Car Accidents in Prince George’s County
In Prince George’s County, there were 67 traffic deaths in 2019. That number rose from 38 the previous year. Sadly, 21 of these people were pedestrians. Three cyclists were killed, and these numbers may continue to rise as the county becomes more crowded, the surrounding areas grow, and more people purchase vehicles. This rise in car accidents represents a 76 percent increase that cannot be ignored. Anyone in Prince George’s County could be involved in a car accident, even people outside a vehicle could be injured.
The Prince George’s County car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King help accident victims recover from the impact of a car accident. Car accidents can cause a lifetime of pain, cost money, and even force victims to quit their jobs. This discussion explains how accidents can be avoided, how they are litigated, and what our lawyers can do for a family.
Causes of Car Accidents in Prince George’s County
Distracted Driving: Distractions can cause many problems, including rear-end accidents, side-impacts, sideswipes, and even multi-vehicle accidents. When someone is distracted on the road, they can cause a crash or even strike a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Pedestrians are encouraged to look both ways before crossing because some drivers are using their phone. Drivers should slow down in intersections to make way for people in the crosswalk and remember that pedestrians have the right of way.
Drowsy Driving: Drowsy driving can cause many of the same accidents that are caused by distraction. For example, a drowsy driver does not have the reflexes to stop when they come to an intersection or when other drivers make an emergency stop. Drowsy drivers could stray into another lane, hit another vehicle, or even drive up on the sidewalk and hit a pedestrian.
Drunk Driving: Drunk driving kills thousands of people each year. Many of these deaths occur because drivers are buzzed instead of legally drunk. It has been reported that 29 people are killed in crashes that involve a drunk or impaired driver each day. If someone plans to drink alcohol, they should use a ridesharing service, stay overnight, or bring a designated driver.
Reckless driving: Reckless driving is a result of not understanding or following the basic rules of the road. Most reckless drivers are easy to spot because they do things that most others would not do. For example, responsible drivers who are trying to merge do not cut one another off because that is dangerous. A reckless driver might speed or use multiple lanes to drive. This is a common issue with bicyclists and motorcyclists who ride in-between lanes.
Reckless driving may also occur because the driver is intoxicated. Alcohol and drugs can make people do things they would not normally do. If drivers or passengers know that certain people will make reckless choices, they should offer to drive, take that person’s keys, or call a ridesharing service.
Uninsured motorists: Uninsured motorists are a problem in Prince George’s County. Our Prince George’s County car accident lawyers will ensure that the injured driver’s coverage is updated and that they are held accountable for the injuries and damage caused.
What Prevents Car Accidents in Prince George’s County?
Preventing car accidents is easier when drivers know they can cause accidents, no matter how careful they are. Our car accident lawyers recommend that clients use the following tips to stay safe. If something happens despite these precautions, it makes sense for drivers to reach out to us for help.
Focus and concentration: If a driver is distracted, they should not start driving. A driver should handle problems before getting in the car, finish phone calls, send texts, and reply to emails.
Self-awareness: Many people drive aggressively once they get on the road. Drivers should think about how fast they are driving and make sure they know their surroundings. Some drivers might be tailgating another car or driving in another lane. Construction zones can come up out of nowhere, and parking spots might be too small. A driver who does not have self-awareness can cause accidents purely by not understanding how they are driving.
Ridesharing services: These are perfect for people who are too impaired to drive. Anyone who has been drinking, is too tired to drive, or is in medical distress should not be driving.
Signaling: This is one of the best ways to avoid trouble. When a driver is using their turn signals, people know where they are going. This is a simple act of courtesy that other drivers expect. Also, the lights on the car need to be in good condition. Driving a vehicle without working brake lights is hazardous.
We recommend that drivers contact a car accident lawyer for help with any accident case. Drivers may have used all these tips, but they might need help after an accident.
What Procedure Should Drivers Follow After an Accident?
Drivers should know what to do if they are in an accident. The following is a general list of guidelines that are easy to use when an accident occurs. Although every accident will not allow for this procedure, it helps to know how to collect evidence and keep everyone safe. These guidelines can make the accident easier to manage:
- The driver should not leave the scene. Leaving the scene is a crime.
- The scene should be secured if possible. Although the scene can spread across the road, it helps to keep the vehicles at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. The driver should not touch anything or try to move vehicles because that can be too dangerous. It also looks suspicious if drivers are suddenly trying to change the appearance of the accident scene.
- Someone should call 911. A police officer should be called to the scene to create a police report.
- Pictures and videos should be taken. It is important to take as many pictures or videos as possible of the scene. This information can be used later.
- Contact information is exchanged with everyone. Everyone needs the contact and insurance policy information for each driver. This is an easy way to start filing claims and make sure that the other drivers can be found again in the future. Not exchanging information is almost as bad as leaving the scene of the accident.
- The insurance company should be called. The driver should report the accident without revealing any details. The insurance company wants to avoid making payouts, and it is easier on the driver if the report mentions nothing more than the fact that an accident occurred, and everyone is safe.
- The driver starts collecting records. These include the police report, medical records, and any letters or calls that are received from other drivers or their lawyers and insurance companies. This type of information is handed over to one of our lawyers when they begin their investigation.
- The injured parties receive medical treatment. Medical treatment should be sought, and the driver should ensure that all receipts are available to the attorney. We need to know how much it costs to care for the victims so that we can litigate the case properly.
- The driver should protect their rights by calling us. Someone involved in a car accident should speak with a car accident lawyer immediately.
Why Do Accident Victims Need Lawyers?
Accident victims in Prince George’s County need a car accident lawyer to help them with every crash. The crash is likely someone’s fault, and anyone who was injured has the right to file a claim to cover the damages. Insurance companies may not cover the damages properly, or they might fight their clients. When one of our car accident lawyers takes the case, we begin by completing a full investigation of the crash. The police report is not a comprehensive account of the crash. Drivers are often not aware that the police are not legally required to complete an exhaustive investigation. Our lawyers will determine who caused the accident and calculate any damages that were incurred. When we take these cases to court, we are looking for the following:
- Damages for medical expenses and future medical care
- Damages for disabilities caused by the accident
- Damages for lost wages
- Damages for lost earning potential
- Proper insurance coverage when insurance companies refuse to pay
We ask that our clients bring all the evidence or information they have about the crash to their consultation. We will determine how far the case can go and guide our clients through the legal process.
Is a Wrongful Death Suit an Option?
If someone has died in a car accident in Prince George’s County, we can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family. However, we must follow the laws of Maryland when filing suit. These rules include the following:
- A family member, such as a child, spouse, or parent, must file the suit.
- If there are no surviving immediate family members, we will work with blood relatives or those related by marriage to file suit if they substantially depended on the deceased.
- We file the case within three years of the date of death to satisfy the statute of limitations in Maryland.
Prince George’s County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Assist Victims Injured in All Types of Car Accidents
The Prince George’s County car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King help victims recover the compensation that they deserve. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Washington, DC, we assist car accident victims throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.