Should You Give Your Statement to an Adjuster After an Accident?

Adjuster Filling Accident Claim Statement

Accidents are inevitable. According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, which resulted in an estimated $433.8 billion in total motor vehicle injury costs, including medical expenses, motor-vehicle property damage, wage and productivity losses, employer costs and administrative expenses. (In Maryland, car accidents average over 100,000 annually with more than 30,000 people injured or killed.) 

Because accidents require a hefty sum, motorists usually opt to have some insurance to cover costs resulting from motor vehicle accidents. The same can be said of other personal injury cases, such as dog bites and premises liability. 

In the event of accidents or other personal injury cases, the claimant can file an insurance claim—and this is where complications can happen, legally speaking. 

Be Wary of Insurance Adjusters

Within days of filing an insurance claim, expect a call from an insurance adjuster asking for your recorded statement. They need your side of the story to complete their investigation, which along statements from the insured, witnesses, incident reports and police, will help them see a better picture of the accident. 

However, they’re also looking for evidence they can use to lower the claim amount or even deny the claim altogether. Adjusters retrieve such information by catching you off guard and using tricks to uncover inconsistencies or any info they can use to ultimately lessen or totally negate your claim. 

Watch out for:

  • A request for your statement right after the accident. It’s their way to try and trip you up. Don’t agree to a recorded statement when you’re in severe pain, lack sleep, taking medication, confused or upset, or haven’t had a chance to consult a personal injury lawyer. Reschedule or opt for a written statement instead. 
  • Misleading questions. For instance, seemingly harmless queries like “How do you feel today?” can possibly be used to determine how injured you are. If you answer, “I’m fine,” you’re screwed because no one who’s injured is “fine.” They’ll put words in your mouth and you’re none the wiser.
  • Asking personal questions. Remember to stick to the facts. Don’t give the adjuster any info that could lead them to think you were distracted by personal issues or be willing to settle for quick and easy money.

Whatever you say in a recorded statement remains forever. There’s no way to change any mistakes or faulty info you may have provided. So remember: Insurance adjusters are not your friend. They’re not on your side!

Attorneys Don’t Recommend Giving Statements

A personal injury lawyer discourages recorded statements, which may contain incomplete and even faulty information. A written statement, which allows you to state the facts regarding the accident precisely and thoroughly, is preferred.  

In this way, personal injury lawyers deter their clients from releasing two conflicting statements, specifically for cases wherein the claimant decided to file a lawsuit. Inconsistencies in the claimant’s stories can definitely damage the case.

However, if you do decide to go for a recorded statement, do so in the presence of your lawyer. They’ll have you prepare an outline to help you remember important points and details, and help you stick to the facts. Most importantly, they will also ensure you don’t say anything that may hurt your claim and that the adjuster doesn’t ask tricky, misleading, inappropriate or irrelevant questions. 

Filing for Insurance Claim in Maryland

When filing for an insurance claim in Maryland, there are two additional factors to bear in mind. These will determine if you’ll receive compensation and how much. 

Statute of limitations. From the date of the accident, claimants have three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and settle their claim. Beyond this period, you will have lost your legal right to pursue your claim against the negligent party or the insurance company.

Contributory negligence. According to Maryland’s law, if the claimant has even the slightest contribution to an accident, then they will not receive any compensation whatsoever. 

If filing an insurance claim in Maryland, it makes sense to do so with the help of an attorney. A personal injury lawyer in Baltimore like Nick Parr, for example, can defend against contributory negligence accusations and ensure that you will receive your due compensation in an expedited manner.

Filing an insurance claim? Contact Nick Parr today for a free consultation!

How to Deal With Road Accidents, A Leading Cause of Death in America

dealing with road accident in maryland

After heart disease and cancer, unintentional injuries or accidents—which include motor vehicle crashes, falls, poisoning, etc.—ranks third place among the leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2017. A Data Brief from the National Center for Health Statistics, which ranked the causes according to the number of deaths, states that the age-adjusted death rate for unintentional injuries climbed 4.2% from 2016 to 2017.

