Our Maryland car accident lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars in car and truck collision cases for people like you. If you are looking to find the best attorney you can and you want to understand how to get as much money as possible, you have come to the right place. It tells you what you need to know if you are injured in a car accident and want to bring a claim.A Car Accident Claim Is About Money
The entire purpose of bringing a claim is to get money for the harm that was done to you. Our injury attorneys understand that if you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, you want to best and quickest path to maximize the amount of money you receive in compensation. Most of our potential clients understandably prefer a quick, out-of-court settlement. But you also want to get as much money as you can for the harms and losses you have suffered.
This is what our car accident lawyers do for you: we fight with all of our power and experience to get you the maximum compensation that we possibly can. Look at our settlements and verdicts. We have a history of doing just this.Maryland Car Accident Law
There are 2 relevant sources of Maryland law applicable to auto collision claims:
- the law that governs traffic and the rules of the road
- the law that determines financial liability when a crash occurs.
In Maryland, laws that relate to driving vehicles on the roads and highways in the state are outlined in detail in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. This detailed set of statutory laws set forth all of the rules drivers have to follow (e.g., right-of-ways, speeding, traffic signals, etc.)
When an automobile accident occurs, the rules and regulations in the Transportation Article provide the framework for determining who is responsible for causing the accident. The imposition of financial liability on the at-fault driver is based on tort law. Torts are civil rules derived from common law that are designed to protect people from the negligence or wrongful conduct of others. When someone is "at-fault" in a car collision, they have committed the tort of negligence and they can be held legally liable in a legal action for any damages resulting from the harm caused.Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
If you are injured in an auto accident you have a legal right to seek monetary compensation from the at-fault motorist. The process of getting compensation generally starts by submitting a "claim" to the responsible insurance company. The insurance company will investigate the accident. An insurance adjuster will confirm their driver was at fault. If she was, the insurer will attempt to settle your claim based on the insurance adjuster's assessment of your injuries.
Settlement offers from insurance companies are almost ALWAYS less than the amount you are fully entitled to under the law. Not only that, most settlement offers in auto accident claims are unfair. What if you are not satisfied with what the insurance company is offering to pay in a settlement? You file a civil suit. Technically, it is against the at-fault driver. As a practical matter, it is against the insurance carrier.
"I was told I should settle for $60,000.00 I thought I deserved more so I went to Miller & Zois. Six days later, my case settled for $150,000.00."
Under Maryland auto tort law, a negligent driver who causes an accident can be held liable for all the harm caused by the accident. Victims in Maryland auto accident claims are entitled to recover damages for the following:Property Damage
This generally covers the cost of repairing or replacing any vehicles damaged in the accident. This amount is entirely separate from the injury claim. The policy limits and claims adjusters are different. And most Maryland car accident lawyers are not taking any attorneys' fees on the property damage claim.Lost Income
Maryland plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for any wages or income that they lost as a resulting from injuries sustained in the accident. This includes both past and future lost wages/income. Lost income is also available for some family members in wrongful death cases.Medical Expenses
Plaintiffs can recover damages from the at-fault party's insurance company for any past or future medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Maryland follows the collateral source rule. This rule allows claimants to recover damages for all medical expenses even if the bills were actually covered by insurance, most notably, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.Pain and Suffering
Our lawyers think this is what injury cases are really about. Pain and suffering is the biggest harm in any personal injury case. This is money to compensate the car accident victim of a motor vehicle accident for the amount of physical and mental suffering caused by their injuries. The more serious and painful the injury the more pain and suffering damages will be. If a case goes to trial pain and suffering damages are determined by the judge or jury.
When my sister was killed, we turned to Miller & Zois to fight for us. They stood by us every step of the way and we ended up getting more money than we asked for.
Defendants in Maryland auto accident cases fall into different categories or types. The process for submitting insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and even the applicable rules of civil procedure can all vary depending on what particular type of negligent party is involved in an auto accident case.
Individuals: the most common type of defendants in motor vehicle accident cases is the at-fault driver driving her own personal, non-commercial vehicles. Assuming the at-fault driver has car insurance, their auto insurance provider will be obligated to step in and handle the claim against them and pay for any damages up to the limits of the policy. The main issue with these types of defendants is insurance coverage.
Commercial Drivers: a commercial driver is someone who was driving their vehicle as part of their job or business when the accident occurred. Examples of commercial drivers would include delivery truck drivers (e.g., FedEx or UPS); someone driving a commercial or company vehicle to a job site (e.g., an electrician or plumber driving to their next job); or a taxicab driver.
