Earlier this year, a state court issued an opinion in a car accident case involving where the insurance company’s settlement offer was at issue. The case highlighted some challenges that can arise during settlement negotiations in the aftermath of an accident. The court was asked to decide whether an insurance company acted “in bad faith” when their offer to settle included a broad release of all claims against the driver at fault, but gave the victim’s attorney the option to revise the terms.

Insurance companies are required by law to act “in good faith” when trying to settle in order to protect the financial interests of the people they insure. That means they should make timely and reasonable settlement offers that try to fully compensate victims, making it likely that they will agree to settle. Drivers buy liability insurance all the time because they expect the insurance company to protect them from financial liability. In some states, like Maryland, drivers are required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover potential bodily injury and property claims that may result from accidents.

In a recent 11th circuit case, the injured party claimed that the driver’s insurance company acted in bad faith by sending an overbroad settlement agreement. The proposed settlement offer under the driver’s bodily injury policy included a release from liability for all claims while a settlement offer under their property damage policy was not yet made. The victim claimed that the release of all claims was too broad, allowing it to take advantage of unwitting victims who might not know what other claims they might want to make and chose not to settle. The insurance company argued that it did not act in bad faith. They maintained that the settlement offer agreement was only proposed and invited the injured victim to make changes to the language to make it a more appealing offer.

Maryland residents frequently use highways and roadways in their lives. From commuting to work to doing daily errands, roadways are the easiest way to get places. But roads also pose risks for life-altering car accidents. Even if you are an alert driver, the risk of a distracted or inhibited motorist sharing the road increases the chance of being involved in an accident. An uncommon, but dangerous type of accident can come from a “wrong-way” driver. Wrong-way accidents can be sudden and traumatic, with a motorist intentionally or unintentionally speeding toward oncoming traffic. Because wrong-way accidents can be head-on and sudden, drivers may not have time to react. The results can often be deadly. The legal and medical impacts of the accident may not be immediately clear. These results can outlast the initial shock of a crash and make it crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney.

Recently, a wrong-way driver caused a crash involving three cars in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Fortunately, the crash was not fatal. However, three people were injured. The accident started when a driver traveled the wrong way in the westbound lane and hit two vehicles driving the right way in the lane. It is unclear what caused the driver to drive in the opposite direction of traffic.

A report from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found some factors for increasing the risk of a wrong-way crash. Older drivers are more likely to be wrong-way drivers, with the risk increasing significantly if they are over 70 years old. Alcohol impairment of the driver also makes it more likely that they will become a wrong-way driver. The report also shares that having a passenger in the car can reduce the risk of wrong-way crashes.

Car accidents can be confusing and scary for any driver, especially when they are injured and they may not think about how the type of accident and amount of cars involved can impact the compensation they can recover for their injuries. For one thing, it isn’t always clear what the cause of a multi-car crash was or who is at fault for legal and insurance purposes. When a car accident involves multiple cars, in what are often called “chain-reaction” crashes, the difficulties of determining fault increase substantially.

For Maryland drivers, these questions become more important because of the way Maryland law assigns fault in multi-car accident cases. Maryland law looks at the fault of all parties involved in the accident, not just the first car to set off the chain of collisions. That means that in a chain-reaction crash where the second car in the chain was texting instead of watching the road when they were hit and that caused them to hit the third driver instead of swerving, the court might find them partly responsible. Speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with Maryland’s unique law is an important step to protect your legal rights when entering litigation and seeking financial compensation related to injuries from a car accident.

According to one recent news report, there a multi-car crash sent three people to the hospital, leaving two people suffering from serious injuries. The chain-reaction accident started when a car crossed a highway median, entering oncoming traffic and hitting another car head-on, injuring the driver. The struck car then collided with a tractor-trailer, in turn injuring that driver as well. Both of the motorists in the struck vehicles were extracted from their vehicles and brought to the hospital for treatment of severe injuries, while the driver of the car who started the chain reaction was able to walk out of the hospital with only minor injuries.

Determining liability in an accident is a critical part of every lawsuit, and it is essential to recovery in Maryland. Maryland follows strict contributory negligence laws, and as such, establishing fault is a priority in every case. While backing-up accidents may seem straightforward, various factors at play can often affect a claim.

In most Maryland backing-up accident cases, the first inquiry is whether the driver backing out had the right of way. Generally, the car that did not maintain the right of way will be liable for the accident. However, there are exceptions to the right of way rule, and when more than one car is backing up, the driver with the legal right of way may not be paying attention to their surroundings. In these cases, the driver with the right of way may be responsible for some portion of the accident. Another factor in these accidents is whether the car was stopped or moving leading up to the collision. If the vehicle was moving but stops with sufficient room, they may not be liable for the accident.

The most frequent types of backing-out accidents involve a driver backing out of a parking lot. When a car backs out of a parking space into a parked car, generally, liability lies on the person backing up. However, there are exceptions if the static car is illegally parked and in a position where the moving car cannot see the vehicle.

Wrongful death claims may be appropriate when a person dies because of another’s negligent or intentional conduct. In these situations, Maryland allows the deceased’s family to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. While the state permits these claims, the wrongful death statute is challenging and requires strict adherence to notice and filing requirements.

Maryland Code § 3-901 explains that a party may bring forth a wrongful death action if a death occurred because of another party’s negligent act or omission. The primary inquiry is whether the deceased would have been entitled to damages if they survived the incident. In this situation, spouses, parents, and children may be entitled to monetary compensation. These claims may arise from a construction accident, nursing home abuse or neglect, defective products, medical malpractice, and auto accidents.

