Car accidents are a reality of modern life, particularly in densely populated urban areas like central Maryland. Every year there are over 120,000 police-reported car accidents in Maryland and 30% of these accidents resulted in physical injuries to drivers & passengers. Not surprisingly, these numbers make auto accidents one of the leading causes of personal injuries in the state. On average, just over 50,000 people suffer some type of physical trauma or injury on Maryland roads every year. Physical injuries suffered in car accidents range from minor strains or bruises to major bone fractures and damage to internal organs. Auto accidents can also be deadly. In Maryland alone a total of 557 people died in traffic crashes during 2017.
When car accidents result in physical injuries or death, they can have significant economic consequences for everyone involved. Even comparatively minor accidents can be very expensive. The financial fallout from a typical car accident causing moderate injuries can easily include thousands of dollars in property damage; medical expenses; and lost income. In every accident there is at least one driver who is considered "at fault" because they were either reckless, negligent or failed to obey traffic rules. Under our civil legal system, "at fault" drivers can be held legally responsible to pay for all costs directly resulting from the accident that they caused. Like all states, Maryland requires drivers to have insurance to pay for these costs when they cause an accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always willing pay full value voluntarily. In fact, insurance companies will always attempt to minimize the amount of money they pay out. Personal injury attorneys can help injured parties leverage the civil legal system to force insurance companies to pay full and fair value for the accident.
This page will review and analyze: (a) the different categories of auto accidents; (b) the most different types of physical injuries that most commonly result from car accidents; and (c) some of the general legal rules applicable to plaintiffs in a car accident case such as how damages are calculated and the statute of limitations.Types of Car Accidents
Head on Collisions
A head on collision occurs when 2 cars traveling in opposite directions collide with each other head first (i.e., the front of one car impacts the front of the other car). Head on collisions are most likely to occur on "back roads" where the 2 lanes of opposite traffic are only separated by a yellow line in the center of the road. Head on accidents are much less likely to occur on highways or other types of roads where there is some type of barrier (e.g., wide medians, guard rails, jersey walls, etc.) separating opposing lanes of traffic. Head on impacts are the most dangerous of all types of car accidents for several reasons, some of which are fairly obvious. When 2 cars going in opposite directions collide with each other, the force generated by the impact is basically double what it would be in any other type of accident. If a car is traveling 40 miles an hour and collides with a stationary object the impact force is very significant. But when a car going 40 miles an hour collides head on with another car going 40 miles an hour the opposite way, the impact force more than doubles. Fortunately, head on collisions are the least common of all types of 2 car accidents. According to 2015 accident data from the Insurance Information Institute, there were only 143,000 head on collision which was only 3% of all 2 car accidents.
Rear end accidents occur when one fails to stop and slams into the back end of another car in front of them. Typically the car in front is either stopped or in the process of coming to a sudden stop when it gets struck from behind. Rear end collisions are the most frequently occurring type of car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear end collisions account for just over 30% of all auto accidents and 48% of all 2 car collision accidents nationwide. Rear end accidents tend to result in comparatively less damage and few physical injuries than other types of accidents. There are 2 primary reasons for this. First, in comparison to other types of accidents a large percentage of rear end collisions occur at low speeds so the impact force is less. Second, when an impact comes from the rear end of a vehicle drivers and passengers in the front of the car are farther away and more insulated from the force. One of the unique aspects of rear end accidents is that there is an automatic presumption of fault placed on the driver who comes from behind. A driver who hits another car from behind is always assumed to be at fault for the accident, regardless of circumstances.Side Impact Collisions
Accidents in the side-impact category include any accident in which the primary point of impact is the left or right side of the vehicle. This includes accidents in which one car collides head on with the side of another car (sometimes called "broadside" collisions) as well as "side swipes" where 2 cars collide side-to-side. Side impact accidents are the 2nd most dangerous type of car accident behind head on collisions. About 1/3 of all auto accident fatalities are the result of broadside collisions. Side impact accidents are particularly hazardous for child occupants in the vehicle struck from the side. The elevated danger of broadside accidents comes from the fact that the sides of a vehicle offer occupants the least degree of cushion and protection in a collision. In rear end or head on impacts there is typically several feet of car in between the occupants and the impact site. This space helps to absorb the force of the impact. By contrast, in a broadside accident the occupants on the impact side of may only have a 10-inch wide door shielding them from the point of contact. The side of a car simply offers little impact cushion which is critically important to the safety of occupants. Even with side-airbag deployment, side impact collisions can be extremely dangerous. Side impact accidents occur with less frequency than other types of accidents. Only about 18% of all car-to-car collisions are categorized as side impact accidents.Angle Impact Collisions
