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Car Accident & Auto Accident Attorney- Baltimore Lawyer

Maryland Automobile and Car Accident Attorney

Finding the right attorney to handle an automobile accident is important, if not imperative.  Complicating the decision even more is the number of attorneys to choose from.  Some claim to be the “Best auto accident attorney in Maryland,” “most aggressive personal injury attorney around,” or the “top rated attorney.”  Take these statements with a grain of salt and do your research to find an attorney that will fit your particular needs.  Perhaps you don’t want an aggressive attorney so much as one that will get you the benefits you are entitled to in a timely manner.

For a no cost consultation with Baltimore Car Accident Atto

Baltimore auto accident attorney

rney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call +1 (410) 937-1659     OR         Email

Is there a Best Automobile and Car accident Attorney in Baltimore or anywhere for that matter?
When should I hire a car accident attorney?
How much will I have to pay an automobile accident attorney in Maryland?
Do I need to hire a car accident attorney?

 

Do I need to hire a car accident attorney?

The short answer is No.  You do not have to hire an auto accident attorney to handle your case.  Without any exact statistics I can comfortably say that people represent themselves in car accident case regularly.  Something to consider though, is the end result of the claim and whether the benefits obtained by the self represented individual  were the same as those an attorney would have obtained.  In a large majority of personal injury cases an attorney will obtain more compensation for the injured driver than he or she would have obtained on their own.  This is in part because an attorney is able to more accurately evaluate a case for settlement purposes and also leverage the threat of a lawsuit and subsequent jury verdict!

It should indeed be understood that there is a lot more to properly handling a car accident case than simply negotiating for money.  If making a few phone calls and haggling for money is all it took than there would not be much of a market for personal injury attorneys.  It is a bit more complicated than that.  Errors made along the way can create headaches for the victim in the future.

What will an auto accident attorney do other than call and negotiate a settlement?

A qualified and experienced auto accident attorney  will perform the following tasks and duties while handling the case:

  • Arrange medical treatment.  In many circumstances the injury victim can not afford to pay co-pays and upfront expenses to physicians.  One example is repeated co-pays for physical therapy.  Many personal injury attorneys are able to find the persona physician who will not charge until after the case is settled.  This means that the victim can get treatment when they need it and pay later.
  • Order and obtain complete medical records.  Not only are complete medical records necessary to prove that an injury was sustained, but also to know the severity of the injury, whether future medical treatment will be expected as a result of the accident, and to use as exhibits should the case go to trial.  Auto accident attorneys will pay for complete medical records upfront and request reimburse out of any settlement or judgement money.  If no money is obtained than the attorney will not seek reimbursement of the expenses.  This alleviates any financial risk on the victims part.  It is quite common to pay hundreds of dollars for medical records alone.
  • Once the medical records are obtained the auto accident attorney will also obtain lien information from any health insurer who may have paid for medical treatment.  This step is very important!  If a health insurer has paid for medical treatment they are entitled to reimbursed for their payments in many cases.  If their lien is not protected they have the right to file their own lawsuit against the injured for reimbursement.  This could be financially devastating to a victim who has already spent the settlement money.  Not only will the car accident attorney obtain and the lien information and make sure liens are taken care of, but he he or she will also attempt to negotiate the liens so that more of the settlement money will go to the victim.
  • Settlement negotiations can take various forms.  Simply picking up the phone and calling the adjuster is one method.  This is not advisable.  In fact by doing this many adjusters may sense that the person on the other end of the phone is not familiar with the settlement process and be more inclined to offer a low amount of money.  Having the right car accident attorney will mean having an attorney that will negotiate properly and show his experience and qualifications.
  • To settle a case properly means to prepare the right demand package which will influence the adjuster favorably.  Car accident lawyers routinely prepare demand packages and they may vary in a great degree from one attorney to the next, however each should contain atleast a factual summation of the accident, photos of property damage and personal injury, outstanding bills, complete medical expenses, complete property damage expenses.  There are a number of other documents that may also be included in the demand package.  The purpose is to give the person on the other end of the phone the impression that the injury was serious and that if thIMG_0008e case goes to a trial the verdict would be reflect the seriousness.
  • The threat of a lawsuit is taken more serious when it comes from an attorney and not a person representing themselves.  Perhaps that person would indeed do better at a trial than an attorney, but the odds are not good.  A car accident attorney can not only threaten to file a lawsuit which will cost the adjuster more money, the attorney will also litigate the case.  This means handling depositions, drafting interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admission of fact.  Handle the mediation, pre-trial hearings, motions hearings, the trial and more.
  • Evaluations for permanent injuries can be performed only by a handful of physicians in the state of Maryland.  These evaluations are expensive and must be performed properly to be useful.  An attorney will pay for the evaluation upfront and also ensure it is scheduled with the proper doctor.

