Some of the things you can do after a car accident to protect your rights include:
- Undergoing a medical evaluation
- Documenting the scene and retaining any evidence
- Contacting the police and getting a copy of the police report
- Informing your insurer about your accident
- Being cautious when discussing the accident with the responsible party’s insurance company
If you fail to protect your rights after a car accident, it may impact your ability to collect various forms of compensation that you may otherwise be legally entitled to. If you decide to work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they may be able to protect your rights for you.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Here are some suggestions for what you can do to protect your rights after a car accident:
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Seek Medical Treatment
If you need it, you should prioritize receiving emergency medical treatment after your accident. Even if your injuries do not require emergency treatment, be sure to receive an evaluation by a doctor as soon as possible. This can create a medical record of injuries and treatments that are connected to your accident. An evaluation may also help your doctor diagnose potentially hidden injuries, such as whiplash.
Move to a Safe Place and Call 911
Unless you must leave the accident scene for immediate medical treatment, you should move off of the road and call 911. Emergency services—including the police—may be dispatched to the scene of the accident. You may also be required to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident, per Maryland Transportation §20-104.
The police report of your accident may be an important piece of evidence that can be used to support your claims against an at-fault driver who caused or contributed to the accident you were involved in.
Document the Accident Scene
If it is safe to do so, take pictures and record video of the accident scene. Be sure to record vehicle and property damage, skid marks, road conditions, and other points of reference such as the road you were on and where and how the vehicles involved in the crash collided. You may also want to take photos of any injuries that you sustained during the crash.
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Speak to Witnesses
Road accidents are often witnessed by passers-by and other drivers. Some drivers may have dashcams installed, and such footage—as well as CCTV or surveillance footage from security cameras near the crash site—can potentially be used to back up your claims. You may be able to obtain such evidence if you speak to eyewitnesses and ask for their contact information.
Contact Your Insurer
You typically must inform your insurer about your accident. This may help you in case you need to file a claim with your own insurer.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Once you have done all of the above, you should have your vehicle inspected by a reliable and trustworthy repair shop. The service and maintenance estimates of a repair shop may potentially be included in your claim for damages.
Be Careful When Speaking with the Responsible Party’s Insurance Company
If the responsible party’s insurance company contacts you after the accident, use caution. They may be able to use your statements to deny or reduce your claim. If you work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they may be able to handle these communications on your behalf.
Call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow Today
The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow may be able to protect your rights after a car accident in Maryland. We represent car accident victims in settlement negotiations and personal injury lawsuits.
When considering legal action in car accident injuries, keep in mind that, per Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings §5–101, a general three-year statute of limitations pertains to personal injury lawsuits in Maryland. In addition, Maryland is one of four states in which the contributory negligence law applies. If you were even 1% responsible for an accident, this may hurt your claim.
The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can manage your case according to Maryland personal injury law when we represent you. We can also handle all communications, evidence gathering, and legal work on your behalf.
For a free case review with a representative of our firm, call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 877-6021.
. We take many cases on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payments required.