In a prior post, we reported how many truck companies attempt to rush people injured in Maryland big rig accidents to accept low settlements. Recently, a potential client came into my office and explained that she had been involved in a Maryland truck accident while traveling on Interstate 95 in Howard County, Maryland. This lady explained that she had sustained what she considered “serious, but not life threatening injuries.”
This individual went on to describe how the insurance company for the truck company had called her a week after the accident, one thing led to another, and she agreed to settle her case for an amount that she now realizes was far too law. She wanted to know if she had any legal rights to go back and undo her mistake. She does.
In Maryland, if a person settles her case within 30 days after a truck accident (evidenced by the signing of a legal release within 30 days of the incident), without being represented by a lawyer and without the advice of an attorney, the victim may void the release within 60 days after the date the release was signed. The voiding of the release must be done in writing, and it must be accompanied by the return of the money paid in settlement.
It should be noted that an insurance company may not obtain a settlement, or try to negotiate a settlement, within 15 days of an automobile or truck accident, if the person injured is confined to a hospital.
These protections for Maryland accident victims became law in 2007. The law reinforces my view that individuals need protection from insurance companies, and others, who aggressively pursue a quick settlement (and almost always a low settlement) before the victim knows what hit them.