Personal Injury Lawyers

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do and When Do I Need One?

Dealing with a personal injury after an accident can be a traumatizing experience, especially in a city like Baltimore where the rate of road collisions is high. In fact, a recent study showed Baltimore is the no. 1 city in the United States with the worst drivers and with the shortest average period between collisions.) While some cases get resolved without much complication, there are times when a lawyer is needed to help.

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

Not everyone is fully aware of the role a personal injury lawyer plays. Questions like “What do they do?” and “When do I need one?” are common. There are many ways in which an experienced attorney can help after an accident, and here are some of the ways they can assist their clients.

Explain Rights and Provide Advice

The first and perhaps the most significant role a personal injury lawyer plays is that he/she explains the rights of the client and the application of the law in the case.

For instance, there is a specific time limit within which a lawsuit can be filed that is commonly referred to as the Statute of Limitations. In Maryland, the claimant BP23 — Nick Parr, Personal Injury Lawyers — 072019 2 has three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party; they must settle their claim within this period or lose their legal right to pursue their claim for any compensation.

Maryland is also among the few states in the country that uphold the Contributory Negligence Rule. The law states that the claimant will not receive any compensation if it is proven that they had even the slightest contribution to an accident.

Connecting with the Right Medical Professionals

A personal injury lawyer who has seen multiple cases over the years will have developed strong connections with medical practitioners. This experience and business connections will be useful in determining if the client needs to see a specialist for better treatment. It is also important to make sure that the doctors document how the injury is related to the accident, which should come in handy later during a settlement negotiation or the trial. The attorney may know medical practitioners who may be ready to provide some services without upfront payment and wait for the settlement amount, which will be extremely helpful for a cash-strapped client.

Assessing the Damage

Assessing the total damage of an injury calls for another kind of a professional. An attorney may know an economist or an actuary to help determine the right amount that needs to be claimed. Apart from the medical bills, vehicle repair costs and the loss of wages, the claimant should also consider the long-term impact of the accident, such as a diminished capacity to earn. Insurance companies may deny the claim or offer a very low payout that is not commensurate with the injury. It is times such as these that an experienced lawyer can help the client make sense of the numbers.

Settlement Negotiation and Representation in Court

Armed with the complete knowledge of the level of damage caused by the injury, a lawyer is in a good position to negotiate a settlement. In most cases, the injured party doesn’t have to go to court to get the money owed. But, if the claim or settlement is refused, then the personal injury attorney can take the case to alternative dispute resolution forums or fight the case in court.

Professional Investigation of the Accident

If the accident case reaches the court, an experienced personal injury lawyer and his team will be able to build a case by conducting an investigation of the scene of the accident and interviewing witnesses. There may be a need to recreate the accident in the court, and an attorney will know what kind of professional experts need to be called to make a compelling case.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Baltimore

The streets of Baltimore can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike. In the event of an accident, it is better to save the number of a good personal injury lawyer than scramble to find the right information in a very stressful time. Nicholas Parr has experience in dealing with accidents related to car, motorcycle, truck, bus and pedestrians. Call today for a free consultation!

 

 

 

 

How to Choose an Accident Attorney: 3 Factors to Consider

PERSONAL INJURY LAW ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

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.

License

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.

Trustworthiness

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.

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.

 

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.

Deadly Prince George’s County Car Accident in Laurel, Maryland

This week I heard a report of a fatal car crash in Prince George’s County on Laurel Bowie Road and Bowie Road. I was curious as to what led to the fatal car accident and how it occurred. It turns out the woman who lost her life was a passenger. She was a passenger in what appears to be the at fault vehicle. The vehicle appears to be at fault because it was making a negligent left turn. So what can the family and loved ones do in this tragic situation? In Maryland, wrongful death and survivorship claims can be made.

A wrongful death action seeks to compensate the family. For example, a child who loses his or her father in an automobile collision due to a reckless driver can sue the driver for the emotional suffering the child may experience. In addition, the child may be compensated for the economic losses, such as the father’s income that would have contributed to the child’s care during the father’s life expectancy.

