There are nearly 6 million car accidents in the United States each and every year and over 3 million resulting in injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or if you lost a loved one, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation to cover your loses. Each Waldorf car accident attorney at our firm is are to help you. At The Law Office of Thomas E. Pyles, P.A, clients often come to us with many questions and concerns about their medical care, lost wages and vehicle repairs. Each Waldorf car accident attorney from our firm fights for auto accident victims so they can recover full monetary compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, damages and vehicle repair.
WHY CHOOSE THE LAW OFFICE OF THOMAS E. PYLES, P.A. FOR YOUR WALDORF CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY ?
Our firm brings over 35 years of real trial experience. We combine this experience with a uniquely personalized approach to personal injury litigation. Attorney Thomas E. Pyles has a reputation for being approachable and affable with our clients but relentless against opposing counsel when fighting for our client’s compensation.
Our law firm has the fear and respect of many defense firms and insurance adjusters. We fight them all and win. They know that they have a stark choice when facing our firm. They can either pay up or we go to trial.
Insurance companies know who we are and they know that we have the financial resources to take them on. Our big firm results and small firm service means that we are not your average, run of the mill car accident law firm. Files do not just sit in our corner. They get worked up by our highly professional staff. They also know about our successful trial history against them.
OUR ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU RECOVER IN YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE CLAIM
Hiring the right Waldorf car accident attorney is absolutely critical for making a successful recovery in your case, whether you have to try it or whether your case settles. Our firm has a remarkable history of settling and trying to verdict motor vehicle accident cases. Attorney Thomas E. Pyles has handled over 200 jury trials and has thousands of district court trials which he has successfully litigated. Mr. Pyles has secured some of the largest verdicts against State Farm in State Farm’s Maryland history. Many of our clients come from client referrals or are prior clients. Additionally, we receive referrals from other attorneys who transfer their cases to Mr. Pyles so that he may litigate them. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes of the trial experience and skills that Mr. Pyles has.
COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN MARYLAND
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, there are an average of just over 100,000 car accidents in Maryland every year, making car accidents one of the leading sources of injury and death statewide. The exact causes of all of these accidents would be too numerous to list here, but there are several patterns that show up again and again. Some of the most common reasons why cars get into accidents include:
- Speeding: Virtually all drivers exceed speed limits now and then but doing so poses significant risks. The faster a car is moving, the less time the driver has to react to changes in the surrounding environment. Roads are also designed to be driven safely only within a certain range of speeds and exceeding those speeds can increase the chances of an accident.
- Distracted driving: Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can significantly increase the chances of an accident. This includes texting, eating, applying makeup, talking on the phone, adjusting audio and climate controls, admiring the scenery, and having heated discussions with passengers, among many other behaviors.
- Reckless driving: Reckless driving occurs when a driver engages in intentionally aggressive and unsafe driving maneuvers, such as driving at excessive speeds, tailgating other drivers, cutting off other drivers, frequently or rapidly switching lanes, and running stop signs and lights. Conscious disregard for the rules of the road puts the driver and all others in his or her vicinity at risk.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — even without causing an accident — is a crime in itself, but drunk drivers can also cause serious accidents. This is because alcohol reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it less likely that he or she will be able to avoid an accident before it is too late.
- Hazardous weather conditions: Driving is dangerous enough even in perfect weather, but rain, snow, sleet, ice, and wind can destabilize road conditions and increase the chances of accidents.
A Note About Road Hazard Car Accident Claims
Road hazards are another common cause of car accidents. These hazards can include potholes or other maintenance-related issues as well as debris on the road. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think they cannot pursue a claim for their injuries if a road hazard caused their accident. This is not the case. Here are some situations where you may be able to pursue a claim:
- A road construction company leaves materials and other debris in the roadway after they finish working. In this situation, you may be able to hold the construction company liable for your injuries.
- A property owner fails to remove a tree that is clearly diseased and dying, which later falls onto the road and causes your accident. You may be able to pursue a claim against the property owner based on their negligence in failing to remove the tree.
- The local government refuses to repair a road in poor condition which leads to your accident. While you may be able to pursue a claim, we should note that they are complicated by what’s known as sovereign immunity.
CLAIMS CAUSED BY NEGLIGENT DRIVERS
Determining the cause of your car accident is critical to proving liability. While identifying the reason isn’t always easy, there are some cases where the other driver is more obviously at fault. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to identify the facts that help determine the cause of your car accident.
