Washington, D.C., Virginia & Maryland Car Accident Lawyers
Hundreds of Millions Recovered for Our Clients
Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. In one moment everything can change as you and your passengers may suffer serious personal injury. Beyond injury, the damage to your vehicle and the expenses from medical and rehabilitation needs can place a tremendous financial burden on you and your family.
When the accident is caused by a negligent driver you need the support of experienced auto accident lawyers to hold the responsible party liable and fight for the compensation that you deserve. At Portner & Shure, we focus on finding answers to the difficult questions facing our clients after a car accident.
Our attorneys will handle all interactions with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. We believe justice is the right of every person and our support staff includes paralegals fluent in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Types of Auto Accident Cases
There are many ways in which a car accident can occur. And while you may practice safe driving and follow the rules of the road, there's no guarantee that you'll be safe from a negligent driver. Whether on a highway or driving through town, the risk of an accident is unfortunately always there.
Our attorneys provide strong representation to the victims of car accidents who were hurt in:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Construction zone accidents
- Red light and stop sign accidents
- Fatal car accidents
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Just as there are many ways a car accident can occur, there are many ways in which auto accidents can be caused. In our modern world, lives are busier and distractions become more abundant. It's every driver's duty to stay focused on the road but unfortunately, negligence behind the wheel occurs often.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while impaired
- Driving recklessly
- Having a defective vehicle
What Are PIP Benefits?
In Maryland, it is mandatory for all drivers to carry car insurance by a state-recognized provider. In order to protect yourself and others, it is required that your policy covers a minimum of 15K for property damage, 30K for bodily injuries, and at least 60K for the coverage of two or more individuals. While one is forming an insurance plan, Maryland offers something called PIP, this stands for personal injury protection. Now, what exactly does PIP do? Personal injury protection covers medical bills for any injuries you may have obtained during an accident.
Coverage includes other expenses you’ve had to endure in wake of your injuries and wages that have been lost. There are benefits to having PIP for such a low cost. The policy plan has also been referred to as “no-fault insurance”, meaning it does not matter who caused the accident, in order to receive compensation. Additionally, PIP holders have the potential to recover twice for their damages.
In cases where the other driver is at fault, you are able to recover wages and medical expenses from both their insurance company, along with your own insurance carrier. Since Maryland follows a "contributory negligence" rule you are only eligible to recover compensation if you are not at fault for the accident that led to your injuries.
What Damages are recoverable?
There are three main types of damages available in a personal injury case, economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages compensate for quantifiable losses such as medical bills and expenses and missed days at work due to your injury. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for more abstract losses such as pain and suffering.
The state of Maryland caps, or limits, the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered in any personal injury claim. Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party as opposed to compensating for a specific loss, as such they are not often awarded.
Put Decades of Experience in Your Corner
If a negligent driver caused an accident because of any of the above reasons, we can pursue compensation for your injuries. Our car accident lawyers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have decades of experience fighting for the rights of our clients and while we're able to obtain settlements in the majority of our cases, we're not afraid of going to court for you.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, contact us online or call (855) 954-4141 for a free initial consultation.
What to Do After a Car Accident
What you do in the immediate aftermath of an accident can be crucial to your car accident claim. We understand that when an accident occurs the confusion and frustration of the experience can make it hard to focus on taking proper steps, but following the recommendations below can help to maximize your chances of getting the compensation you rightfully deserve.
These steps are intended to make sure that you seek appropriate care for your wellbeing and have adequate documentation to help your car accident claim. After an accident you should:
- Get medical attention: If you or your passengers suffer any injuries as a result of the crash it's important that you seek medical attention right away. This can be from paramedics at the scene of the accident or going to the hospital or your health care provider immediately following the incident. Even if you feel fine it's important to get checked out as symptoms from injuries may not show right away.
- Gather necessary information: Obtain all the necessary information from the other driver including name, phone number, insurance information, driver's license number, and license plate number.
- Photograph the scene: Take as many photos as you can of the accident scene including all vehicles involved, the road conditions, and the environment surrounding the scene. These photos can help paint a picture of how the accident occurred.
- Obtain official documentation: Request copies of the official police report and any medical documents from your checkup after the accident.
- Create a diary: Create a diary of everything that happens after the accident. We will explain this in more detail below.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: Our experienced car accident attorneys at Portner & Shure will help you during this difficult time so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.
