After you've been in a car accident, you or your attorney will often need to call the claims line for the Defendant's insurer. You'll speak to a claims representative who will take down the basic information surrounding the incident, after which the claim will be assigned to an insurance adjuster.No-fault insurance, often called Personal Injury Protection or "PIP" in Maryland and the District of Columbia, is a policy benefit which provides funds to cover your medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for the happening of the accident. It is most often used to pay for medical treatment you may be receiving as a result of the accident, such as from a chiropractor or physical therapist.Uninsured motorist coverage is a policy benefit that applies in situation where the other driver does not have insurance to cover the damages for the accident he caused. In these situations, your insurance company steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver to pay for your damages accordingly. This situation also applies in scenarios involving "hit and runs" or "phantom vehicles," where you may not know who the identity of the at fault driver for one reason or another. This will often depend on the exact nature and happening of the injury. Often times, one may file a worker's compensation claim for a workplace injury. However, if the injury is caused by a third-party (or in some rare situations, even a co-worker), you may nevertheless be able to pursue that third-party and his insurer for damages as per the normal course.There is a three-year statute of limitations for negligence claims in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. Car accident cases are almost always negligence claims and, accordingly, almost always have a three-year statute of limitations period. However, a distinction should be made between filing a claim and filing a lawsuit - the statute of limitations applies to the filing of a lawsuit, not the filing of a claim. For example, if you file a claim with the at-fault's insurance company within that three-year period, but fail to file a lawsuit or otherwise settle your claim in that time, your claim would then be barred by the statute of limitations and you would not be able to recover any damages.The range of time between the happening of a car accident and the conclusion of settlement varies widely and depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, the amount of damages incurred, and even the identity of the at-fault's insurance company. Smaller cases can sometimes be resolved as quickly as three to six months, while larger cases and cases which require litigation can easily take far, far longer. Cases in which there are significant damages or complex issues can even take years.If you've been in a car accident that caused an injury for which surgery was necessary, it is very likely you will need an attorney to assist you. Surgeries are often expensive and greatly raise the value of a case. However, at the same time, an insurance company is far more likely to resist paying damages associated with that surgery. An attorney will be able to argue the causal link between the accident, the injury, and the required surgery. Additionally, if litigation is necessary, an attorney will be able to call your physician or surgeon as an expert to testify as to the causal connection between the underlying accident and the required surgery, as well as why it was necessary.This is a question with no clear-cut answer - it is also the question that clients ask the most often. The value of your case is a product of a number of factors, including your treatment, your lost wages, the severity of the accident, the infringement of your injuries upon your every day life, and many, many others. Cases where treatment is minor and the medical bills are less tend to be easier to evaluate, while cases with larger bills and permanent damage are much more difficult. An experienced attorney will be able to work with you to help determine a perceived verdict range that he, based on his experience, believes your case is worth. However, that does not mean the attorney will be correct - litigation always comes with risk for all parties. While cases can sometimes exceed a projected range, than can just as easily fail to match expectations. Sometimes a Plaintiff can walk away with nothing at all. No attorney can guarantee a particular value or return on your case.You should almost always call a police officer after a car accident occurs. While this may not seem necessary, a police officer will be able to facilitate the exchange of information that may later become necessary in filing a claim with the at-fault's insurance company. Additionally, if the accident warrants it, the police officer may write a report. Following this, you will almost assuredly want to seek some kind of medical attention, if only to ensure that you are not suffering from any acute injuries and to document the effects of the accident on your body. Following that, you should always contact a lawyer to explore your options and rights.You should always report your accident to your insurance company or have your attorney do so on your behalf. You may be entitled to PIP coverage to help pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, if your vehicle needs to be repaired and the at-fault's insurer is refusing to cover the loss, you may have collision coverage that will step in to see that your vehicle is repaired.You should always seek medical treatment after a car accident, if only to ensure that you are not suffering from any acute injuries. One of the most common defenses employed by by an insurance company is that your injuries could not be serious because you didn't go to the emergency room or seek treatment from an urgent care provider. Following up with a medical provider will prevent this argument and serve to create documentation of your condition and any symptoms or injuries you might be experiencing. It is usually quite helpful for you to provide a police officer with your account of an accident. If you refuse to do so, the other side almost certainly will, leaving the narrative one-sided. Insurance companies often look to police reports for excuses to deny claims. If a police report was to deem you to be at fault because a police officer did not take down your version of the events, then the insurance company is almost assuredly going to deny your claim.Determining who is at fault for your car accident is a complicated process that often, absent consistent facts, does not have a clear answer. Most of the time, there are competing versions of the events that occurred. Dissecting the various versions of what occurred is the job of your attorney, even if it does not always help your claim. Your attorney will be able to tell you the various possible outcomes and explain who might be at fault and why. However, even in situations where the other driver is at fault, there are certain rules and doctrines that may nevertheless bar you from recovering your damages, such as contributory negligence.If the other driver does not have insurance, your own insurance will often step-in to fill the void pursuant to your uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits. Your attorney will be able to help you file that claim with your insurance company.

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