Injured While Driving for Work in Maryland : Why Giving a Statement without an Attorney Can Hurt Your Case
Nothing ruins an ordinary work day in Maryland like getting in a car or truck accident.
Unfortunately, a difficult situation can be made even worse when accident victims are pressured or hurried into making a statement to their employer's insurance company reps and lawyers -- without having Maryland work injury lawyers to represent their best interests.
Many types of professions involve driving on behalf of an employer in Maryland. These include construction workers, tractor trailer and other commercial truck drivers, city and county workers, landscapers, emergency workers such as EMTs and law enforcement, school bus drivers, delivery drivers, and sales people, to name a few. About one in four cases we see where Maryland workers are injured in work-related motor vehicle accidents involve both Maryland Workers' Comp claims as well as lawsuits in Maryland courts. These cases can get very complicated, very quickly.
When injured Maryland workers make statements to those with an interest in their case prematurely -- without their own legal representation -- they may hurt their chances of recovering compensation and/or damages before they even get started. Here's an example…
Say you're a delivery driver for a pizza shop in Baltimore County. You've made 18 deliveries so far today, and on the way to the 19th delivery, you decide you need an energy boost. So you make a right to swing by the 7-Eleven convenience store to get a cup of coffee. That's when you're rear-ended by another driver and you suffer some neck and back injuries, which will keep you out of work.
Sounds like an open-and-shut case, right? The driver who rear-ended you is at fault, and you were driving as part of your job for the pizza joint. So you're not liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, or damages to the company car, right?
Not so fast.
Under Maryland law, the minute you deviate from your employment for a personal reason, you're off the clock. Now, if you were taking that right to make a delivery that was in line with the 7-Eleven, then you're good. But if you consented to make a recorded statement -- without an experienced Baltimore County work injury lawyer to advise you -- you could inadvertently end your case right there. The interview might go like this:
Your Employer's Attorney: "Where were you going, Mr. X?"
You: "Well, I was driving to my next stop. I took that right to go to 7-Eleven to get a coffee."
Your Employer's Attorney: "Was there any business purpose to go there?"
You: "No, I was just taking a break before the next delivery…"
Your Employer's Attorney: "Thank you for your statement."
And you'll get a letter saying, "Claim denied." As harsh as it sounds, just like that.
Maryland work related car or truck accident claims can come down to how the injured parties' statements are worded. Very tiny, seemingly insignificant, differences can make the difference between an accepted claim and a contested claim.
Being interrogated by claims investigators or their legal counsel is not something an injured worker in Maryland should need to do immediately after an accident . Get an experienced work injury attorney to advise and guide you, and to help you get the full compensation and damages you're entitled to under Maryland law. Making a misstep by giving a statement without your own attorney could stall your work injury claim or leave it permanently in park.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed while driving on the job in Maryland, please contact us right away for a free consultation. Call toll free at (800) 722-6616. Our experienced Maryland work injury attorneys serve Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and surrounding communities, including Hunt Valley, Towson, Essex, and Sparks, Md.