Based on the most recent data (2017 as of this writing) from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injury is the no. 1 cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. And unintentional motor vehicle traffic injury is the no. 1 cause of death for ages 5 to 24.


Maryland Road Accident Statistics

In Maryland, car accidents are the fourth leading cause of death, again after heart disease, cancer, and stroke. A crash summary report from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration states that in 2018, there were 117,750 crashes in the state; over 80,000 resulted in damage to property and more than 30,000 crashes resulted in injuries. There were 513 people who died in 486 fatal crashes, and almost 50,000 were injured.


6 Deadly Factors in Road Accidents

The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan pinpointed six deadly factors that contribute to road accidents in the state. These are:

  1. Distracted drivers, who are not paying attention to the road because they are doing something else while driving.
  2. Drunk or impaired drivers, who are not in the right state of mind to drive due to the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  3. Aggressive drivers, who refuse to follow rules and drive full speed ahead.
  4. Unprotected driving, where drivers and/or passengers do not secure themselves with seatbelts.
  5. Road construction, where intersections and highway construction zones are hazardous at the moment.
  6. Non-drivers, or pedestrians who are the most vulnerable to road accidents.


What to Do When Road Accidents Happen

No one wants to be involved in an accident, but these destructive road accidents could happen to anyone. Victims of road accidents can turn to the court to have the person liable pay for damages and compensation. You’ll have a better chance of winning the case if you know what to do after a road accident.

First, stop. Do not drive away from the scene, no matter how minor the road accident is.

Second, preserve the scene. Warn other drivers and/or bikers and pedestrians about the accident to prevent further damages and to avoid another accident on the road—therefore, mitigating possible casualties and risks.

Third, call the authorities. Notify your insurance company about the accident you’re involved in to get possible financial remedies on your injury or damaged property. Then call an ambulance if the accident caused real damage to you or to another person. Also, contact the police because you might need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, or even just to claim your vehicle. You also need the police to investigate what happened.

Fourth, make an accurate record. Tell the police everything you know. Be honest and transparent; don’t speculate. Take pictures of the visible damages on the vehicles and on yourself. This documentation could be used as evidence for your insurance company. Also, gather contact information of the people involved and any witnesses. This will come handy to your lawyer in the future. Remember to always keep a copy of everything.

Fifth, seek medical attention. Whether or not you are sure if you suffered any injuries, it’s best to go to the nearest emergency room or doctor for possible treatment. Do this after the police have properly dismissed you.


Contact an Accident Lawyer Immediately

You should have your accident lawyer such as Nick Parr on speed dial, or contact one as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney provides the best chance at getting just compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered due to the road accident. They can inform you of your rights and give legal advice before you furnish the insurance company with a statement. Some accident lawyers or firms even answer the insurance companies and gather potential evidence on your behalf.

How to Choose an Accident Attorney: 3 Factors to Consider

gavel on a document at nick parr law office

Accidents come in many forms and can result in different kinds of cases, such as vehicular damages, personal injuries and even wrongful death. In a few states like Maryland, the “contributory negligence” rule—which says that a person who is even slightly responsible for an accident will be ineligible for compensation for damages—further complicates these legal issues. It can be difficult for victims of accidents to get the just compensation they deserve without help from an accident attorney.

Factors to Consider in Choosing an Accident Attorney

An accident attorney can assist you every step of the way in your legal battle until you receive just payment for damages. This compensation will be very helpful in fulfilling medical obligations, vehicle repair, and getting back to a normal life, in general.

Because these legal professionals can play a big role in the success of your case, deciding which accident attorney to enlist to handle your case can significantly affect whether you win or lose the case.

But, deciding which lawyer to entrust your case is tough. What should be your criteria in choosing an accident attorney? Here are some factors to consider.


