If you are seriously injured in a car accident you should hire an experienced car accident lawyer that you know has a track record of success as soon as possible. If the other driver was at fault in the accident you are legally entitled to financial compensation from the driver (or their insurance company). You are entitled to compensation for more than just the damage to your car and the cost of your medical expenses.
Under Maryland law, you are also entitled to financial compensation for your economic losses and pain and suffering. Economic loses includes things like lost wages or lost income if you missed time from work because of the accident. Pain and suffering is basically money to help make up for the physical pain and discomfort you experienced as a result of your injuries.
Even though you might be legally entitled to this compensation, the other driver and their insurance company are not going to just cut you a check. The insurance company will deploy a team of professional claims adjusters and in-house attorneys to contest your claim. If you want to get money for your accident - the amount you deserve -- you will need to fight for it.
Hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you after a car accident is an important first step because it immediately levels the playing field. Keep in mind that it's not going to be you versus the other driver. If you want money it will be you versus the other driver's insurance carrier and their team of lawyers and adjusters. This puts you at a major disadvantage. Without help, you will be a major underdog in this matchup. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to handle your claim will immediately eliminate this imbalance and put you in a much better position.Not all Car Accident Lawyers are the Same
When you hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim, be careful about who you decide to hire. The truth is that not all car accident lawyers are the same and the outcome of your case might depend on who you hire. A lot of personal injury law firms (especially those that invest heavily in mass media advertising) are what you might call "settlement mills." These firms bring in a very high volume of cases with their advertising. They don't have the time or resources to litigate many cases in court so they focus on getting quick, low-value settlements and moving on to the next claim. If you hire one of these firms you will probably end up getting less money for your claim.
At Miller & Zois, we focus fewer resources on mass advertising and offer clients a higher quality of service. We handle hundreds of car accidents cases each year but we are not a settlement mill. The lawyers at Miller & Zois are ready and willing and take to cases to trial if the insurance company is not offering fair value. Miller & Zois has a long track record of success in litigating car accident cases and insurance companies are well aware of this fact. This does not mean that we take all of our cases to trial. A quick, efficient settlement of your claim is always the preferred result. The lawyers at Miller & Zois are able to leverage the firm's reputation for litigating cases to your advantage and negotiate higher value settlements.A Lawyer can Help Investigate and Submit Your Claim
Hiring a car accident lawyer is a good idea even if you don't think you will ever file a lawsuit. If you want to get any compensation for an accident, you will still need to submit a claim to the other driver's insurance company. Pursuing an insurance claim for a car accident can be a complex and difficult process. Most car accident lawyers are very adept insurance claim lawyers also. The lawyers at Miller & Zois have a wealth of experience with processing insurance claims for accidents. Some of our attorneys used to work as in-house counsel for major insurance carriers. We can help you put together the nuts and bolts of your insurance claim from the very start. To get any sort of meaningful settlement offer, you will need to put together a demand package. Preparing a demand package involves quite a bit of work. The package usually includes copies of all medical bills, evidence relating to the accident (pictures, witness statements, etc.), expert medical opinion regarding your injuries, or an economic loss calculation for both past and future losses.
The other advantage of hiring a lawyer to handle your insurance claim is that it gives you built-in leverage in negotiating your claim. The insurance company always wants to settle your claim without litigation. Even if they win, a lawsuit costs money. When you already have a lawyer handling your claim, the insurance company knows that you can and will file a lawsuit if they don't make a reasonable offer. An experienced accident lawyer will also be able to accurately value your case and tell you whether an offer you get is fair.
Car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don't pay an hourly rate for time spent on your case and the lawyer only gets paid if and when they get money for you. So, obviously, you are not putting any money down. Most accident lawyers get 33% of any money they get for you in a settlement. If the case goes to trial the percentage usually increases. If you don't get any money, you don't have to pay the lawyer anything.Information on Specific Insurance Carriers
Each insurance company has its own policies and unique way of handling car accident claims. For more information about what to expect from certain insurance carriers visit our pages below:
It is always safer to get a lawyer. But are there soft tissue claims with limited treatment where many people do just fine without hiring a lawyer. The risk is that you do not understand the value of your case and get ripped off or you make a fatal mistake that destroys your case. But because there is less money at stake, it is probably not insane to handle such a case on your own. If you are seriously injured or bringing a wrongful death case, it is foolish not to hire a lawyer because those are the type of cases where the recoveries vary wildly and the quality of counsel - and their reputation with the insurance companies - means a great deal.
The car accident lawyers at Miller & Zois consistently deliver results to our clients. Call us at 1.800.553.8082 or submit a request for a free consultation to discuss your car accident claim.