A survival action seeks to compensate the injured individual who died. Since the injured victim is no longer alive to pursue the claim, a personal representative of the decease’s estate acts on behalf of the deceased. Using the example given above, if the deceased father experienced pain and suffering before he died and/or had medical expenses as a result of the collision with the reckless driver, then the survival action can seek to compensate the father for the harms and losses he experienced while he was living.

So who does the family and estate make their claims against? A claim would have to be made against the driver of the vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger. To some this may seem odd but it happens all of the time. If you are driving with someone who causes an accident then you make your claim against that driver. There is another huge issue and that is policy limits. If the at fault driver has minimal coverage, in Maryland $30,000.00 per person and $60,000.00 per incident, then there is a problem. No amount of money can cover the loss of a loved one and minimal coverage isn’t going to come anywhere close. If there is minimal or low coverage, then an experienced Maryland wrongful death attorney would make an underinsured motorist claim with the deceased passenger’s own auto insurance. Even when you are driving in someone else’s car you are still covered by your own underinsured motorist coverage.

These are not the only issues but they are the major issues that an experienced Maryland wrongful death attorney can spot within minutes of reviewing the case. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a car accident, Nicholas Parr is the experienced Maryland wrongful death attorney you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Beware of Judges Who Extend Interlock for DUI in Maryland

Harford County DUIIf you are charged with a DUI in Maryland Interlock is often required in order to avoid suspension of your license. If you refuse a breathalyzer or if your blood alcohol content is greater than .15 your license will automatically be suspended unless you elect to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. If you enroll in the Ignition Interlock Program, you are required to have Interlock installed in your vehicle for one year. Ordinarily for DUI guilty pleas or convictions, Maryland judges are inclined to issue conditions of probation including MADD Victim Impact Panel, Shock Trauma, suspended sentence, supervised probation, fines, alcohol evaluation and classes, and Interlock.

In most cases, if you already have Interlock, judges will allow the time period required to expire as mandated by the MVA-whatever is remaining of the one year. However, there are some Maryland judges who extend Interlock as a condition of probation for DUI. The extension of Interlock for a DUI plea or conviction can be a huge inconvenience and added expense. Experienced Maryland DUI attorneys know what judges are likely to extend enrollment in the Ignition Interlock Program. These judges should be avoided if at all possible.

Harford County District Court is an example of a court where DUI penalties are among the harshest in Maryland. Harford County’s judges have the reputation of being conservative. Stiff penalties including jail time and extended interlock are not uncommon. An experienced Harford County DUI attorney can prepare you and advise you of what to expect if you are arrested for DUI in Harford County.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Harford County Blues

I found myself in Harford County Court quite a bit this past August. I appeared in Harford County Circuit Court twice for pretrial hearings. One client was charged with attempted murder and the other client was charged with driving while suspended, big difference between the two charges. I was able to get a Stet for the client who was charged with driving with a suspended license in Harford County. Stet means that the charge is placed on an inactive docket and as long as you don’t break any laws the State will not prosecute the charge. As for the attempted murder, that case will go to trial or be dismissed. I also appeared in Harford County District Court for a DUI. One thing to remember if you are charged with a DUI in Harford County is that the judges in the district court and the circuit court have a reputation for dishing out some harsh sentences. There are a couple judges who lawyers may want to avoid entirely if possible. Sometimes you have no choice but to proceed with the judge who is on the bench on your trial date. For Harford County DUI cases preparation is key. I always advise my clients to immediately get an alcohol evaluation and to enroll in alcohol education and treatment.

My client was prepared and he needed to be. He had a blood alcohol content that was over double the legal limit. In addition, to alcohol evaluation and classes my client also attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The judge agreed to give my client the benefit of a probation before judgment. In a Harford County DUI with a high blood alcohol content a probation before judgment is an excellent outcome. Probation before judgment is a disposition that is not a conviction and also prevents any points from appearing on your MVA record. If you are charged with a crime or a DUI in Harford County it is important to hire an attorney who knows how to navigate those hazardous waters. They don’t call it “Hazard County” for nothing! Call The Law Offices of Nicholas A. Parr today for a free consultation.