First of all, the accident attorney you pick to represent you should have a license to practice in the jurisdiction where you want to file a case. (Your lawyer should be able to determine which jurisdiction to file your case to maximize your chances of recovery.) In other words, commission a lawyer from the local area who will be familiar with the local laws.

Expertise and Experience

In addition to familiarity with local laws, the lawyer you pick should also be knowledgeable and have sufficient experience handling similar cases. In this way, they can represent your case competently, drawing from both their expertise and experience.

An experienced lawyer would also be proficient in gathering evidence, finding the witness and filing paperwork within the deadline set by the law. Working within the local court’s deadline is critical in whether or not you have a chance at getting compensated or your case dismissed. An accident attorney’s experience plays a major role in the outcome of your case, so choose wisely.


Finally, choose an accident attorney whom you trust can advocate for you. Conduct research and speak to different lawyers. Look at their track records and learn about the experience of their former clients. How well did the lawyer handle former cases? How did they treat former clients?

Select an Accident Attorney Carefully

When dealing with accidents, it’s never a good idea to go through the legal battle alone. The assistance of an accident attorney is vital to saving time and lessen the hassles a legal case brings into your life while maximizing your chances of recovery. More importantly, having a professional on the case can reduce your stress levels.

By carefully deciding which accident attorney to commission with your case, you’re taking the first step toward receiving your just compensation.

If you’re looking for an accident attorney to help with your case, contact us at the Law Office of Nicholas A. Parr today.

The Top 3 Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Maryland

Semi Truck On Freeway In Maryland

Trucks play an essential role in Maryland’s economy, transporting products from manufacturers to consumers in 93% of the state’s communities. In fact, trucks carry 88% of total manufactured tonnage or 138,800 tons of goods per day into the Old Line State, according to the Maryland Motor Truck Association, Inc.

With these many trucks traveling through and sharing the roads in Maryland, accidents are bound to happen. For instance, truck accidents frequently occur in major interstates like I-95 and Route 70 (one of the top 10 most dangerous roads for truck drivers between 2013 and 2016, according to the Department of Transportation). These accidents can cause damage to property, serious personal injuries, and even death.

Many factors lead to accidents involving large trucks. Here are the top three most common causes of commercial truck accidents in Maryland.

  1. Driver fatigue

Driver fatigue, usually manifesting as drowsiness, is a hazardous situation for both the driver and others on the road. Drowsiness reduces the driver’s attentiveness, slows reaction time and adversely affects decision-making.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving causes more than 6,400 deaths in the U.S. annually. Meanwhile, the destruction it leaves behind costs the society $109 billion, excluding property damage, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. And one of the most at-risk groups are—unsurprisingly—commercial drivers, especially long-haul drivers.

  1. Faulty maintenance

Drivers who operate trucks that lack maintenance or are maintained improperly risk serious accidents on the road. Regular truck maintenance, as mandated by law, is essential in keeping vehicles in good running condition and by extension, everyone’s safety—motorists, passengers and pedestrians alike.

Commercial trucks have many parts and components that need to be maintained, but tires appear to pose the greatest threat. In its Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2016 report, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stated that tires were the second most common vehicle-related factor for large trucks involved in fatal crashes.

  1. Distracted driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This includes talking to other people in the vehicle, fiddling with the vehicle’s entertainment or navigation system, and the most dangerous of all, using your cellphone.

According to the FMCSA, distracted driving accounted for 6% of fatalities involving large trucks in 2016, of which 16% was due to cellphone use. Using the cellphone while driving is so hazardous, in fact, that many states in the country ban hand-held cellphone use as well as texting while driving.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. And with so many possible causes, truck accidents are never simple cases. These complex cases are best handled by an experienced truck accident lawyer, such as Nick A. Parr who has held several serious truck accident cases. He works with medical professionals, life planners, and others to ensure you receive full compensation for any injuries or damages resulting from commercial truck accidents.

Contact Nick A. Parr for a free consultation today!

What Happens If Your Uber Gets Into An Accident?