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When should I hire a car accident attorney

A car accident attorney can be hired at anytime in the process of the claim.  (Keep in mind in Maryland after three years from the date of the accident the claim will be forever barred).  The best time to hire an attorney is as soon as possible.  This is especially the case when medical treatment is needed because an attorney can help with this.  This is so the attorney has time to obtain all that he or she needs to prepare for settlement or trial.  Waiting to hire an attorney could mean running the risk of blowing the statute of limitations, but it could also mean needlessly delaying work that needs to be done on any case.  For instance, unpaid medical bills will begin flowing to the injured within a month after treatment.  These providers need to be put on notice that the bills will be paid when the case settles or if there is a judgement favorable.  Failure to properly notify the medical providers could lead to a collections agency getting involved.

It is best for the victim to have an attorney for questions early on in the process rather than waiting and making potential mistakes that could affect the case.  One mistake commonly made is not seeking medical treatment in a reasonable amount of time.  Delaying medical treatment in hopes the pain will go away is a bad idea and can potentially ruin the chance of recovering compensation.

Is there a best auto accident or car accident attorney?

There are over 23,000 attorneys in Maryland (stats here).  A good portion of them handle car accident cases.  It is simply impossible to know who is the best, let alone determine what qualities in an attorney make he or she better than others.  That said there are good attorneys and bad attorneys and only the particular client will decide whether they have a good or bad attorney.  The real test is whether that attorney is going to meet the particular needs of the client.  For further reading on determining the “right” attorney go here which discusses the right workers compensation attorney but the same principal discussion can be used for selecting auto accident attorneys.

Is there a most aggressive attorney in Maryland?  Perhaps there is but this may not be the best option.  While an aggressive attorney can be good at times, often over aggression can lead to a bigger fight from the opposing side.  An over aggressive attorney will at times create more harm than good.  The key is picking an attorney that knows how and when to be aggressive, but also when being nice can get their clients just as much if not more as the aggressive attorney.  Setting aside temperament, there are a number of other considerations that may matter more than level of aggression.5 star review- Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh Esq.

Is the attorney crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s or is he too busy being aggressive to make sure he doesn’t mess up the paperwork?  Focusing on the job at hand is important to ensure that all work is done properly and sometimes the attorney with one great skill lacks in other areas.  Again, do some research and pick the “right” attorney.

How much will I have to pay an attorney to represent me in a car accident case?

If you were not the at fault driver– Throughout the state of Maryland and within most states auto accident attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis.  Contingency fees mean that the attorney must win the case to get paid.  If they lose the client owes them no money and the attorney takes the loss.  Contingency fee arrangement are beneficial to the victim for a number of reasons but primarily because of the upfront costs of handling a case.  The injured would not be responsible to pay for medical records, evidence, exhibits, expert witnesses, or producing documents.  These are all expenses that the attorney will pay for and then request reimbursement out of the settlement or judgment money.  The standard contingency fee arrangement in Maryland is 33 1/3 % of the settlement money.  If the case settles for $100.00 the attorney would request a fee of $33.33.  Medical liens and expenses would be paid back and the remaining money to the victim.  If a lawsuit has to be filed with a local court many contingency attorneys increase their fee to 40% of the settlement or judgment.  The expenses increase dramatically once a lawsuit is filed so there is increased exposure for the attorney.

If you were the at fault driver- You may not necessarily need to hire an attorney.  As long as there is an operative insurance policy involved then the insurance company will handle the case and provide an attorney on your behalf, but also on the insurance companies behalf.  Contact a local attorney right away to confirm you are the at fault driver.  If you do not have insurance than you may need to hire a auto accident attorney familiar with defending claims.  The cost of a defense attorney can range from $150 hour to $600 an hour.  Depending on the circumstances of the accident it may not be necessary to hire a auto accident defense attorney however a consultation with one should take place. 

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For a no cost consultation with Baltimore Car Accident Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call

+1 (410) 937-1659     OR      Email

 

Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh currently practices personal injury and workers compensation law.  He travels throughout the state of Maryland regularly representing injury victims.  Consultations can be obtained throughout the state of Maryland in various locations and offices.    He has represented clients from the mountains of Garrett County to the beaches of the Eastern Shore.

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