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Auto Accident Blog

How to Unsettle an Unfair Settlement

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The insurance companies and adjustors are not your friends. After an accident, they call and ask how you are doing, and they sound like they care, but they don’t. Well, they do, just not about you. They care about settling your case for a little money as possible, even if it is not fair to you.

The practice of insurance companies settling cases with unrepresented parties, right after an accident and even when in the hospital is so bad, that the State Legislature had to pass a law to protect Marylanders injured in car accidents.

Under Maryland Law, if you are not represented by an attorney and you settle your case within the first 30 days of becoming injured, you have 60 days to return the money and rescind the settlement in writing. If you are hospitalized, the insurance companies can’t even negotiate with you for the first 15 days after your injury.

This law is necessary because the insurance companies routinely try and settle claims immediately after car accidents in order to minimize their payments. Don’t talk to the insurance company until you call me.

Mind The Gap

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A few years ago, I had a client who fell down some steps at his apartment complex and injured his back. The cleaning company had just mopped the floor, but had not gotten around to putting up the wet floor signs yet. He began treating for his back, but then found himself in jail. The client received medical care for his back while in jail, and was released after approximately 2 months. I don't do criminal work, and I don't recall the details of his incarceration, except that it was for something minor. The client completed his care after his release and I was posed with a difficult question. When sending my demand to the cleaning company's insurance company, should I submit the medical records from the jail, or should I allow them to believe there was a gap in treatment?

Insurance adjustors aren't original, we know what defenses they will raise and what they are going to say. If you're injured in a car accident, the insurance adjustor will tell you that you treated too long, that your medical bills are too high, that the injuries you did not have 5 minutes before your car crash are somehow not related to the crash, and if there is a gap in treatment, you clearly were 100% better. In the world of insurance adjusting, there is nothing worse for a plaintiff than a gap in treatment.

So the question is, what constitutes a gap? Generally, it is span of time during active physical therapy or chiropractic care, where you miss appointments or don't seek treatment. It doesn't matter to the insurance company if you had to go out of town for work, if you had a death in the family, if there was snow, or if the provider was booked. If you miss appointments, they will tell you that the only possible conclusion is that you didn't need any more care, and that you are all better. Some benevolent adjustors will consider the circumstances of a gap if it is documented in the medical records, but they are few and far between.

For my client that fell down the wet stairs, it was better that the adjustor heard that my client was in jail than for her to think there was a gap. I was able to negotiate a fair settlement for the client.

Should You Settle Your Injury Claim Without an Attorney?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

After being injured in a car crash, insurance adjusters will call you for many reasons. They want to:

  1. Gather facts about the collision;
  2. See if you are receiving medical treatment; and
  3. Sometimes, offer you money to settle your case.

The real question is, should you accept an offer without talking to an attorney first? No. You don’t know what compensation you’re entitled to until an attorney reviews your case. Did you miss time from work as a result of your injuries? Are you incurring medical bills? Are you not able to see a doctor because you don’t have health insurance? These are only a few of the most common scenarios in a personal injury case.

The insurance adjusters may be quick to offer you money to settle your case and pressure you to settle. But remember, without speaking with an attorney, you may not be getting the compensation you deserve.

The attorneys at BSGFD are here to help you after you’ve been injured. Call us today at 301-670-7030 for a free consultation.

The Ins and Outs of Roundabouts

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Roundabouts are circular intersections that typically don't use traffic signals to control the traffic. Instead, yield signs are placed at each entrance to the roundabout to alert drivers to approach the intersection with caution.

When you're moving towards a roundabout with a single lane surrounding the roundabout, reduce your speed. You're not required to come to a complete stop before entering the roundabout lane, however, you are required to use caution, keep to the right of the island, and only enter the roundabout when safe to do so. In other words, yield to the vehicles that are already in the roundabout. Additionally, look out for pedestrian crosswalks that may appear in the roundabout. If pedestrians are crossing in the roundabout, you must yield to them as you would in any crosswalk.

If you're approaching a multilane roundabout, you must stay in your travel lane. It is not safe to change lanes while traveling in the roundabout. Therefore, when you exit, you should be in the rightmost travel lane of the roundabout. To safely exit the roundabout, turn on your turn signal immediately after you pass the exit that is before your desired exit, and exit accordingly.

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