Posted in Car Accidents on March 5, 2018
Legal advice is needed in the early stages of sorting out a car accident. There can be many advantages to having an attorney by your side to assist with handling your insurance company, follow-up investigations by law enforcement, and questions by the other driver’s insurance company. A lot of questions are being asked but one thing to be aware of is the potential traps set by other parties that can reduce your chances of recovering for your damages.
Leaving the scene of an accident could result in serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run driver. Every driver involved in the accident must remain at the scene until they comply with certain obligations specified in the Maryland Transportation Codes § 20-102, § 20-103 and § 20-104.
Such obligations include but are not limited to: rendering assistance to any injured parties, providing the necessary vehicle information, and compliance with the responding police officer. Also, leaving the scene of an accident can result in a maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
If the accident results in serious bodily injury, the hit-and-run carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. If you have left the scene of the accident and believe you may be charged with a hit-and-run or have been charged, call attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help.
Call the police with information about your location, potential injuries, and whether cars can get by on the roadway. If a law enforcement officer did not come to the scene of the accident, go to the police department to file your report. A police report is crucial to have even if the accident was minor. If you decide to get compensation for property damage or injuries sustained, your claim will be stronger with a police report.
Deciding not to go to the hospital for your minor injuries may be a bad decision. Call your doctor anyway. Even if injuries do not become apparent immediately, there is a possibility that it could creep up on you a few days later. If you decide to seek medical attention after the accident, make sure to keep a record of the treatment received.
File a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible preferably within the first few days after the accident. In some cases, an insurance company will only allow a certain number of days to pass before denying your claim.
When speaking with your insurer, it is important to be truthful. Your coverage can get denied coverage if they find that you have provided them with false information. Also, do not make any repairs without approval from your insurance company. The insurer may not pay for the repairs if you erase the damages before they have a chance to send out an adjuster to check out your car.
Only discuss the incident with your attorney, insurance company, and the police. You are not legally required to speak with the other party’s insurance company. There are very few instances where it may be beneficial to speak with them.
One instance is if the other party was clearly at fault but has lied to or refused to speak with their own insurer. In this case, the insurer has very little information about the incident and may not be aware of who was at fault or the extent of your property damage. In this instance, you may want to consult with your attorney before agreeing to speak with the other party’s insurance company.
Avoid apologizing at the scene of the accident. You may be admitting legal liability for what happened. It may not be clear who caused the accident so assuming responsibility can be damaging to your claim.
If you have been in a car accident and do not know what to do first, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. Our car accident lawyers will assist you with sorting out your accident. We will advise you at every step of the process and will make sure that your interests are protected all the way through to a fair settlement or a court verdict in your favor.
For an experienced, committed, and skilled, legal advocate, call today to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case. There is no fee unless you recover.