Driving while fatigued is a serious problem that routinely results in serious accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while drowsy results in approximately 90,000 accidents per year. Even if the driver isn’t falling asleep at the wheel, driving while fatigued is dangerous for the following reasons:
- Slowed reaction time and delayed reflexes
- Poor judgment
- Loss of ability to pay full attention
In some cases, fatigue can cause issues with the driver’s vision, particularly when driving at night. In addition, driving while fatigued can make it difficult for a driver to avoid accidents or respond appropriately to other road or traffic conditions.
Many of the accidents caused by driving while fatigued involve commercial vehicles. Drivers spend long hours on the road and are under intense pressure to make deliveries on time, which leads them to drive while tired. That said, accidents caused by drowsy driving can occur in any context, and the bottom line is that driving while tired is negligence. If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone unable to drive safely due to fatigue, you might be entitled to compensation.
Teen drivers pose a significant risk to other drivers on the road. And while Maryland has taken significant steps to reduce these risks, the reality is that teenage drivers are simply inexperienced. Their lack of experience can make them overconfident in their abilities and limit their ability to quickly identify and assess dangerous situations. For example, they may take turns too fast, follow too closely, make unsafe lane changes, or begin braking too late. Furthermore, they often do not have the necessary skills to adequately control their vehicle.
All of that said, teenage drivers are also more likely to become distracted and not pay full attention to the road. Despite our efforts to the contrary, many teens use their smartphones while driving. They can easily become absorbed in the music they are listening to or become distracted by a passenger or something outside of the vehicle.
Lastly, one of the challenges of accidents involving teenage drivers is that they rarely own the car they drive. They may also not know what to do in the event of an accident, and as a result, fail to provide their insurance agent. Knowing who owns and insures the vehicle is vital information if you are injured and need to pursue a claim.
Of course, teen drivers do not have a monopoly on being inexperienced. Anyone new to driving can lack the requisite knowledge and experience needed to drive safely. Whether they lack the necessary skills or fail to identify a dangerous situation and react appropriately, all drivers have a legal obligation to drive safely. Lack of experience does not excuse negligence. Whether you were involved in an accident with a new driver or a teenage driver, you may have a claim for compensation if you suffered a serious injury.
On the other end of the spectrum from teen drivers, senior drivers also pose a risk to other drivers on the road. Advanced age can result in a decline of numerous faculties, including their vision, hearing, reflexes, and hearing. In some cases, senior drivers may also be experiencing cognitive decline, which can lead them to become disoriented or confused.
All of these factors can lead to unpredictable driving – sudden, unsafe lane changes, driving too slowly, or other actions that can cause hazards to other drivers, particularly in heavy traffic. Their limitations can also make it difficult to avoid accidents because they can’t stop in time or take other evasive maneuvers.
DAMAGES YOUR WALDORF CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY WILL PURSUE
Damages in personal injury cases are designed to compensate the victim or, in other words, to make the victim “whole” to the greatest extent possible. The courts accomplish this through the award of both special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages.
Special damages are damages that compensate the victim for specific monetary losses he or she incurred as a result of an accident and are normally fairly simple to calculate. Examples of special damages include:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
General damages are intended to compensate the victim for the intangible losses that he or she suffered in an accident and their calculation is considerably less precise than that for special damages. A few common types of general damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A WALDORF CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN ALSO HELP AFTER A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
If you are hit by a driver who flees the scene, you need to contact law enforcement right away. Make sure that your vehicle is out of the way and that you are not susceptible to another accident. Have the police come out to do a report, make a statement, and ask the police officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report. Contact your insurance company and report the accident. They will set up an uninsured motorist claim for a “phantom vehicle.” You will need a copy of the police report, because when making these types of claims there are prerequisites set up by your insurance company that you report the accident it to police and that the police have done an investigation. Your insurance company will stand in the shoes of the other driver’s insurance company as if he or she had stopped and cooperated in the exchange. You will proceed against your own insurance company, thus it’s encouraged that you hire a Waldorf car accident attorney for this type of accident claim.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT IN WALDORF
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash you should:
- Remain calm and try to proceed in a business-like manner.
- Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries and tend to such before proceeding.
- Call law enforcement right away. They should be involved to help collect information from witnesses, to obtain information from the other driver, and assist in any type of emergency response that is required.
- Collect information if you can at the scene right away. Obtain the other driver’s license, insurance information, address, and telephone number. If they do not cooperate, you should contact the police. Maryland law requires you to provide your name, address, license, and insurance information to the other driver.
- If you have been injured and did not go to the hospital right away, see a doctor within 24 hours of the accidents occurrence. You may feel a rush of adrenaline after the accident rather than pain. In fact, some serious injuries do not have symptoms that are apparent immediately following the crash, but you may be sore in the next day or two.