Uber accident attorney
Injured in an Uber accident?

What happens if you are injured in an Uber accident?

Who will pay for your medical bills and damages?

There are a couple possible scenarios.

If your Uber driver caused the accident, you are covered by Uber’s auto insurance through James River Insurance. Assuming your driver was “on platform”, James River Insurance is liable for your bodily injury claim. Uber has $1 million in liability coverage. Uber also has personal injury protection benefits or PIP. If your Uber driver causes an accident and you are injured, a bodily injury claim should be presented to James River Insurance.

As an innocent passenger, you are entitled to both the bodily injury claim and the personal injury protection benefits. James River Insurance is required to reimburse medical expenses and/or lost wages up to $2,500.00 through PIP benefits in addition to any bodily injury settlement. Uber passengers have the benefit of a $1 million policy limit and personal injury protection benefits. However, if you waived PIP or live with a family member who waived PIP, you are not entitled to PIP benefits through Uber’s insurance.

If another driver caused the accident, an injured Uber passenger simply makes a bodily injury claim with the at fault vehicle’s insurance company. Uber has $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you are a passenger in an Uber that is involved in an accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver, there is bodily injury coverage up to $1 million. The uninsured motorist coverage also applies if your Uber driver is involved in a hit and run accident. In these scenarios the Uber passenger is eligible for personal injury protection benefits.

As with any auto insurance company, James River Insurance will do everything it can to pay the minimum to Uber passengers who are injured in car accidents. The injured Uber passenger should contact an attorney familiar with Uber and James River Insurance. Nicholas A. Parr settled and litigated dozens of lawsuits with Uber and James River insurance. Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas a. Parr if your Uber driver was in an accident.


Maryland Traffic Accidents Are On The Rise

Accidents are increasing because of texting and driving.

Driving in Baltimore or another city is becoming more dangerous. Be sure you already know who to call if you have a personal injury.

Having the unfortunate luck of being involved in an auto accident can mean months of dealing with insurance, visits to the doctor, and even using up your leave from work. Not to mention the toll an accident can have on your body and emotional well-being. It’s something everyone wants to avoid, but in Maryland, car crashes and injuries happen all too often.

Why are there so many accidents?

If you’ve wondered if traffic has gotten worse over the years, it’s not just your imagination. Over the past five years, Maryland has seen a nearly 20% increase in traffic accidents and injuries from accidents have increased by over 15%.

Drivers distracted by mobile phones may be mostly to blame since drunk driving has steadily declined, but other factors could have contributed to these disturbing statistics.

Factors like poor road conditions and declining infrastructure cost each motorist in Maryland about $550 per year in repairs. Even more worrisome is that nearly a fourth of Maryland’s roads are considered to be in poor condition, which just goes to show how hazardous an everyday commute can be.

What causes car accidents in Maryland?

The main cause of accidents everywhere is typically driver error. Driver errors include things like failing to stop at red lights or stop signs. Aggressive driving is also a driver error.

One example of aggressive driving is tailgating, which means following behind someone too closely. These examples may not seem like a big deal, but they can easily lead to an accident leading to serious injury.

Here’s what to do if you’re in an accident

Getting into an accident is often very stressful since many steps are involved in making things right again. Having someone in your corner with experience in handling these types of situations can take a huge burden off your shoulders.

Let Nicholas A. Parr help you get the justice you deserve and help you navigate your rights through any situation in Baltimore Maryland.

If The Accident Wasn’t Your Fault Why Is Your Insurance Involved?

Baltimore Car Accident Attorney explains your insuranceSo you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and now your insurance is involved, how could that be? There are several possible reasons.

The most obvious reason to an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer is a claim for personal injury protection benefits or “PIP”. If you have PIP you should use it (you pay extra for it every month). It is “no fault” coverage, your insurance rates won’t go up, and you can use it to pay for medical bills so you will get more money from your bodily injury settlement. Usually, PIP will add $2,500 to the typical settlement (unless you use it for lost wages).

