Prince George’s County Auto Accidents Attorney
Prince George’s County is one of the most highly-populated and well-traveled areas in the state of Maryland. Homicides may make the headlines, but it is a fact that more people die of car crashes in Maryland every year. Sadly, the vast majority of fatal crashes and serious injury accidents could have been prevented if the driver who caused the accident had simply been more careful. At the law office of Jermaine D. Hammonds, LLC, we fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for the damage they have caused and ensure that injury victims get the compensation they need to recover from the harm done to them by the negligence of others.
Maryland’s Complicated Automobile Insurance Laws
The state of Maryland has such a complicated and confusing mix of automobile insurance laws, that it can difficult to determine where to go or what to do to recover compensation when you have been hurt in a car crash. First, there is Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also known as “no-fault” insurance coverage. With your PIP coverage, you can claim up to $2,500 (or more) in medical costs and other reasonable expenses related to your accident, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Whether PIP coverage applies and to whom may depend on whether you chose full or limited coverage.
Recovering PIP benefits involves filing a claim with your insurance company. However, just because the claim is with “your” insurance company, make no mistake that when you file a claim, you are in an adversarial relationship with the carrier. If they can, they will find a way to deny your claim or pay as little as possible.
In addition to no-fault insurance coverage, Maryland law also requires you to purchase liability insurance, which pays for bodily injury and property damage expenses. When you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you make a claim against that at-fault driver, and the other driver’s liability insurance should cover your damages. The minimum amount of liability insurance required by law in Maryland is $30,000 for bodily injury per person, up to a maximum of $60,000 in one crash, as well as $15,000 for property damage.
Another type of insurance required is Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Even though liability insurance is required by law, many people evade the law and drive without it. UM coverage can help you when you are hit by an uninsured driver or when your damages exceed the liability limits on the negligent driver’s policy. In these cases, even though the other driver is at fault, you pursue an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company (because the other driver is uninsured, of course). Just like when seeking PIP benefits, even though you are dealing with your own insurance company, you will want to have your own legal representation by someone whose only interests are in seeing that you get all of the compensation that is due to you.
Why You Need an Attorney
Whether dealing with the other driver’s insurance company or your own, insurers keep their costs down by limiting payouts. They employ “adjusters” who are expertly trained at “adjusting” your claim in the light most favorable to the carrier. Also, insurance companies often engage in tactics such as arguing that you were not as seriously injured as you claim to be, or that your injury is caused by some other pre-existing condition that has nothing to do with the car accident. Another favorite ploy of theirs is to claim that your own negligence contributed to the accident. If they can prove that you were even just partially responsible for causing the crash, they can avoid paying you a single cent.
If you are not represented by an attorney, the offer from the insurance company to settle your claim will be nowhere near what your claim is worth, but they will be quick to offer you a check and pressure you into taking it, which releases them from any further liability. However, if you are represented by a serious attorney who understands insurance company tactics and won’t fall for them, the insurance company is much more likely to deal with you fairly and offer an appropriate settlement. If settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will have prepared the case for litigation all the way to a jury verdict if necessary.
For Auto Accidents in Prince George’s County, Jermaine Hammonds can Help
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Prince George’s County, personal injury attorney Jermaine Hammonds is the one to call on to represent you with the insurance companies and make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve to recover from the crash. Call our office at (301) 706-8835, or contact us online to schedule a no-cost initial consultation with a capable Maryland attorney dedicated to helping you recover to the fullest extent.