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6 Ways To Protect Yourself After a Car Accident In Maryland

Car accidents can be physically and emotionally stressful to experience. Therefore, the last thing a victim wants to add to the situation is the mental anguish that comes with legal considerations and auto insurance protocols. Consequently, we have provided a list of considerations to keep in mind when injured in an accident caused by another driver.

Take pictures, videos and obtain driver & insurance information at the scene of the accident

Make sure to obtain the location (street/ road/ highway intersections). Also, write down the other party (and passengers) contact information including name, address, auto insurance, witnesses and phone numbers of all persons at the accident scene where possible. If any of the parties agrees to appear on video, obtain their approval on video before proceeding. Otherwise, obtain a video of the accident location which shows the street names and property damages incurred. If you or any person had visible injuries, a video or pictures will be helpful.

Dial 911

Relevant Maryland law, requires you to call the police if the accident involves injuries, death, or property damage of more than $500. When the police arrive, make sure to provide them with accurate information about the accident. Keep in mind that the police is not always required to prepare a full vehicle accident report however, when once is created, it can be used as evidence in court.

Start the treatment process

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to be transported directly to the emergency room (ER) from the accident scene via an ambulance. If your injuries are not severe, it is advisable to follow up with an urgent care or your primary care physician as soon as possible after the accident in order to document the nature of your injuries and lay the ground work for the causal link of your injuries to the auto accident.

Engage the services of a competent personal injury attorney

Good personal injury (PI) lawyers are able to quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and also able to safeguard the settlement value of your case by preventing you from speaking directly with the insurance without their permission. Since PI attorneys work on a contingent fee basis (no fee unless they get you a settlement), there is no reason not to reach out for a free consultation.

Assess Liability

Because Maryland is one of only 4 states that still recognizes the contributory negligence rule, this provides an iron clad defense for insurance companies to wiggle out of situations where their insured caused the accident. This is due to the fact that even the slightest contribution of negligence from you (0.01%) effectively serves to deny you any compensation in Maryland. Rule of thumbs: when the accident is not a rear ender, extra care is required to ensure that there is no contributory negligence on the victim's part.

File a claim, Demand & Settle

If your attorney feels that liability is not an issue or the at fault driver's insurance has accepted liability, the claim moves forward. This is when the victim needs to be diligent in attending all scheduled treatment visits through discharge. After the completion of treatment, the attorney sends a demand letter to request a fair settlement of your personal injury claim. The tortfeasor's adjuster will make an offer after reviewing the demand and if an agreement is not reached, your attorney will have to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period (in Maryland, it is 3 years from the accident date).

This is shorted version of a process that in reality is not always straightforward. Therefore, if you were injured in an automobile accident, feel free to call us today for a free phone consultation.


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