You were lawfully minding your business stopped at a red light, traveling through an intersection on a green light or within your lane traveling at a safe speed when suddenlywham! You collide with another motor vehicle injuring yourself and damaging your property. What are your rights? What can you do?
Initially it is important to point out that you have not won the lottery nor have you hit the jackpot like someone on those millionaire shows. Maryland law is clear
you have a right to be fairly compensated for your injuries and your damages.
Lets take the car. You have the right to have your car repaired, or if it cannot be repaired, you are entitled to the reasonable value of the vehicle before it was damaged. In Maryland, your claim relating to your motor vehicle is separate from any claim you have for personal injuries. This means that an insurance carrier cannot hold up settling your property damage claim until you are ready to settle your personal injury claim.
Regarding your personal injuries, you are allowed to recover for your economic damages, as well as your non-economic damages.
Economic damages include the cost of medical treatment for your injuries, such as hospital expenses, bills from your treating physicians, therapy and diagnostic expenses. Future medical expenses are economic damages.
Wage losses are considered economic damages. Time off from work when you are physically incapable of working, as well as time off for medical treatments are included in wage loss. Again, this item of damages can include future loss of wages.
Non-economic damages differ from economic damages in that the former are not as easily susceptible to measurement as the latter. Otherwise stated, medical expenses involve a bill and wage loss often involves an hourly rate that can be determined by adding up the number of hours missed from work.
The physical pain, discomfort and mental anguish that you suffer, and will continue to suffer as a result of your injuries, are included in non-economic damages.
Our society is founded upon the ideals of personal responsibility. When someone has negligently caused you injury and loss, it is just and right that their insurance company should reimburse you for your damages. It is not like you are seeking a hand-out, a ticket to retirement or other windfall. You are only seeking to be returned to that condition you were in before you were injured.