Injury claims against commercial drivers are different for two key reasons. First, both the driver and their employer or company can be held responsible. Employers are obligated to indemnify their employees for accidents occurring within the scope of their employment. Second, commercial drivers tend to carry more insurance compared to individual drivers. In practical terms, this means that Maryland auto accident plaintiffs can potentially recover more damages. So the financial recovery in commercial cases is higher than the average accident claim.
- Video that explains the factors that matter in putting a settlement value on Maryland auto accident cases and why having a commercial defendant matters in that valuation
Truck Drivers: drivers of the really big trucks --- often referred to as big-rigs, "18-wheelers, or tractor-trailers --- make up a separate category of common defendants in the motor vehicle crash cases. Big truck accident cases are actually much different than normal auto accident cases in a number of ways. For starters, Maryland has separate commercial vehicle laws that specifically apply to accidents involving big trucks. Another major difference is that big truck accidents tend to be bigger cases involving major damage and very serious physical injuries or death. Some of the larger, national trucking companies that are frequent defendants in truck accident cases include J.B. Hunt | Swift Transportation |Werner | Schneider | Old Dominion.
Uber/Lyft Drivers: drivers for Uber/Lyft are a new type of defendant that are becoming increasingly involved in accident cases. Uber/Lyft drivers are like a hybrid category of defendants because they can fall under the category of either "individuals" or "commercial driver" defendants depending on when they are involved in the accident. If they get in a crash when they are just driving their car for personal use, they are an individual defendant covered under their normal auto insurance policy. However, if they cause an accident while using the car to pick up a client, they are like a commercial driver defendant.
State and Local Governments: The state of Maryland and local governments are also frequent defendants in auto tort cases. First, state or local governments can get named as defendants if a government employee causes an accident within the scope of their employment. Second, the state or a local government can potentially be liable for failing to properly maintain roads, traffic signals, or walkways in a safe manner. Maryland law mandates that local governments owe a duty to persons lawfully using its public streets and sidewalks to make them reasonably safe for passage (see also MPJI-CV § 23:10).
Maryland imposes a time limit on how long prospective plaintiffs can wait before filing a civil lawsuit. So there is a limited about of time to formalize a claim. This type of legal filing deadline is known as a statute of limitations. If the claim is not filed before the limitation deadline expires, the plaintiff losses the right to file. In Maryland, personal injury lawsuits are generally subject to a 3-year statute of limitations (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101).
What this means is that in most Maryland cases, the injured person must file their personal injury claim within 3 years from the date of the accident or they will be legally barred from filing.
The value of a car accident case varies greatly depending on the type of injuries involved.
- Light or Minor Injuries (e.g., back strains, soft tissue, headaches) $15,000 ↔ $25,000
- Moderate Injuries (e.g., broken leg, ruptured spleen) $50,000 ↔ $125,000
- Serious or Major Injuries (e.g., death, brain injury) $200,000 ↔ $500,000
(Remember, these are average values. Your case may be higher or lower than the average case.)
A settlement in a car accident case is usually calculated by adding together three basic elements of the plaintiff's losses: (1) medical expenses; (2) lost income; and (3) pain and suffering.
Most auto accident lawyers in Maryland work on a contingency fee basis. This means the law firm gets a percentage of any money they recover for you in your accident case. While rates are not fixed, a typical contingency fee agreement in Maryland accident case is 33% if a case ends in settlement and 40% if a lawsuit is filed.
Motor vehicle collisions can potentially result in almost any type of physical injury ranging from minor bruising to fatal head trauma. Our personal injury lawyers see certain types of injuries that frequently result from auto accidents.Back Injuries
The area of the body that is most frequently injured in a typical car accident is the back which includes the spinal vertebrae and discs. The spine is comprised of interconnected vertebrae bones with soft tissue rings called "discs" in between the bones. The discs function like a cushion to reduce friction between the bones.
There are also a series of nerve channels running down the spine and connecting to other parts of the body. Certain types of auto accidents (most notably rear-end collisions) exert a significant downward force on drivers and occupants. This particular type of force puts the spine under significant pressure and frequently causes back injuries. Car accidents are leading cause of back injuries and account for approximately 45% of all reported cases of injury to the back.
The most common type of back injury resulting from an auto accident is a herniated disc. Spinal discs are like round tissue rings that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae bones. They have a soft gel-like core that is held together by an outer casing. Disc herniations occur when the outer casing of the disc tears or ruptures allowing the soft gel-like tissue inside to bulge out. This injury is often called a "slipped" or "bulging" disc. Spinal fractures are another more serious type of back injury that can sometimes occur in a car accident.Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are one of the most common types of injuries resulting from an auto accident. The type of shoulder injury that occurs most frequently is a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a grouping of 4 interconnected tendons and muscles that form a "cuff" around the upper arm and connect to the shoulder blade.