Angle impact collisions include all accidents in which a car strikes another vehicle at an indirect angle, with the point of impact usually being front to side. This is sort of a catchall category that covers collisions that cannot be accurately classified as head on, rear end, or direct side impact. Angle collisions are the second most frequent type of accident, accounting for around 30% of all car-to-car collisions. Angle impact collisions tend to occur at lower speeds, in dense traffic and therefore involve comparatively less damage and physical injuries.Single Car Accidents
Single vehicle accidents occur when a single car accidentally collides into a fixed object such as a tree, light pole, guard rail or similar type of stationary (i.e., non-moving) object. The dangers of single-car accidents often get overlooked. When people think about a "car accidents" and highway injuries they are typically envisioning collisions between 2 or more moving vehicles. Although multi-car collisions account for most accidents, impacts involving just one car can also be very hazardous. Just under 15% of all accidents are classified as single car accidents (i.e., collisions with a fixed object). Single car accidents frequently involve high force impacts that tend to inflict a lot of damage on drivers and occupants. Nearly half of all single car accidents result in physical injuries or death and 30% of all fatal accidents are in this category. By comparison only 26% of rear end collisions result in injury or death. Single car accidents can be the result of various factors including: driver distraction; driver impairment; loss of vehicle control; poor road conditions; etc.Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents occur anytime a moving vehicle strikes a pedestrian which includes someone walking or riding a bike, scooter or other non-motorized vehicle. Pedestrian accidents are typically very dangerous and often deadly for the pedestrian with little or no risk of injury to the driver. Again, the reason for this is fairly obvious: even travelling at low speeds cars can easily crush bones, tissue and organs when they strike totally unprotected pedestrians. Accidents with pedestrians occur more frequently in highly urban areas (such as downtown Baltimore) where there are large numbers of pedestrians. Other high risk situations include construction sites and walking or biking on roadsides without sidewalks. The most common cause of pedestrian accidents is jaywalking. The issue of fault often takes center stage in pedestrian accident cases. There is often an inherent, emotional inclination to view the pedestrian as the victim in the accident. This is often reinforced by the fact that pedestrian ends up with major injuries while the driver of the car is unharmed. The reality, however, is that pedestrians are often partially at fault in these accidents.Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can potentially result in almost any type of physical injury ranging from minor bruising to fatal head trauma. However, there are certain types of well-known injuries that frequently result from car 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 car accident (most notably rear end collisions) exert 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 a car 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. A herniated disc can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause friction between bones in the spine resulting in significant and often constant pain. In some cases, a herniated disc in the back can trigger radiculopathy where pain radiates down nerve pathways and causes pain to be felt in the legs and other distant areas. 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 a car 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. A torn rotator cuff can be a very painful injury and impair movement of the arm and shoulder.Bone Fractures
Orthopedic fractures (broken bones) are another type of injury frequently resulting from auto accidents. Most car 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, air bag, steering wheel, or other objects during an accident is what usually leads to broken bones.Brain Injuries
Brain and head injuries are also very common in car accidents. The majority of 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 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 car accident injuries. In fact, injuries to the head and brain are the primary cause of death in most auto accident fatalities.Car Accident Claims &Amp; Lawsuits
If you are injured in a car accident you are legally entitled to get monetary compensation from the at-fault driver. The at-fault driver's insurance company is generally the one that pays the compensation on behalf of their insured driver so they are the party you deal with. The process of getting compensation generally starts by submitting a "claim" to the responsible insurance company. When you submit a "claim" you are basically telling the insurance company that you were injured by their insured driver and they need to pay you compensation for the accident. The insurance company will investigate the accident, confirm whether their driver was at fault and then attempt settle your claim based on their assessment of your injuries. Settlement offers from insurance companies are ALWAYS less than the amount you are fully entitled to under the law. If you are not satisfied with what the insurance company is offering to pay in settlement, your recourse is to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. When a lawsuit is filed you can then take the case to trial and have a judge or jury decide how much money you should get as compensation for the accident.How Long do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
Like all states, Maryland imposes a time limit on how long prospective plaintiffs can wait before filing a civil lawsuit. This type of legal filing deadline is known as a statute of limitations. If the lawsuit is not filed before the limitation deadline expires, the plaintiff losses their right to file. In Maryland, car accident 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 cases potential car accident plaintiffs must file their lawsuit within 3 years from the date of the accident or they will be legally barred from filing.
