In October 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that 2016 had been the deadliest year for drivers in a nine-year period – 37,461 people died in traffic crashes that year, and millions were injured.
The United States now has a traffic fatality rate that’s two to three times higher than traffic fatality rates in other industrialized countries, and crash injury rates are creeping ever-higher.
Many families have struggled with how to move on with their lives following a crash that seriously injures a loved one. If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident and believe the other driver was to blame for the crash, you might be entitled to compensation that could cover your medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. Contact Lusk Law, LLC, to request your free case consultation: 443-535-9715.
How Accidents Happen
Most car accidents aren’t “accidents” at all – they are crashes that occur because drivers take unnecessary risks while driving. Distraction, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are three all-too-common factors in serious and deadly crashes. And when driver negligence causes harm to others, the other driver should be held accountable for his or her actions.
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that these are the top six causes of crashes:
- Rolling right turn on red – Drivers looking left to make sure the road is clear often fail to look to the right; this type of accident typically involves a car hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian.
- Drowsy driving – Drowsy drivers account for an estimated 7 percent of all crashes and 21 percent of fatal crashes.
- Loss of control – This type of crash may occur on a sharp curve or a slick surface, if drivers fail to adjust their speed.
- “Blind” driving – Turning left without being able to clearly see whether cars are approaching.
- Distraction lane/road departure – Many single-vehicle accidents are the result of distraction, and 33 percent of all crashes are linked to lane/road departure caused by distraction.
- Rear-end crashes – These crashes may result from distraction or from following too closely.
How Injury Victims are Compensated
Maryland law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident in bodily injury car insurance coverage. But if multiple people are injured in the same crash, that minimum coverage probably will not cover all of the insureds medical costs.
An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to find all available sources of compensation for crash victims. If insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover your actual financial losses, your medical care, and your current and future lost wages, an attorney may advise you to pursue a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your injuries.
How Fault is Determined
Maryland is one of only four states that, along with Washington, D.C., follows a pure contributory negligence rule, which means that if you are even slightly at fault for an accident, you are barred from recovering compensation from the other parties. One exception to this rule in Maryland is if a defendant driver’s “willful and wanton” acts caused a crash; then the plaintiff may still be entitled to compensation, regardless of whether they shared fault for the crash.
Additionally, if a defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the crash but didn’t do so, a plaintiff partially at fault could still prevail.
When you bring a personal injury claim against another party, that party’s attorney most likely will try to prove that you share some blame for the crash and are therefore not entitled to compensation. If you are injured in a crash, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
When you suffer a serious injury in a crash, it’s not always easy for doctors to predict what your long-term needs may be. Some people badly injured in crashes require multiple surgeries, ongoing physical therapy, and, in some cases, home health care or mobility devices. All of these factors can add up and be a big strain on family finances, so injured parties should contact an attorney that can ensure that any compensation awarded will adequately address long-term needs.
Don’t wait to get help – contact Lusk Law, LLC, online, or at 443-535-9715, to request a consultation.
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