The sole function of the rotator cuff is to keep the shoulder ball and joint secure in the socket while the shoulder moves. The sudden force of a car accident frequently causes a tear or rupture of the tendons and tissue within the rotator cuff.Bone Fractures
Orthopedic fractures (broken bones) are another type of injury frequently resulting from auto accidents. Most auto accident injuries are the direct result of the sudden stopping and resulting whiplash movement of occupants.
However, bone fractures are somewhat different in that they usually caused by an actual physical impact. Impacts with a seat belt, airbag, steering wheel, or other objects during an accident are what usually leads to broken bones.Brain Injuries
Brain and head injuries are also very common in car accidents. The majority of traumatic brain injuries do not actually involve any impact to the head but rather are caused by the so-called whiplash movement of occupants within the car.
When occupants in a moving vehicle collide with something their bodies get violently thrust forward then back as the vehicle suddenly stops beneath them. If the head is subjected to this type of high force whipping movement the brain will essentially bounce around inside the skull damaging delicate brain cells on impact.
This is known medically as a coup-contrecoup type of traumatic brain injury. Damage to the brain can also occur from impact to the head and skull during an accident. The brain is the most important organ in the body so brain damage is the most serious of all the common auto accident injuries. In fact, injuries to the head and brain are the primary cause of death in most auto accident fatalities.How We Can Help You
Hiring the right lawyer is critical to the outcome of your case whether you settle out-of-court or go to trial. Our firm has an incredible history of success for our clients in settling and taking auto accident cases to trial.
If you get one thing out of reading this page, it should be that the quality of the firm handling your case matters. A firm with real experience and a history of litigation success gives you the best chance of maximizing the value of your case.
Getting the best possible lawyer is crucial if you want to get as much money as possible for your claim. Because there is a big difference between the settlement value of a case with a great attorney and the settlement value of that same case with an average attorney.
The Maryland car accident attorneys at Miller & Zois have prevailed at trial in hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death cases, garnishing over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for victims. We get results for our clients.
A Maryland attorney experienced in handling serious injury and wrongful death cases can help to make sure you receive every dollar you deserve for the harm that was done to you. Make no mistake. In serious injury and wrongful death cases, who your lawyer is means everything.
How do we get top dollar for our injured clients? By fighting for you, and with you, every step of the way. Our first goal is to get you an insurance settlement quickly that adequately compensates you for all of your economic losses, including loss of income. But most importantly, your pain and suffering. Because physical pain and emotional pain and the greatest harms in almost every case we handle. The insurance companies? Of course, the think the injured victim should get nothing or next to nothing, even in permanent damage cases. How do we make them bend to our way of thinking on the appropriate compensation? The answer is force and reputation.
My prior lawyer was unable to get the insurance companies to offer a single penny in my case. Then my lawyer referred me to Ron and Laura. It was a long fight, and they fought for me every step of the way. My case settled for $1.31 million.”
Getting an appropriate settlement without even filing a car accident lawsuit will depend, in no small measure, on the reputation of your legal team. Your lawyer's ability to gather and present the necessary information to put your claim forward in the best possible light. You win these cases -- and the value of the case is stretched -- by collecting, analyzing, and presenting the facts of your case to the insurance adjuster and, if necessary, the jury.
In some severe injury and wrongful death cases with large insurance policies, a lawsuit must be filed if the care accident victim wants to maximize their compensation. In these cases, you need a personal injury lawyer who is going to fight in the trenches for you... and has a history of success in those trenches.
The take-home message: If you are badly hurt, you need a Baltimore car accident lawyer with skill, years of experience, and a reputation for success on your side. You need to have the best attorney to stand up for you.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car collision, call us today at no charge at 800-553-8082 to discuss your legal options or get a free consultation on-line.
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Talk to a Lawyer at 800-553-8082 or Get an On-Line Consultation.
We talk about the issues that matter to our clients. The first thing you want to know when you are hurt is the value of your claim and how to calculate it.