There are less obvious and more annoying reasons. For example, maybe the driver of the car that hit you didn’t contact his insurance or isn’t returning calls. In that case, you could be stuck with a damaged vehicle and no way to get it fixed. The other driver’s insurance isn’t going to accept the claim unless they speak with their insured. So what are your choices? You can drive around a damaged car or, even worse, have your car totaled and stuck in some tow lot collecting storage fees. The inconvenient truth is that you may be stuck with one option, pay your deductible and get your car fixed through your own insurance. Your rates won’t go up since the car accident wasn’t your fault and, if you are lucky, your insurance will waive your deductible or get it back through subrogation.

You could be stuck going through the same scenario if the other driver is disputing liability. People lie all of the time. You know the accident wasn’t your fault, after all the guy was nice and even apologized. The other driver might have a completely different story when his insurance asks how the accident happened. The other driver’s insurance isn’t going to pay for your car repairs if their insured is pointing the finger at you.

A significant percentage of drivers are uninsured. If the other driver was uninsured, your deductible will most likely be less but it will not be waived or reimbursed. In addition, you would have to make your bodily injury claim through the uninsured motorist coverage under your insurance policy. Again, an uninsured motorist claim will not make your rates go up since the car accident wasn’t your fault. Making an uninsured motorist claim may seem confusing at first but it is very simple. Your insurance takes the place of the at-fault driver. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in Maryland!

Your insurance could also be involved due to an under-insured motorist. Maryland minimum limits are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. If your bodily injury claim is worth more than the minimum coverage and your insurance policy has greater than the minimum limits, you will need to make an under-insured motorist claim.

People who are in accidents are weary involving their own insurance but there is nothing to be worried about if the accident wasn’t your fault. You pay a monthly premium so the insurance company is there for you when you need it. You hire an experienced personal injury attorney like me to make sure your insurance company keeps up its end of the bargain!

So, Your Saying There’s a Last Clear Chance: Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland

Pedestrian accidents in Maryland can be tough. Pedestrian accidents are particularly difficult because Maryland is one of only a handful of states that adopt the doctrine of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence basically means that a person is partially at fault for their own accident. In Maryland, if you are only 1% at fault for an accident you can be totally barred from recovery. Contributory negligence is a common defense in pedestrian accident cases. One reason for this common defense is that pedestrians often cross streets outside of crosswalks or cross streets where they are not supposed to, essentially jaywalking. I recently had a pedestrian accident trial where my client was crossing the street and there was no crosswalk for 100 yards. To make matters worse he was wearing dark clothes at night. I initially didn’t think the case stood a chance. I explained to the client that we were huge underdogs.

At trial, in Prince George’s County Circuit Court, I had a couple things going for me. First, the Landover, Maryland roadway where the pedestrian accident occurred was extremely straight and flat. Second, according to my client, he was hit while standing on the double yellow lines. Third, the driver who hit my client was not a good witness.

Contributory negligence is the Achilles Heel for a pedestrian accident injury victim but there is a way to defend against it. The defense is “last clear chance”. An individual who contributed to a pedestrian accident can recover if they can show that the other party had a “last clear chance” to avoid causing the pedestrian accident. In this case, the defendant had a clear view of the road in front of her for over 100 yards. This fact combined with my cross examination of the defendant was enough to convince the Prince George’s County jury to rule in favor of my client. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, contact The Law Offices of Nicholas A. Parr for a free consultation.

If I am in an accident with a drunk driver will I get a bigger settlement?

