1. Admit Nothing – Especially in Maryland, a State that recognizes the legal theory of contributory negligence as a total defense to escape personal injury liability, the last thing you want to do is admit any sort of guilt to anyone. That single error (in Maryland) may suffice to seriously compromise your case and kill off any chances of success. Don’t speculate about how the accident occurred or who was responsible for the crash. If you admit fault to the police, the insurance company, or even the other driver, the insurance company could use this admission against you down the road.
2. Take Pictures – Given the proliferation of smartphones, I am always surprised when clients tell me that they did not remember to take any pictures of both cars at the scene of the accident. This is a key piece of evidence that will work in your favor to obtain a desirable outcome in dealing with the insurance company. In addition, take pictures of your injuries, the road conditions, and the weather.
3. See a Doctor and Keep Appointments– Sometimes after an accident, you will not feel much pain, however, doctors will be the first to tell you that many injuries don’t immediately show symptoms after auto accidents. Protect your health by seeing an emergency room physician or your primary care physician as soon as possible after an accident. Seeing a doctor right away is also important for any personal injury claim you may have, as your chances of obtaining full compensation are better if you begin documenting your injuries right after the crash occurs. It is also important to attend all follow-up appointments and to follow through with any specialists your doctor recommends. When you skip or cancel appointments, the insurance company may use this against you by implying that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claimed.
Nonetheless, protect yourself by consulting with a lawyer as quickly as possible after the accident. Since personal injury lawyers do not charge any consultation fee, there is no reason to avoid speaking to a lawyer before you call the other driver's insurance company or their adjuster. For more information on this or any other personal injury related topic, do not hesitate to call us.