This is the most important question for our clients in any car crash case. We cannot give you an exact answer, of course. But we provide you with a ton of information, including average settlement and verdict data and sample details about cases our Baltimore auto accident lawyers have settled or won at trial that you cannot find anywhere else online.Putting Our Experience to Work for YOU
The partners at Miller & Zois used to work for insurance companies. We know the tricks that the at-fault driver's insurance company will use to prevent you from recovering the damages you deserve. Lawyers Weekly USA characterized the benefits of our training with the insurance companies when they wrote that as former defense counsel, Miller & Zois "knows the other side's playbook." In fact, we know the "playbook" for any insurance company that you will see in a any insurance claim in the Baltimore-Washington area:
You can get the inside information on all of these companies - and many more - here.
Why does this matter? Victims need an advocate who knows which punches these insurance companies will throw at you... and how to block them.
I went to one of the law firm’s that advertise on television. They tried to accept a $32,000 offer on my behalf without even telling me. Six weeks after I hired Miller & Zois, my case settled for $165,000.00.
We know how to overcome the roadblocks these insurance companies throw up to give our clients the best chance of receiving the maximum possible recovery for their claim. This is not tough guy talk -- the only thing insurance companies truly understand is strength and the only thing they ever have to fear is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a worthy victim by a lawyer that knows the path to victory.
Greedy insurance companies do not care that you are hurt or financially devastated. They do not care if they are unfair. Insurers only care about hanging on to their money. Your tragedy is just a little mishap to them. They think asking for more compensation than just your medical bills is just you trying to get a financial windfall. But pain, suffering, and agony is the worst harm in any injury or death case. The amount of an accident victim's medical bills does not define a claim. What matters most is the sum of human pain and suffering.
The Maryland car accident lawyers at Miller & Zois have represented auto crash victims for almost every imaginable mishap (and some you could not imagine) in a traffic collision.
- wrongful death
- spinal cord injuries,
- other back injuries,
- herniated discs,
- brain damage and other head trauma,
- rotator cuff tear,
- other permanent injuries
Our firm often represents the families of victims killed in fatal crashes in Maryland. A disproportionate number of these wrongful death cases involve pedestrians and motorcycles who have little chance against motor vehicles.How to Select the Best Advocate for You
We handle cases in every single Maryland county and Baltimore City. To be successful, you have to know the jurisdiction well. You can get here an analysis of every venue in Maryland here.
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle, truck, or vehicular crash in Maryland, you need to find a car accident attorney in the Baltimore area with the skills and ability to best maximize the value of your claim, either by settlement or trial. Before choosing an attorney, look at whether they have the credentials and experience to handle your case and get you the compensation you deserve for what you have endured.
There are important questions to ask. Does the firm focus exclusively on tort cases and, specifically, serious motor vehicle crashes? Does the firm have a history of seven-figure results in the courtroom and out-of-court settlements in car and truck collision cases?
Does the firm have a history of getting results in the courtroom that are far more than the settlement offer made? Certainly, the insurer fighting your claim knows exactly who are the best Maryland auto accident lawyers. They bake in your lawyers' history of success at trial in calculating your settlement offer both before and after a lawsuit is filed.
You want legal counsel who focuses on these types of cases can help you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We believe we have the best accident lawyers in Maryland. If you are calling other attorneys, ask the lawyer you call if you don't hire him/her, ask which personal injury law firm would you hire?"We think you will likely hear the name Miller & Zois.Contact Our Law Firm
- No Fee or Cost Unless Recovery
- Home and Hospital Visits
- History of Success
- Personalized Service and Attention
- Devotion to Maximizing Your Recovery
- Legal Advice You Can Count On
- Advance of All Expenses and Contingency Fee
- Free Case Consultation and Evaluation
- And... We Care About You
If you have been badly hurt in an automobile accident, finding a car crash lawyer in Maryland will not be hard. Finding skilled and reputable counsel that has has a track record in these fights of getting big settlements and suing these companies and getting large verdicts, is another matter. Take a deep breath, do your research, and make the right choice to find the best lawyer that you can to maximize the value of your injury claim.
It is an important choice. If you have been seriously hurt, you need counsel with the experience to sort through your complicated legal and medical issues and stand up to the insurance companies and get financial compensation. You need a law practice that will exhaust every possible means of recovery.
We know how to work with police (regardless of what the police report says), the witnesses, the medical experts... and, most importantly, with insurance companies and, if necessary, juries. We fight every single day for fair compensation - and more - for car wreck victims.
If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, the insurance company is building a claim against you as you read this page. You need a personal injury attorney in your corner to fight back. Your case will get the personal attention of our experienced lawyers who have decades of experience. What's more is we are real people that care about you and what has happened to you. Call 1-800-553-8082 to speak to Maryland auto accident attorney who specializes in handling these claims or get a free online no obligation consultation. Find out if Miller & Zois are the best lawyers for you.