It is bad enough to be injured in a motor vehicle crash in familiar territory, but you may feel even more overwhelmed as the victim of an out-of-state auto accident. You are out of your comfort zone and injured, so you may be confused about what to do about your rights. Fortunately, things are not much different than accidents in your home state. There are some unique factors that affect your claim, and a Maryland auto accidents attorney can explain in more detail. Still, an overview may help, so here is the information you need to know about out-of-state auto collisions.
How Car Accidents Work for Non-Residents
No matter where the incident occurred, your first step in seeking compensation for your losses is to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Though your residence does not impact your rights in an insurance claim, having an attorney does increase the chances of success in getting fair, reasonable compensation. The reason is that any insurer, in any state, is a business. The company is focused on making profits, not looking out for your needs as an accident victim. An experienced lawyer will represent you throughout the claims process, from filing the forms to gathering evidence to negotiating with the insurance company.
If you cannot settle your claim with the insurer, you will have to file a lawsuit in court. Now, your location will matter: The lawsuit will need to be filed in the jurisdiction where the accident happened. The case will proceed according to that state’s laws and procedural rules, and all court appearances will be in that court house. As such, you should retain legal counsel who knows the relevant laws and is familiar with how accident cases work. You will want an attorney who is relatively close to the court house for attending hearings.
Two Notes About Maryland out-of-state auto accident Claims
If you are a non-resident involved in an accident in Maryland, there are two important points you should note:
Maryland has a statute of limitations, which provides that you have three years from the date of the crash to sue the responsible driver. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you are forever barred from recovering compensation.
Maryland follows the strict rule of contributory negligence. If you are partly at fault in the auto collision – even just slightly – you cannot recover any monetary damages for your losses. However, there are some exceptions and strategies for overcoming this operation of this rule. A Maryland vehicle crash lawyer will have more knowledge and experience in dealing with the harsh contributory negligence law.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Auto Accidents Lawyer About Your Claim
If you were hurt in a car crash in Owings Mills or anywhere in Baltimore County, MD, please contact Michael A. Freedman to discuss your case. We can assist residents of any state with the insurance claims process, and will seek the top compensation available by state law. We are also prepared to represent you in Maryland courts, no matter what US state you call home.