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Frequently Asked Questions

What Effect Will the Virus Have on Personal Injury & Auto Accident Cases in Maryland?

  • Short term – the primary impact will be the delay in getting into court. While the Courts have remained open on a limited basis for certain criminal matters and proceedings, the courts are not hearing any personal injury cases. There will be a rolling opening taking place over the next several months, but the backlog of cases (both civil and criminal) will cause delays for at least the next year. And because court dates for civil matters have been pushed back, many insurance carriers have shown little interest in working out settlements on cases already in litigation.

I Got Hurt in a Car Accident and Don’t Want to Go to the Hospital, What Should I Do?

  • I would recommend that anyone injured in an accident that needs medical attention get treatment as soon as possible. If you are seriously hurt in an accident, more harm could result from avoiding treatment, than from getting immediate care at a hospital. If, however, the injuries are not too severe, there are other places, such as urgent care facilities (RightTime Medical and Patient First, for example) where you can go for treatment. At a minimum, I would recommend that anyone injured in an accident, call their doctor. It is not only important to get treatment, but to document the fact you were injured.

Do I Need to Receive Medical Treatment to File an Injury Claim?

  • You need to be injured to file an injury claim.

Will My Premiums Go Up As a Result of COVID-19 And/Or Filing an Injury Claim?

  • COVID-19 is going to impact different types of policies in different ways, some which we cannot predict just now. But automobile premiums have actually gone down this year due to the shut-downs and the decreased driving by most people. Some carriers have even been providing rebates based on the lowered mileage.
  • Filing a personal injury claim may affect the future liability premiums charged to the person who caused the harm. But if the claim is not against your own insurance carrier, it should not affect your own premiums.

What Do I Do If I Had a Court Appointment Scheduled?

  • I always advise my clients to check with my office 1 or 2 days before any scheduled hearing to confirm the case is going forward as planned. Courts are slowly reopening, but some matters are being heard and other types of cases are still being postponed. In addition, some matters require personal appearance and others can be handled by phone. Check with your attorney to confirm whether you case is still on the docket and whether you need to be present.

Will the High Volume of COVID-19-Related Claims Affect My Ability to Receive Compensation?

  • The main impact will be delays in case resolution because of court closures and rescheduling to trials. As far as claims for COVID-19, this is an area that is being watched closely with proposed legislation being discussed by both sides. There has been a tremendous amount of discussion within the legal ranks regarding COVID-19 claims, particularly in the areas of employer liability and nursing home claims. It is too early to predict what the final outcome will be.

What Do I Do If I’ve Been Recently Injured or Have Recently Filed a Claim?

  • Call your attorney, there are so many different courses of action that may be appropriate, depending upon the particular circumstances of your case.

I was in a car accident and have been told I should get a lawyer. But I have car insurance. Won’t my car insurance cover my needs after an accident?

  • First, keep in mind that your automobile insurance provides coverage only up to the policy limits you purchased. That may or may not cover your needs. A lawyer can assist you in understanding your legal rights, your entitlement to compensation (if you were injured) and your potential liability exposure if you were at fault. Knowledge is power. And an attorney is there to advise and protect your interests.

I may be partially to blame for the crash I was in. How could this affect my car accident case?

  • Maryland is a contributory negligence State. This means if you are found partially at fault for causing the accident, it could bar your entitlement to any compensation for your injuries. That said, a lawyer can still help in the investigation of the accident to determine who is at fault and possibly help settle the case short of any final determination of fault.

I was in a car accident and the other driver was at fault. His insurance company says it can send me a check right away. Should I take it?

  • You can accept a check for the property damage portion of the claim, without it prejudicing the personal injury portion of the case. But you want to make sure you understand what aspect of the claim is being paid by the carrier. You also want to ensure you are not foreclosing your rights for compensation under other coverages in the policy. Once you accept a settlement check for personal injuries from the other driver’s insurance company, your case is settled. You cannot later go back and demand more money if you discover your injuries were worse than initially believed. If you are uncertain of what is being offered, call your attorney.

What compensation might I be able to get in a lawsuit over my car accident.

  • You are entitled to compensation for your property damage (if not repaired under the collision coverage of your own insurance policy), past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages (lost earnings) and non-economic damages (frequently referred to as “pain and suffering”).

I haven’t been able to return to work since my car accident. How can I afford to hire a lawyer?

  • Most lawyers will handle accident cases on a “Contingency Fee.” This means their fee will be paid at the end, out of any recovery obtained in the case.

Do I Need to Receive Medical Treatment to File an Injury Claim?

  • No, but you do need to be injured to file an injury claim. While you don’t need medical treatment to have an injury claim, it does provide documentation and evidence supporting the injury claim. Without medical treatment, all you have is your own testimony that you were hurt.

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