Cecil County’s Top 5 “Hot Spots” for 2016 Accidents #3

We continue our countdown of the hot spots for Cecil County auto accidents in 2016 with a bit of a stretch. As with some of our previous posts in this spot is actually a stretch of roadway where a couple of different areas/intersections along the road are the real “hot spot”. This one ranks just above #4, which we looked at last week.

3. Rt 40 approaching and past North East, MD

Rt 40 through a few spots in North East, Maryland are some big problem areas. One of them is a direct result of evening/afternoon rush hour traffic. As you head west on Rt 40 from Elkton to North East, traffic will begin to back up between 4:30 and 6pm as far back as Marley Road. This traffic inevitably results in many rear end collisions on an almost daily basis. This wasn’t always the case, and we suspect that it’s largely the result of cell phone/smart phone use by people who are waiting in the line of traffic, seeing that it begins to move, and then doesn’t stop in time for the traffic.

Heading a little further west on Rt 40 will bring us to the intersection with Red Toad Road. This newly renovated, but not redesigned, intersection is a super hot spot for traffic accidents for a variety of reasons. It’s actually a bit surprising to most that this isn’t alone the number one accident spot in our countdown (maybe it’ll rise up the list in 2017, as we’ve already seen double digit accidents here so far this year).

red toad during construction

From an overhead map view there’s nothing strange or unique about this intersection, but if you travel through the area regularly you’ll know that it’s nothing normal going on here. The traffic coming from Red Toad in either direction often have issues negotiating who gets to go first, and in what direction, as most traffic coming from Red Toad in either direction is turning onto Rt 40 in one direction or another.

Additionally, the traffic traveling through Rt 40 in either direction is in no way innocent in causation of these accidents. We’ve found many people get surprised by the light, and attempt to speed up to beat it, or just run it altogether. The problem created here more or less speaks for itself with where this intersection ranks on this year’s list!

If you’re injured in an accident in Cecil County, or anywhere in the State of Maryland please call our office at 410-885-6200. We’re happy to discuss your claim, and handle all dealings with insurance companies on your behalf. Most importantly, we don’t charge you anything up front, and only get a fee if we are successful in getting you money.

Filing suit in your Maryland personal injury case

Of the Cecil County and Maryland Auto Accident cases that my office handles, not all of them become lawsuits. Many of my clients initially come to me concerned about not wanting to sue anyone, or the concerns that go into such an undertaking. Roughly speaking, no more than 25% of the claims handled within my office require the filing of a lawsuit. Of those, even less actually go to trial. Most of these claims resolve via settlement prior to a lawsuit being filed, or resolve via settlement through the litigation process, but before trial. In Maryland, I believe around 3 or 4 percent of injury claims are actually resolved by a trial.

If your case does require litigation, there are usually two reasons this will happen:

  • There is a dispute or disagreement as to who is at fault for the accident
  • There is a disagreement as to the extent of injuries and/or value of the claim

The reason a case becomes a lawsuit is somewhat irrelevant to the litigation process to follow. Here are some tidbits as to what one would expect, should their case go to suit, as the process is usually new for most clients, and can be somewhat complicated and confusing:

  1. The attorney or law office will file the lawsuit, known as the ‘complaint’ with the appropriate court. Maryland has trial courts for each of the 24 counties(including Baltimore City) and each county has 2 levels of trial courts for these cases, District and Circuit Court. The court usually sets an initial trial date at this time, but that date often changes as the case proceeds.
  2. Within a few weeks, the court will return to the attorney a ‘writ of summons’ to be served onto the defendant(at fault party) in the case.
  3. The law office will usually contract a private process server to serve the writ of summons onto the other party.
  4. Once served, the other party should be communicating with their insurance company, who will assign an attorney to represent the defendant in the proceedings. If you have been sued for an auto accident, you should forward the documentation to your insurance company immediately.
  5. The parties, through their attorneys, will exchange information involving the claim through a process called discovery. Depending on which level of court and the value of the case, this process can be simple and quick, or long and drawn out.
  6. If the matter is not resolved through the early stages of litigation, some courts will schedule a settlement conference or some sort of mediation to attempt to resolve the matter.
  7. If all else fails to resolve the matter, trial will commence as scheduled (or re-scheduled).

Each county is different as far as timeframe and scheduling is concerned. Generally speaking, a district court lawsuit should go to trial within 4-6 months of the initial filing. Circuit Court trials can be quite different from county to county, and can go to trial anywhere from 9 months from filing to as much as 18 months in the more busy jurisdictions. More complicated cases with multiple parties involved, such as medical malpractice or wrongful death cases, can take even longer!

No matter what the scenario is, if a case you’re involved in is part of a lawsuit, it is incredibly important that you are available and accessible to your lawyer or their staff. Often times there are deadlines associated with aspects of these cases.