Understanding Car Accident Insurance Claims
For anyone who has been severely injured as a result of a traffic accident in or near Gaithersburg, Annapolis, Bowie or Rockville, as experienced auto accident attorneys with training in personal injury and insurance law, our legal team understands how confusing and intimidating it can be to pursue an auto injury against a negligent motorist. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Baltimore-based attorneys handle accident cases that take place throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia.
As trained legal experts, our Maryland personal injury lawyers can assess your passenger car or commercial trucking injury claim and help you decide if all of your legal rights to just compensation have been met. We remind the victims of serious traffic accidents to be extremely wary when taking the word of an insurance adjuster, whose advice and assurances are seldom provided in the best legal or financial interest of an injured claimant.
In cases where a person has been severely hurt -- having sustained injuries such as multiple bone fractures, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage or closed-head trauma -- there is no reason not to expect to receive fair and reasonable compensation for those injuries. Regardless of whether the victim is a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, it makes complete sense to consult with a qualified legal expert. At our firm, we will review your case during a free, no-obligation initial consultation, and provide our recommendations on whether or not to pursue an automobile injury lawsuit or other claim.
Here in Maryland, the density of vehicular traffic can often lead to numerous road accidents on any given day. In addition to the financial cost of a bad injury-related auto crash involving significant property damage, bodily injuries sustained by the innocent victims can entail physical pain, emotional distress, drastic changes in one’s lifestyle, as well as pain and suffering. These factors can affect not only the victims themselves, but also their families as well.
As usually happens here in Maryland, the injured victim(s) must rely on insurance carriers to step up and cover the costs -- both direct as well as indirect -- of medical treatment and other accident-related expenses. Yet, time and time again, many of those innocent people who are hurt in car and truck accident caused by a negligent motorist find their trust in the insurance companies to cover their medical, rehab and long-term care costs is often misplaced.
It is no secret that insurance carriers all across the country save hundreds of millions of dollars annually by employing practices that are intended to protect their profits and bolster their bottom lines. Of course, the money saved by these companies can be traced back, in many instances, to the reduced settlements paid to policyholders, as well as to the victims who have been injured by bad those drivers. Not surprisingly, since traffic collisions are the most common cause of accidental injuries and fatalities, auto insurance carriers have done their best to cut losses in this specific area of casualty insurance.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, one of our main goals is to help level the playing field for victims of serious auto injury accidents. While the average motorist has little or no knowledge about how to negotiate a fair settlement for an auto injury claim, insurance claims adjusters are skilled at identifying loopholes and exploiting technicalities in personal injury and insurance law that can limit, delay or deny a settlement payment to a deserving individual who has been hurt by a negligent driver.
When it comes to understanding insurance claims, the professional legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen firmly suggests that victims not wait too long to learn about how to file an auto injury claim. Of course, filing an insurance claim is hardly the only thing that one should know about before an accident. At the very least, every auto insurance policy holder should make a point to learn about the basics of insurance claims so that he can evaluate for himself whether his current auto policy -- and the insurance carrier itself -- provides the best and most comprehensive protection in the event of a bad injury accident.
As a consumer and potential beneficiary of an automobile insurance policy, every driver should know how to file an auto insurance claim, not to mention learn about the details of important legal concepts in insurance law, such as negligence and liability. The following is a brief explanation of some of the key concepts surrounding personal injury and auto insurance law.Negligence and Determining Liability
Proving legal liability or negligence as part of an auto injury claim is one of the more challenging facets of auto insurance law. Quite a large percentage of roadway accidents involve numerous aspects that must be sorted through and verified to the greatest extent possible by each auto insurance carrier involved. Because of this, it is important to bolster your case when presenting a claim to an auto insurer; and proving fault is one of the most important factors in any injury claim.
As automobile and commercial trucking accident lawyers, the legal experts at Lebowitz & Mzhen know that it can be very difficult for an injured person to think rationally following a serious traffic collision. Staying focused on your ultimate goal is one way to keep on track; the more one stays focused and acts wisely, the better off he or she will be when attempting to prove a personal injury claim. Part of this process is gathering as many specifics as possible, such as details pertaining to the accident, including the date and time of the crash, weather and roadway conditions prior to the incident, and obtaining any eyewitness accounts to support one’s claim.
Getting the police report covering one’s accident is another key piece of evidence that should help to support one’s personal injury claim. This is especially important when eyewitness accounts are either not available or lack specific information that support the victim’s claim. This said, make certain that you review the police report for accuracy before submitting it to the insurance company. If you believe that the report has some errors or is missing some critical information, do not hesitate to contact the police officer who created it and, respectfully, express your concerns.Pain and Suffering as part of a Personal Injury Claim
Unlike actual physical injuries, the establishment of pain and suffering involves less tangible aspects of a personal injury lawsuit. As such, pain and suffering is not only difficult to calculate, but may draw serious scrutiny by the insurance company against which the claim is directed. Therefore, when seeking monetary compensation for pain and suffering, a plaintiff must be prepared to provide medical proof. It goes without saying that an experienced auto injury lawyer can be invaluable in this area as well.
When it comes to defining pain and suffering, this part of a personal injury claim is considered to be the physical and/or emotional stress that a car accident victim has experienced as a result of his or her injuries. Although it may seem difficult to put one’s finger on the specific aspects of pain and suffering, the law allows victims to include this as part of their personal injury claim, though the damages from pain and suffering are completely different than other medical expenses, such as prescription medications; X-rays, MRIs and CT scans; hospital stays; and compensation due to lost wages.
When attempting to calculate for pain and suffering -- also referred to as general damages -- there is no specific formula used by every automobile or commercial trucking accident victim. Instead, many plaintiffs have used a multiple of their total medical bills resulting from the particular traffic accident. In some cases, this multiple may be on the order of two, three, or even four times that of the victim’s medical treatment costs.
Still others calculate these general damages based on what is referred to as “daily suffering.” Adding up one’s daily pain, plus all of the daily activities that the injury has caused the victim to be unable or incapable of doing can help a plaintiff to fix a more specific cost of compensation to the injury. Taking that amount and multiplying it by the number of days that the injury persisted or left the victim unable to perform normal daily activities is another way to arrive at a figure for pain and suffering.
Once established, it is important to provide the insurance company with specific proof and evidence to support the pain and suffering aspect of one’s claim. This can be in the form of documentation including medical reports, receipts for prescription and over-the-counter medications, hospital statements and ambulance bills, plus other receipts for doctor and surgical treatments, physical therapy and nursing care. Other documentation may include photos of your injuries and proof of lost wages.
Because of the complexity of many personal injury claims, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen offer their services and knowledge of Maryland law, legal procedures, and the gathering of evidence pertaining to an auto accident claim. When a lawsuit is required, our attorneys prepare every client’s case with the full intent of going to trial. However, not every personal injury lawsuit finds its way into a courtroom; our extensive and thorough legal preparation can increase the chances of a favorable out-of-court settlement. To understand your right to just compensation under the law, call us at (800) 654-1949 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. Or email Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to arrange a meeting to discuss your case.