Creating an Auto Accident Diary
At Portner & Shure, we take pride in obtaining successful results for our clients. Our outcomes are continuously among the top results for car accident victims in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas. One of the reasons for this is because we instruct our clients to keep a diary of their experience after the car accident.
A diary in your own words can show firsthand what you experienced. These notes are then reviewed and relayed to the insurance carrier when our traffic violation lawyers negotiate your car accident claim. There are essentially eight things each client must include for a clear and concise diary.
The eight essential elements are as follows:
- Understand the purpose of the diary: The purpose is to keep an accurate record of the pain and problems arising from the accident. You're responsible for keeping the diary and the notes are to be kept strictly confidential and should be mailed to the lawyer on a regular basis, preferably once a month.
- Describe how the injuries affected you: Your diary should be accurate and detailed and describe how you feel from the first moment you awake until you go to bed at night. Explain how your pain and injuries have changed the way you live. If it is more difficult for you to dress, bathe, or simply get out of bed, you should document this in the diary. Some days maybe better than others and should also be documented. The way your pain and injuries affect your disposition, your emotions, and even your marital relations are extremely important. The law recognizes a cause of action for effects of injuries upon the consortium.
- Describe the pain and suffering: The description of pain and suffering should be done in your own words. Be yourself and keep your diary as you would as if no one else would see it. That way, you can be as open and honest as possible. Document the pain from the scene of the accident, to your hospital stay, through each particular day.
- Review each part of your body which experiences pain: Try to stay in touch with your body. Review each of the parts of your body to determine how it feels, whether there is any limitation in movement, whether it is painful to use that part of the body, etc. Begin at your head down to your feet.
- Describe your emotions each day: If the pain or injury is affecting you emotionally, be open and honest about it. Do not, however, take a negative attitude in the diary. Try to keep a positive attitude and state how you are attempting to cope (give examples of how you are coping with the pain, or, if your activities are severely limited, at least explain why your activities are limited). Concentrate on what you are attempting to do and how you are restructuring your life to make up for those limitations.
- Keep a record of any loss of income and loss of earning capacity information: You should keep copies of payroll stubs, W-2 forms, and income tax returns. If you do not have records relating to this financial information, we have authorization forms for you to sign so that we may obtain them and keep accurate records.
- Keep a record of all witnesses: You should also note any witnesses to wage loss, pain, emotional trauma, or other consequences of your pain and injury. Please provide, in the diary, the name, address, and telephone number of each witness with respect to a particular day or incident.
- Recognize the importance of your diary: Your diary will be a trial aid to both us and to you, but it's also a record of your pain, injury, discomfort, and damages. It can be invaluable at the time of trial. Therefore, make it complete and honest. Let your diary be a way of expressing how you feel as a result of your accident, how the accident affected your life, and how you have changed as a person.
Pursuing Compensation After Your Car Accident
Our experienced car accident lawyers have handled more than 20,000 car accident cases in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We successfully settled the majority of cases, but if a settlement is not in our clients' best interests, we will take on the insurance companies in court.
While no amount of money can ever replace what you have lost, our legal system allows for surviving estates to make a claim for financial recovery to hold negligent people accountable for their actions and provide needed compensation for damages.
The most common types of compensation we can pursue include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of services, protection, care, and assistance
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and mental anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses (wrongful death cases)
- Punitive damages, where available
We pursue verdicts and settlements that take care of the long-term needs of catastrophic injury victims, including those who have suffered brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments Provision (Med-Pay) are benefits that are available after many car accidents in our region. In Maryland, PIP provides money for lost income and medical bills. In Virginia, Med-Pay provides money for medical bills.
After your accident, you may get calls from an insurance adjuster who wants you to settle the matter. Not only is this incredibly insensitive, but it is also not in your best interest. This is why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side that can make sure you understand your rights. Our attorneys will handle dealing with the insurance company so you can keep your focus on putting your life back together.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today
For auto accident cases, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that the payment of any legal fees will be contingent on the ability of our Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland car accident lawyers to obtain a recovery on your behalf, which means no fees unless we win compensation for you.
If you would like more information on how to pursue a car accident claim, contact us online or call (855) 954-4141 for a free initial consultation.