For instance, news sources recently described a harrowing four-vehicle accident in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. State troopers and Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to the scene of the accident. A preliminary investigation reveals that an Audi crashed head-on with an SUV in the center turn lane. The SUV then swiped another vehicle which flipped over and hit another sedan. The SUV driver and passenger died at the scene of the accident. In addition to a host of weapon possession charges, police charged the driver of the Audi with driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Although rarer than fender-benders or sideswipe style crashes, head-on car accidents are frequently the deadliest types of car accidents that a driver could experience. Drivers should not underestimate the severity of these crashes, especially because they often have devastating and fatal consequences.

Often, these collisions take place unexpectedly and leave very little time or response for victims to swerve out of the way to avoid the accident. Because these crashes are so unpredictable, it is crucial that drivers take all the steps available to them to best protect themselves, which means exercising care while driving, but also making sure that their vehicle is well maintained and properly insured based on state requirements.

According to a recent news report, a fatal head-on collision left one woman dead and several injured. Based on a preliminary investigation by local authorities, a Chevrolet was traveling westbound when it crossed the center line and struck a Hyundai head-on. Investigators noted that the driver of the Chevrolet crossed the center line for unknown reasons. The driver of the Hyundai was transported to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. Two minors traveling in the Hyundai were also sent to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet refused medical treatment and investigators do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor in causing the crash at this time.

State Police in Maryland are investigating a fatal Maryland pedestrian crash that took place at Quantico. According to one news report, investigators indicated that a 30-year-old woman was standing in the road where she was involved in an argument and that she was hit by a vehicle. The police were called to the scene and found the woman in the roadway. She was pronounced dead on the scene. The crash reportedly occurred just before 1 a.m. Police continue to investigate the crash.

Victims of a Maryland pedestrian crash can seek damages from drivers or other parties at fault through filing a lawsuit in a Maryland court. If a driver is negligent—or purposely injures a pedestrian—they may be liable for damages including medical expenses, psychological suffering, physical therapy expenses, lost wages, and more.

A pedestrian crash is any crash that involves a person on foot, even if a driver exited the vehicle. According to 2018 statistics, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash on average every 84 minutes in the United States. Despite seeing less traffic in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Transportation says that pedestrian fatalities were up in 2020, from 124 in 2019 to 134 in 2020. Crash fatalities in Maryland were at their highest in 12 years. The total number of crash fatalities in 2020 was the highest in Maryland since 2008. Pedestrian crashes often occur in urban areas. From 2009 to 2013, about 90 percent of crashes in Maryland involving a pedestrian took place in the metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming experience for a number of reasons. Not only is it often an expensive, inconvenient, and stressful endeavor, but it can often be complicated, involve multiple parties, and be unclear who is at fault.

In multiple vehicle car accidents, this is often the case. With multiple drivers, passengers, and vehicles, it only multiplies the potential damages, information that needs to be exchanged, and recollections of how the accident took place. When these accidents happen, it can also make pursuing a legal claim seem daunting, which is why potential plaintiffs are advised to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to guide them through the process.

According to a recent local news report, local authorities are investigating a multiple vehicle accident that resulted in the deaths of three individuals. Maryland State Police’s preliminary investigation revealed that a Camaro was traveling eastbound when it attempted to pass another vehicle but struck a Toyota traveling westbound in the opposite direction. Both the driver of the Camaro and his passenger, along with the driver of the Toyota, were pronounced dead at the scene. There was also a third vehicle involved in the accident, but there was no need for further medical treatment of either the driver or its passenger. The investigation is still ongoing, but authorities believe that speed was a major contributing cause to the accident. In fact, the Camaro may have been traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour when the accident took place, authorities reported.

After a car accident, injury victims may experience a slew of physical and psychological trauma, resulting in lengthy and costly medical treatment. Moreover, Maryland accident claims tend to be more complex than other states because of strict contributory negligence laws. Under this standard, a victim who holds any responsibility for the accident cannot recover any damages.

Fortunately, in the overwhelming majority of cases, passengers do not have control over the vehicle, and as such, they are unlikely to be liable for the accident. However, while contributory negligence may not be an issue, other factors may complicate Maryland accident claims.

While drivers are more likely to die in an accident than passengers, thousands of passengers suffer injuries every year. Recent reports by the Maryland Department of Transportation indicate that nearly 50,000 people suffer injuries on Maryland roads every year. Passengers are particularly vulnerable because they have zero to little control over the actions or negligence of the driver or other motorists.

Sometimes, the wait at a traffic light can feel like a lifetime—but this is never grounds for disobeying traffic signals. When drivers willfully run a red light, they not only place themselves, but everyone on the road, in danger. On particularly busy traffic days, cars may be moving through a busy intersection, and running a red light or speeding through a yellow light at the last second could result in deadly consequences and significant injuries for everyone involved. Those who choose to recklessly operate their vehicles and cause these issues can be held accountable in a variety of ways under Maryland laws.

A recent local news report discusses a major car accident and fire that left two Maryland drivers dead. An initial investigation revealed that a Subaru was speeding northbound and ran a red light. The Subaru subsequently crashed into a Ford, which was crossing the intersection at a green light. Upon impact, the Ford caught on fire. When local deputies arrived on the scene, one vehicle was engulfed in flames with at least one occupant was still inside. Both occupants of the Ford were pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the Subaru suffered significant injuries and was transferred to a local hospital. Although an investigation is still ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the crash, local authorities believe that speed and failure to obey traffic lights were primary contributing factors to the collision.

In Maryland, stop light and stop sign violations are typically misdemeanors that carry a $140 fine. If a stoplight or stop sign violation leads to an accident, the fine is increased to $180.

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