Car accidents are often sudden and terribly frightening events. You never know when an accident will happen. Despite the overwhelming rush of emotions you might feel, it is important to remain calm after an accident and assess the situation. If someone is injured, either in your car or in another vehicle, you should immediately call 911 so the police and emergency services will be dispatched to the crash site. However, even if the accident seems insignificant, it is wise to call the police. Below, our Baltimore car accident attorney from Rice, Murtha & Psoras reviews what other calls you should make if you were involved in a car accident in Maryland.
Maryland Law and Reporting Car Accidents
Under Maryland law, you are not always required to report an accident to the police. However, there are situations when the law compels you to report a crash. For instance, if someone is injured, then you must call the police. Furthermore, an accident needs to be reported if a vehicle must be towed.
The conduct of another driver could also make it necessary to call local law enforcement. When another driver is unwilling to share their insurance information, does not have a license, appears under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or flees the scene of the accident, you need to call the police.
Even if you are not required to report an accident, you should still do so, especially if another driver was at fault. You want to protect your rights. What appears to be a minor fender-bender could be significantly worse as many injuries are not apparent immediately following a collision. You could start to experience stiffness, back pain, or other symptoms of a severe injury days after the accident occurred. If you want to file a Maryland personal injury lawsuit or even pursue a settlement with an insurance company, a defense attorney or adjuster will argue that you did not believe the accident was serious at the time. Additionally, a police report will also provide valuable information that was gathered immediately following the accident.
Calling Your Insurance Company or Speaking With the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Provider After a Maryland Accident
You should report your accident to your insurance provider. Informing your insurance company could also be a contractual requirement under your policy. You might receive a phone call from another driver’s insurance company asking questions about the accident. Each of these situations are vastly different.
As stated above, reporting an accident to your insurance company is likely required under the terms of your policy. When talking to an insurance adjuster you should stick to the facts of what occurred. Do not offer any speculation, do not downplay the severity of your injuries, do not exaggerate either, and never offer more information than is asked. At this point, you do not know how your settlement or personal injury case will proceed. In most cases, you should speak with an experienced Maryland car accident attorney before talking in-depth with your insurance provider.
If another driver’s insurance company contacts you, you are not obligated to speak with them. In nearly every case, you should not. At this point, the only thing the other insurance company is trying to do is limit its liability by gathering evidence or statements that could be used to shift fault to you or statements that indicate your injuries are minor or nonexistent. If you do speak with an adjuster from another insurance provider, you should limit the information to basic facts, such as the date of the crash, the makes of cars, your name, and your insurance information. Remember, the adjuster is not looking out for your best interests and is only building a case to deny or limit their company’s liability.
Call an Experienced Maryland Car Accident Attorney
After calling the police and attending to your medical treatment, you should contact our Maryland car accident attorney. While you could have up to three years to file a personal injury lawsuit if you were injured in a car crash, you should not delay seeking legal representation.
Working with insurance companies is challenging and our lawyers will handle these communications, especially with the insurance provider for the at-fault driver. Our office will also immediately begin investigating the accident and gathering evidence, including witness statements, police reports, medical records, surveillance video, and cell phone records. In many cases, valuable evidence will be lost or unavailable if you delay.
If you are questioning whether you need a lawyer, maybe because your injuries do not appear serious or you believe you contributed to the accident, you should still call. Phone calls and initial consultations are free. More importantly, you want to protect your legal rights. An injury that might not appear serious could develop into a more significant medical condition. Therefore, you should see your doctor or seek medical treatment after any accident. Some injuries, such as soft tissue damage or back and head injuries, might not show symptoms for days. Let a knowledgeable Maryland car accident lawyer evaluate your claim before deciding that you do not have a viable case.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorney is Available to Help You After a Car Crash
The moments following a car accident are often chaotic and confusing. the first thing you should do is check on your injuries and see if your passengers or any other accident victims require medical attention. If they do, you need to call 911. Even if the accident seems insignificant, you should still call the police. After any car accident, you want to understand and protect your legal rights. Therefore, you should contact our Maryland car accident attorney. the lawyers and staff at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been assisting accident victims for decades and that experience is available to you. Call our office at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.