Do you know what to do after a Maryland car accident injury?
Under Maryland law, all drivers must watch the road and see what's there. All drivers must follow the 'rules of the road' that direct when and how to stop, pass, turn, yield, signal, and control their speed. If a driver fails to do so, and hurts someone, they are responsible for the harm they cause.
Unfortunately, its rarely that simple.
In over 35 years practicing car accident law as a Maryland car accident lawyer, I have gained a wealth of experience. I've been involved with many kinds of car crashes, including those involving rear end collisions, crashes in intersections, collisions caused by drivers who failed to yield, drove too fast, made unsafe lane changes, or didn't obey traffic lights or traffic signs. Crashes involving cars, motorcycles, SUV's, and trucks. Crashes where not only drivers, but passengers, or pedestrians were hurt.
If you have been injured in a Baltimore car accident, your car may be damaged and in need of repair. You may have neck & back pain and other serious injuries, and financial stresses to you and your family while you heal and are unable to work.
You may also be confused and angry from not knowing what you should do or not do next.
Over the years, I have witnessed insurance companies take advantage of those injured in Maryland car accidents and consequently deny them fair compensation. I have also seen people, armed with knowledge of their rights and with an experienced, forceful attorney, receive fair compensation for their injuries and other losses from a car crash.
Read on to discover how to preserve and protect your ability to get what you deserve:
- Seek medical treatment IMMEDIATELY. It is not uncommon for the shock of a Baltimore, Maryland car accident wreck to cause you to not recognize your own pain right away. Even if you are not suffering from serious discomfort, it is still important that you be examined and evaluated by a doctor or emergency room physician. This will do two things. First, it will ensure that you are not suffering serious internal injuries. Second, the medical records will provide proof to the insurance company that you were examined immediately following the accident and your initial physical complaints documented.
- Photograph the vehicle damage. Take photographs of your car damage. This will document the severity of the impact you had.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company. The at-fault driver's insurance adjustor will most likely contact you to ask about what happened. He or she will also ask to record the conversation. Politely tell the adjustor that you are not willing to give a recorded statement, thank them for calling, and then hang up. Immediately contact an experienced car accident injury attorney to discuss what to do next.
- Do not give the insurance company access to your private medical history. After an accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company will ask you to sign a medical authorization so that they can obtain copies of your medical records and bills that the insurance company is responsible for paying. While this may sound OK, what the adjustor will not tell you is that the authorization also gives the company access to ALL of your medical records, and it is not uncommon for the insurance companies to sift through your history to find out personal information from before the accident to use against you.
- Document everything. Keep a separate file for all police reports, accident photos, insurance company correspondence, medical records and bills, and any other paperwork or information about the case.
- Do everything that the doctor tells you to do. Failing to follow all medical treatment instructions or attend appointments will reduce your recovery. It will raise a red flag to the insurance company and make them think that you are not really hurt, or not hurt as bad as you say. Make sure to attend and finish all therapy visits, and follow your doctor's instructions, regardless of how well you are feeling.
- Never agree to a settlement without first speaking with an attorney. While the settlement that the insurance company offers may seem like a lot of money, especially if it includes some money for pain, it is important to look at the big picture. It is common for insurance companies to offer a settlement immediately following your accident, before you know the full and exact type and extent of your injuries. Do you know the final score of a baseball game in the first or second inning? If you take the settlement now but have health problems later on, you will be out of luck and will have to pay those bills out of your own pocket. Seek the advice of an expert attorney before agreeing to any settlement.
Every Maryland car accident is different, each presenting unique challenges about how the crash occurred and who is responsible for it, and the type and extent of injuries and other harms from it.
Contact me to discuss what happened to you and how we can help. You pay no fee until you win.