Injured in an accident caused by a drunk driverIn Maryland, the answer is probably no. An individual injured by a drunk driver or the family of someone killed by a drunk driver will  probably not get more. That is because Maryland doesn’t allow punitive damages in car accidents caused by drunk drivers, even if that car accident caused a death or serious injury. Punitive damages are payments made over and above fines and standard compensation to victims. They are designed to punish an offender for conduct that either arises from an evil motive, or reckless indifference to others. The latter definition would apply to drunk driving. The idea of punitive damages against drunk drivers has been debated in the Maryland legislature but attempts to provide punitive damages have failed. Some say that punitive damages are an undeserved reward. Others respond that they are needed as a deterrent. Today most states have laws that allow punitive damages in at least some drunk driving accident cases. For example, our neighbor to the south, Virginia, allows for punitive damages in certain drunk driving cases. Maryland does not allow punitive damages in drunk driving cases and believe me the insurance companies lobby hard to keep it that way.

Recently, I explained to two clients that the fact they were injured by a drunk driver will not necessarily lead to a bigger settlement. They were surprised. I think most people assume that if they were injured in an car accident caused by someone who was dumb enough to drink and drive that they are entitled to a larger settlement or judgment. That concept makes sense and seems fair but life is not fair, especially in Maryland. Sure, during settlement negotiations a lawyer can remind the insurance adjuster that the at fault driver was drunk as a skunk. However, most insurance adjusters know that a Maryland jury will never hear about drunk driving. A Maryland jury will never hear about the fact that the other driver had 18 shots of Fireball before he or she decided to smash into a family minivan filled to the brim with children. In my client’s case, a Maryland jury will never hear that his truck was totaled by a drunk driver on Christmas morning. Why won’t the Maryland jury hear those stories? Once the other driver admits fault, liability can be stipulated to and motions can be filed by the insurance company’s lawyer to ensure no one will ever hear the words “drunk driver”. The case is essentially treated the same as if the driver was simply careless and made an honest mistake.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact The Law Offices of Nicholas A. Parr. Speak directly with the attorney who will fight to make sure you get what you deserve.

Baltimore City Police Reports

Baltimore Personal Injury AttorneyFor those of us who live, work in, or visit Baltimore City it is pretty obvious that the police were on vacation in 2017. Their absence leaves Baltimore in the throws of a crime wave the likes of which hasn’t been seen since crack cocaine hit the Baltimore corners in the 1980’s.  Maybe they will return to work in 2018. Do I blame the police? Not really, they were stabbed in the back by an inexperienced states attorney trying to make a name for herself instead of protecting the city we love. The lack of law an order in the streets of Baltimore can be seen on so many levels. Random violence in the streets, lack of response to 911 calls,  administrative shortcomings and delays – all a byproduct of failed leadership at the highest levels.

As a Baltimore personal injury attorney, I see the ramifications of a listing Baltimore City Police Department everyday. For example, if you are involved in a car accident in Baltimore and need a police report, don’t hold your breath. If the police decide to respond to your accident, chances are they won’t do much. In Baltimore, the police won’t prepare accident reports unless someone leaves in an ambulance. In many cases, the Baltimore City Police are no longer preparing reports for hit and run accidents even though a crime was committed . When the Baltimore City Police do prepare accident reports, it can take several months before the report is available.

If you are involved in an accident in Baltimore, you cannot rely on the police to obtain the other driver’s information. If you are in a car accident in Baltimore, it is essential that you, at the very least, get the tag number of the other vehicle(s) involved. A tag search can identify the owner and the insurance company. Doing a tag search is much easier than obtaining Baltimore City police reports. A picture of the other driver’s license and insurance card is also very helpful but the tag number is the catch all. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, do everything you can to document the incident. In the age of camera phones, taking pictures of the car accident is not difficult. Pictures of the scene can be helpful.  If you are transported by ambulance, but still coherent, find a way to get they other driver’s information. Snap a picture of the license plate or ask someone to do it for you. The most difficult situation occurs when someone is so seriously injured in an accident that they are unresponsive or incapacitated. The individual who is injured is at the mercy of the Baltimore City Police. Lets hope they step up their game in 2018. If you are injured in an accident in Baltimore, not having the other driver’s insurance information can delay your claim and recovery. It is essential to contact an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney, call the Law Offices of Nicholas A. Parr, we can help.