There are many ways individuals can be injured in vehicle and transportation accidents. Vehicle accidents don't only occur in your own car, they can involve commercial vehicles, public transportation, rental cars, and even during an Uber or Lyft ride. Individuals can be injured in a vehicle accident as the driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist.
Complex motor vehicle accidents can include multiple vehicles, with injuries ranging from minor to serious, and even including death. These cases can involve multiple insurance claims and lawsuits while you are trying to recover from your injuries, take care of the medical bills, and get your vehicle repaired so you can get back to a normal life. However, just letting the insurance company deal with the accident claims can leave you without full compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering. If you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they will aggressively pursue your compensation claims, so you can focus on recovery.
Types of Vehicle and Transportation Accidents
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute, the average American spends 280 hours behind the wheel every year. For those who live in highly congested areas of the country, including parts of Maryland and the D.C. Metro area, that time can be much greater. Another survey found commuters in the D.C. area lose more time to traffic delays than any other urban area in the country. With so much time behind the wheel, it is not surprising that so many personal injury cases involve car accidents.
There are many ways people are injured involving vehicle and transportation accidents. With so many modes of transportation available nowadays, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians face a number of injuries every day, including:
- Auto Accidents in Your Own Car
- Car Accidents as a Passenger
- Accidents Involving Family Members
- Accidents with Commercial Vehicles
- Rental Car Accidents
- Public Transportation Crashes
- Taxis and Hired Transportation Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrians Hit By Cars
- Cyclists in Car Accidents
- Automobile Defects
Vehicle Accidents in Your Own Vehicle
The most common type of vehicle accident involve drivers when they are in their own vehicle. This could include an accident with another car, or even a single-car accident. In a single-car accident, the driver can crash into a parked car, a building, hit a guardrail, or go off the road. These can include minor fender benders, or serious accidents including rollovers.
In a motor vehicle accident involving 2 or more cars, one of the drivers may have negligently caused the accident. When a driver is negligent in causing an accident, they may be held responsible to the other driver for the injuries they have suffered, including paying for their medical treatment, car repair, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, in most cases, the negligent party may fight to keep from paying for the accident.
When the insurance companies are involved, they may not fight to get you compensated for their injuries. They may just want to close the claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is why many people who are involved in an injury accident talk to an attorney. A personal injury attorney is an advocate for you, and they don't work for the insurance company. They will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Even in single-vehicle accidents, just because there was only one car involved does not mean that someone else was not responsible. Many single-car accidents involve an automobile defect, such as a faulty airbag. Drivers may be unaware that their accident was caused by an automobile defect until someone investigates the cause of their accident.
Many personal injury attorneys will take your case with no upfront costs to you. Under a contingent fee agreement, you may not have to pay anything unless they win your case, and you recover money damages for your injuries. This means that you can seek legal justice for your accident, no matter what your financial situation.
Car Accidents as a Passenger
When a passenger is injured in the vehicle, it can make an injury claim more complicated. When a passenger is injured, no matter who they are, they may be making a claim against the driver of the vehicle they are riding in, against another vehicle, or against both. Child passengers are often more susceptible to injuries than adults. Their small size means that they may slip out from under a seat belt, or be injured by an airbag deployment.
Vehicle Accidents with a Family Member
A car accident involving family members can be complicated, and very stressful. A family member passenger may be making a claim against the driver, even if it is their own father, mother, or brother. The way insurance companies deal with drivers and passengers can make for a complex claim, with family members having to go against each other for insurance and legal purposes, while they are trying to remain supportive as a family. These types of claims can cause serious rifts. Before the insurance company forces you to fight against your family, consider talking to a personal injury attorney to see if there are other options to make sure you recover for your injuries, without tearing your family apart.
Accidents with Commercial Vehicles
Accidents with commercial vehicles and some hired transportation can make for complex claims because your lawsuit may not only be against the driver, but also against an employer. The company may try and deny coverage for their employee, depending on the situation. Often, the business will have more assets and insurance to pay for a serious injury accident than an employee. This is why your personal injury attorney will investigate your claim and make sure all parties who may be responsible for your injuries are identified, named, and served notice of your claims.
Vehicle Accidents in a Rental Car
When you are renting a car for business or on vacation, the car rental representative will try and sell you on getting their coverage. Many people decline this coverage without really understanding what will be covered, and who is providing the coverage. If you are involved in an accident while in a rental car, even if you aren't at fault, the rental car company will want you to pay. If the accident occurred when you were traveling out of state, it can make the claim even more complicated. The benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney for a rental car accident case is that they may be able to handle the entire claim without you having to travel for court appearances or trial.
Public Transportation Accidents
Thousands of people are injured every year in bus, train, and metro accidents. Public transportation claims often involve claims against the government, which may have its own unique claims process. Government claims also often include a shortened time for filing a claim. City, state and federal government agencies have notice requirements for filing a claim. If the claim is filed after the claim notice deadline, the claim may be denied. Talk to your attorney if you were involved in a vehicle or transportation accident involving public transportation. They will explain the filing process, and make sure your claims are filed in time so that you are compensated for your injuries.
Pedestrians in Car Accidents
When a car is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, the pedestrian almost always loses. In some cases, the pedestrian darted out from behind a car directly into the driver's path. However, in many cases the drivers are not watching crosswalks, running red lights, or speeding in a residential or school zone. Each side may have a different version of what happened. Pedestrian injury accidents are usually very serious, often involving permanent disability, disfigurement, or even death. An experienced vehicle accident attorney will make sure you are compensated for you loss, and the person responsible is held accountable for the injuries they've caused.
Bicyclists Involved in Vehicle Accidents
Like pedestrians, when cyclists are involved in an accident, they may suffer life-threatening injuries while the driver remains completely unharmed. In some cases, a driver may cause a cyclist to crash and not even realize they were responsible. Cyclists can also be much more prone to accidents involving cars because they are riding side-by-side with cars on the road. Injury accidents between cyclists and vehicles can be more complicated because the cyclist may not have insurance to cover the cost of their injuries or property damage. It is important for cyclists to have an advocate for them in court, to make sure they are compensated for their injuries, and for the cost of their damaged bike.
Damages in a Vehicle Injury Claim
In a vehicle accident claim, the plaintiff will generally be seeking damages to compensate them for their injuries. Damages are made up of economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like past and future medical care, lost wages, loss in earning capacity, and property damage. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship.
Maryland Vehicle & Transportation Accident Attorneys
Vehicle and transportation accidents can involve a single-driver or multiple drivers. Injuries can impact drivers, passengers, and even people walking down the sidewalk. Vehicle accident claims can be complicated, involving multiple parties and insurance companies. Contact an attorney with experience in handling vehicle injury accidents to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in an accident, contact the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian. Our experienced attorneys have years of experience handling motor vehicle and personal injury cases throughout Maryland. Do not hesitate to contact our offices today for a free consultation.