- If law enforcement is called, cooperate with them completely. Do not admit fault or impose blame on anyone at the scene, just stick to presenting the facts to the police officer.
- You should then photograph all of the property damage, including the other vehicles involved and the crash scene to present where the crash occurred.
- Get the name and badge number of the police officers who have responded to the scene. Ask them how to get a copy of the police report.
- Contact your auto insurance company promptly to report the accident and follow their instructions for filing a property damage claim. If you have PIP, ask them to send your PIP information and forms to your address.
- If it is safe to do so, move your car out of the highway as to not cause more accidents. If your car is towed from the scene, be sure to ask where it will be towed to and how to get it.
- Contact our law office to speak with a Waldorf car accident attorney with a winning record.
Rollovers are another common cause of car accidents that can be avoided in most cases. Most rollover accidents result from taking turns too fast, speeding or overcorrecting when the vehicle goes into a skid. Overloaded vehicles and mechanical issues such as driving on bald tires can also lead to rollover accidents.
The issue is that rollover accidents often become hazards for other drivers on the road. Typically, the driver loses control of their vehicle and begins to swerve and skid, often crashing into other vehicles. If the automobile rolls over on the roadway, other vehicles may not be able to avoid an accident. Generally speaking, most rollover accidents don’t “just happen” – they result from negligence on the part of the driver.
OUR WALDORF CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY ANSWERS THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
Should I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, you should understand that insurance companies try to settle claims as quickly as possible to limit the amount they pay out on claims. By accepting the settlement, you are waiving any additional claims you might have, even if your injuries are more serious than previously thought, and the settlement amount doesn’t cover all of your losses. Unless you are certain that the settlement will cover all of your losses, you should speak with a Waldorf car accident attorney before accepting it.
The other driver is saying that the car accident is my fault. How does this affect my claim?
Maryland is one of only a very small number of states that follows the “pure” contributory negligence rule. Under the law, you can be barred from recovering any compensation from a car accident if the other driver can prove that your own negligence contributed to the accident. If the other driver is saying that you are at least partially responsible for the car accident, you need to contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. They can challenge the other driver’s claim and protect your rights.
I declined medical treatment at the scene but saw a doctor a couple of days later once I started having pain. Can I still pursue a claim?
It is very common for car accident victims to suffer injuries that are not immediately apparent. Concussions, internal organ damage, whiplash, and nerve damage are examples of injuries that may not manifest themselves right away. Declining medical treatment at the scene should not jeopardize your ability to pursue a claim, provided that you get a thorough medical exam and follow your doctor’s orders.
There were no witnesses to the accident. Does this mean that my claim is simply my word against the other driver’s?
While neutral witnesses are undoubtedly helpful, they are not necessary to successfully pursue a claim. This is one of the ways that a Waldorf car accident attorney can help. They can use their extensive experience to recreate what happened. They also know what other evidence can help you make your claim and prove that the other driver is at fault.
Isn’t a Waldorf car accident attorney expensive?
While lawyers can be expensive, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any legal fees out-of-pocket. Instead, the attorney receives a percentage of the compensation they recover for you as their fee. You do not pay any legal fees if your case is unsuccessful.
Will I have to go to court?
Most car accident claims settle out of court and never go to trial. That said, sometimes the insurance companies refuse to settle claims, and litigation is the only option to get fair compensation. However, the choice is always yours as to whether or not you want to go to trial.
What is my claim worth?
The value of your claim will depend on the unique facts of your case, such as the extent of your injuries and the impact they will have on your daily life. That said, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Any medical expenses resulting from the accident
- Any lost income
- Any other economic losses
- Your pain and suffering
A Waldorf car accident attorney will probably be able to provide you with an estimate of the value of your claim at your first consultation.
Should I hire a lawyer even if I don’t want to go to court?
Lawyers can do much more than file lawsuits and conduct trials. An experienced accident law firm can help you handle the entire claim process from start to finish. This allows you to focus on your recovery without having to worry about returning phone calls, collecting documents, and making sure that your claim gets paid.
Should I speak to the other driver’s insurance company?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash and it is not your fault, we recommend that you contact the other driver’s insurance company only to report the property damage claim. Do not report any bodily injury claims yourself; you should contact and hire an accident attorney who can handle that claim for you.
SPEAK TO A WALDORF CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Victims of car accidents that are a result of negligence deserve to be compensated for their injuries. To learn more about pursuing personal injury claims after a car accident, contact a Waldorf car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas E. Pyles by calling 301-705-5006