If you were injured in a rear-end accident in Maryland, you are not alone. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in Maryland and across the United States. Typically, if your car is struck from behind, you are rarely to blame. However, what you do after being rear-ended, whether you are the driver or a passenger, could significantly impact your ability to file a personal injury claim and maximize your potential settlement agreement or compensation award. In the following paragraphs, our experienced Baltimore rear-end collision lawyer at Rice, Murtha & Psoras reviews what you should do if you are hurt in a rear-end crash.
Seek Medical Attention After a Maryland Rear-End Accident
Rear-end collisions can result in various types of injuries, including whiplash injuries, back injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. In some cases, the full extent of your injuries is not known at the time of the accident. You could be in shock, or the full effects of the harm have not yet manifested.
After a rear-end accident, if necessary, do not move and wait for medical help to arrive. However, if you can leave the vehicle, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible. If you want to pursue an injury claim against an insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against another driver, you need to demonstrate that the accident caused your injury. Any hesitation in seeking medical treatment could reduce your chances of succeeding in a lawsuit or obtaining the full compensation you deserve. Our Maryland attorney will work with you and your healthcare providers to establish a connection between your physical harm and the rear-end accident.
Contact the Local Maryland Police if You Are Involved in a Rear-End Accident
No matter if the damage appears minor, or the injuries do not look serious, contact the local police. A police report could be critical in filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Included in the report will be contact information for the drivers involved in the rear-end accident, insurance information, collision details such as the location, time of day, and weather conditions, and a preliminary finding of fault. Additionally, if you were in a speeding accident or impaired driving accident, it will be noted in the report. Any citations against another driver could be useful in determining liability.
Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Rear-End Accident in Maryland
While the police report will provide vital information and details, there is much more evidence you could collect at the scene of the accident. Most cellphones have cameras, so take lots of pictures if you can. You should ensure you get photos of all the vehicles involved in the accident, including multiple angles, the damage, and the position of each car in relation to one another. Do not forget to take photos of the license plates.
The accident scene could also provide valuable information. Often, our office will employ investigators to reconstruct an accident if there is a question of liability. However, the critical time to collect evidence is directly following a rear-end accident. So, in addition to the vehicles, take pictures of the roadway, including skid marks and debris, surrounding buildings, and any traffic signs or lights.
Photographs of your injuries also tell a compelling story. Especially if you require surgery or there was any significant bruising or scarring that developed over time.
You should also get the contact information from any witnesses who saw the rear-end collision. Their testimony could be essential in establishing how the accident happened. Be sure to get their email addresses and phone numbers.
After a Maryland Rear-End Accident, Contact the Insurance Companies
You are required to report the accident details to your insurance company. Be sure to avoid giving too much information. The insurance adjuster you will be speaking with is not working for you. They are trying to minimize the amount of compensation they will be required to pay. In some situations, they are looking to deny a claim. You should speak with our Maryland rear-end accident attorney before agreeing to a settlement with an insurance company.
Remember, rear-end collisions are rarely the fault of the driver who was hit. In fact, in Maryland, there is a presumption of negligence on the part of the driver who struck the rear of another vehicle. While the defendant could challenge this presumption, you are typically in a position of some legal strength if your car was struck from behind. Because of this, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to try and settle a case quickly, in hopes of keeping the total cost down. Our office understands these tactics and the types of defenses an insurance company will raise. Injuries caused by a rear-end accident often have a long-lasting impact that takes time to gauge, sometimes weeks, months, or years. You do not want to shortchange yourself if you deserve a significant amount of damages.
Call Our Maryland Rear-End Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Rear-end accidents may seem like open and shut cases. You were standing still and were hit from behind – case over. However, rear-end collisions often result in deceptively severe injuries. If you settle with an insurance company too quickly, you could be costing yourself a significant amount of money. Our Maryland rear-end accident attorney is aware of the potential damages available after a rear-end collision. If you were hurt in a rear-end accident, contact our office immediately. Our experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer will review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.