contributed by your attorney
Insurance software programs look carefully at the injuries you sustained as a result of your crash. The most important factor taken into account is whether your injuries are permanent. However, even non-permanent injuries can lead to fair settlements depending on surrounding circumstances. Your settlement value may also increase if your injuries have been objectively proven through diagnostic testing, which is simple for injuries such as broken bones. However, more subjective injuries such as movement restrictions, depression, anxiety, headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances and muscle spasms are also worth monetary value according to the algorithms used by insurance software.
Finally, the insurance software will examine the specific Maryland motor vehicle accident lawyer you’ve hired in order to determine whether he or she has a track record of accepting early settlement offers or fighting to have the settlement amount increased. Your final settlement amount may ultimately be higher if the insurance company determines that your attorney has a history of taking cases to trial and fighting for larger settlements.