Over the course of the last decade, I've published in excess of 700 articles in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, workers' compensation and insurance disputes, generally. If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to contact me to discuss the details of your case and learn how I can help.

Should I “Let the Car Insurance Handle” My Baltimore Accident Case?

Those injured in automobile accidents frequently ponder if it makes sense to retain an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer, or, if they should just “let the insurance handle it.” It’s a legitimate question. The answer is equally legitimate, and unequivocal. The standard advice when it comes to coping with the real-life consequences of a significant personal injury-causing event, such as a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, is uniform and unhesitating. It makes zero sense to let the insurance company “sort it out.”

A catastrophic car accident can have lifelong consequences. The injured individual obviously requires immediate, effective, and likely lasting medical care. Moreover, the injuries may be such that it becomes necessary or likely that the affected person will require medical care well into the future, or potentially, for the rest of their lives A similar analysis must be employed when addressing the wages lost by this injured person. When confronted with a significant car accident with serious injuries, the disruption in life may not be fully ascertained for months or years. The impacted person may miss a period of time immediately after the happening of the accident. That is not necessarily the end of the analysis. What if the conditions and afflictions that result from the car accident are significant enough that the insured person may not be able to return to work at all, or, may not be able to return to their former fields of endeavor and thereby lose substantial future income, or the potential of earning substantial future income? These latter two components of a catastrophic personal injury claim, generally called future medical or future wage loss, illustrate the need to have seasoned, experienced personal injury counsel in one’s corner. As a further illustration, an accident attorney, standing alone, would not be able to generate the evidence needed to corroborate, document, substantiate and ultimately prevail on a future medical needs claim. A veteran Baltimore accident attorney would be able to garner sufficient expert analysis and testimony to prove-up a future medical needs claim in a court of law. Likewise, even the most experienced and well-versed personal injury attorney in Baltimore would be unable to generate the documentation and other evidence needed to support a future wage loss or a diminution of earning capacity claim. However, that lawyer would be familiar with the cadre of vocational experts, and economists necessary to successfully present such a claim to a jury.

Full Transcript

“Anyone injured through the negligence of another is going to be presented with two options if they decide to pursue legal action. The claim can be resolved through an amicable settlement, typically reduced to a writing called a release. The other option is to have the amount of appropriate compensation determined in a court of law, and set by a jury or a judge. Now, if that latter determination is not appealed, either a binding settlement or a verdict handed down by a court represents a final and binding conclusion to the claim. There are no second chances and there are no “do-overs”. Given the gravity of those consequences, it simply makes sense to have the guidance of a skilled and seasoned professional in making determinations and decisions throughout the course of the claim”.

You Must Not Let The Insurance Dictate the Compensation You Get.

There is clear unequivocal, unflinching, and unhesitating guidance that can be offered that is applicable in every situation. One must always assume the other guy is out for himself first. That applies whether the “other guy” is a real person or an insurance company. Lawyers must abide by a strict code of ethics that would prohibit them from considering their own interests over that of their clients. The choice to hire a personal injury lawyer is a significant one. As with any meaningful choice, there are significant consequences. By retaining experienced personal injury counsel of one’s choosing, the injured person may take some measure of solace in knowing that a skilled professional is handling their case, and working to achieve the benefits to which they are entitled. The trade-off here is that litigation costs may be incurred. Beware, though, that on the other end of this dilemma lies the prospect of allowing the insurance company to continue to unilaterally resolve your claim. Insurance companies likewise make decisions all of the time. These choices also have consequences, and when, it’s your claim, those choices have meaningful ramifications for you.  The myriad ways in which car insurance companies in this country remain profitable year after year after year is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that any insurance company would rather have a cadre of closed cases where they have paid a minimal amount as opposed to a multitude of open claims where the payouts in the future were uncertain. As a further example, if an accident can be characterized as being a minimal impact involving little or no visible property damage the insurance company will absolutely characterize it that way. A claim involving no personal injury and minimal property damages is not going to represent a significant area of exposure for that insurance company. Likewise if it incident can be in any way characterized as one involving minimal property damage and soft tissue injuries, only,  the insurance company will absolutely and uniformly characterize it that way. Clearly, a claim with minor or insignificant injuries and minor or insignificant damage to the involved vehicles does not represent the same amount of financial exposure as a claim with catastrophic injuries the amount of which is by no means certain. An experienced personal injury litigator can resist that institutional effort to minimalize trivialize or marginalize the nature and extent of the injury and damages in a claim.