Miller & Zois attorneys are available to help 24/7 with a free consultation. Call us now at 800-553-8082.
Our Maryland car accident lawyers handle auto, truck and motorcycle collisions in the Baltimore-Washington area. We focus 100% of our energies on getting the maximum amount of compensation possible for our injured clients. We have a history of satisfied clients who are pleased both the results and how they were treated by our entire law firm. We have obtained over $100 million for our clients in settlements and verdicts in the last 15 years.
Injured in a car crash? You need to consult with a Baltimore car accident lawyer. Make sure your next step is the right step. You need to protect your rights. Fill out a free claim review form today or call 800-553-8082.
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 law 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 law firm handling your case matters. A firm with real experience and a history of large verdicts and settlements gives you the best chance of with 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.Who Are Our Clients?
Our clients come from all over Maryland. Doctors, lawyers, state and federal court judges, law clerks, former jurors, expert witnesses, jurors and even insurance claim adjusters turn to our law firm when they or someone they care for is severely hurt or killed. Look at our resumes, our reviews, the awards we have won, and more importantly, the results we achieve. Our long history of settlements and verdicts speak for themselves. Many believe we are the top car accident lawyers in Maryland.
Every major insurance company in Maryland knows Miller & Zois will fight to the end if our client is not being treated fairly. This, ironically, makes it easier for Miller & Zois' clients to reach an early settlement because the insurance companies know that their usual games will not work with us. Sure, most cases settle. But our Baltimore auto accident lawyers do not settle for less.
To maximize compensation, you need counsel who is willing to stand and fight for you. Negligent drivers are represented by a lawyer from an insurance company. These attorneys are paid to prevent the injured victim from receiving fair compensation for the injuries the victim has suffered. They use every arcane rule and law possible to try to defeat your chance at a fair financial recovery.How We Add Value to Your Case
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.
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.”
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 a settlement quickly that adequately compensates you for all of your economic losses and, more importantly, your pain and suffering. The insurance companies, of course, want to pay you nothing or next to nothing. How do we make insurance companies bend to our way of thinking on the appropriate compensation?
Again, getting an appropriate settlement without even filing a lawsuit will depend, in no small measure, on the reputation of your law firm. 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 your lawyer's ability to collect, analyze and present the facts of your case to the insurance company and, if necessary, the jury.
In some severe injury and wrongful death cases with large insurance policies, a lawsuit must be filed if the victims want to maximize their compensation. In these cases, you need a lawyer who is going to fight in the trenches for you... and has a history of success in those trenches (see sample verdicts below).
The take-home message: If you are badly hurt, you need a Baltimore car accident lawyer with skill, 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 800-553-8082 or get a free consultation on-line.Maryland Accident Lawyer Information Center
The primary purpose of this website is to provide information to both Maryland traffic accident victims and lawyers through our Victim Help Center and our critically acclaimed Lawyer Help Center, which is designed to assist lawyers in Maryland in handling accident claims.
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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 they 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 car 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.
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 the 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, including:
- 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 traffic 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 lawyer 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 law firm have a history of seven-figure verdicts and settlements in car and truck collision cases?
Does the firm have a history of getting verdicts at trial far more than the settlement offer made? Certainly, the insurance company fighting your accident claim knows exactly who are the best Maryland car accident lawyers. Insurance companies factor in the lawyers' history of success at trial in calculating your settlement offer both before and after a lawsuit is filed.
You want 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 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
- Weekend and Evening Appointments
- History of Success
- Personalized Service and Attention
- Devotion to Maximizing Your Recovery
- Advance of All Expenses
- 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. You need a law practice that will exhaust every possible means of recovery.
We know how to work with police, 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 someone in your corner to fight back. 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.Nuts and Bolts Maryland Accident Information
This website breaks down everything you could want to know about a motor vehicle collision case from start to finish. What are the caps on damages? What are the rules regarding how long I have to file a claim? You can find these questions and much more in our Victim Help Center. These are some of the most common issues clients want to better understand.
- Property damage claims: How to bring these claims and how to fight back against insurance companies who are trying to nickel and dime you. This can usually be done without hiring an auto accident injury attorney.
- Write a winning demand letter to the insurance company
- Trying to understand better the particular value of your case based on where in Maryland you are bringing your claim.