Known as the Free State, Maryland is one of the first states to abolish slavery. And the state is very proud of its vibrant history, as you can see from the multiple landmarks that still stand today. Apart from heritage sites, tourists also come here for the food, particularly crab cakes and the blue crabs.
There are more about six million people who call the area their home, and they earn quite a good living, with each household averaging about $80,000 per year.
Since they can very well afford to buy a car, you can expect the streets—particularly in Baltimore and DC Metro—to be flooded with vehicles, especially during rush hour. It is the perfect storm for collisions and pedestrian crashes. According to data, there are over 1.95 million private and commercial registered vehicles, including taxicabs, in Maryland.
The number of road crash fatalities in Maryland actually increased from 7.42 per 100,000 people in 2014 to 8.29 per 100,000 population in 2018, according to data. Baltimore comprises 60% of the pedestrian crashes, followed by DC Metro, which accounted for 31% of the incidents.
To protect your rights in case you figured into an accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Maryland immediately. Do not delay this action because you can be sure that the insurance lawyers will be at the scene trying to contain the damage.
What to Do When You are At Fault
Maryland is classified as an At-Fault state. It essentially means that if you are responsible for the crash, resulting in damage to property or injury to persons, then you will shoulder all associated costs.
However, there is another thing to consider—called the pure contributory negligence rule. It means that if you are partially at fault, even if your contribution to the crash is only one percent, you cannot claim compensation.
If you find yourself in a car crash, and you are responsible, here are the steps you should take:
- Do not try to run away from the scene. It is the worst thing you could do, as you might face a hit-and-run case.
- Make sure the other party is safe. But call 911 immediately to attend to the injured.
- Be calm. Although it is easier said than done, you make all sorts of bad decisions when you are in a panic mode. Call your family to let them know that you have been in an accident and you are safe.
- Call the police. In most instances, however, they would already be at the scene.
- Do not touch anything that includes the other party. If the police have not yet arrived, make sure to take some photos from all angles.
- Document the incident. Write down the number plates, the time of the day, the road condition, and circumstances. If there were road hazards that contributed to the crash, make sure to note them, as well.
- Call a car accident lawyer in Maryland, to get the best legal advice in these situations.
Is there a Cap in Insurance Compensation?
Insurance companies in Maryland place a cap on non-economic damages. These include the costs for the pain and suffering of the victim. For instance, in 2019, the compensation ceiling in the state was $860,000. The victim who survives the road crash may claim the maximum amount.
However, in cases of deaths, the maximum allowable amount is $1.29 million, especially if there is more than one occupant in the vehicle that perished in the crash.
A car crash can be traumatic for everybody involved. However, the initial steps you take will be crucial if ever you have a compensation claim later on.