When it comes to accidents, there is a lot of misinformation out there. That's why, we sat down with our Frederick personal injury lawyer to debunk 5 of the most common myths about car accidents in Maryland.
Before we dive in though, did you know that if you’re injured in a auto crash caused by another driver, Maryland law allows you to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your claim or offers a low-ball settlement, you may file an injury claim to seek fair compensation, generally with the assistance of a skilled and experienced Frederick personal injury lawyer. You can increase your chances of a successful claim if you’re aware of five common myths and misconceptions about car accidents in Maryland
5 Common Myths About Car Accidents in Maryland Debunked
1. My first priority is to move my vehicle to safety
Your first priority after a wreck is to get yourself and any passengers to safety. If you’re on a busy interstate where traffic is moving at high speeds or a street where the lighting is poor, it’s important to get out of your car and move to a safe place. It’s best not to sit in your car or truck while waiting for help, as you could be hit by another driver who doesn’t see your vehicle in time. If, however, your car is off to the shoulder or the accident occurred in a subdivision or side street and its location won’t cause an accident, don’t move it. The position and location of the cars in the crash are important for your accident report.
If you’re physically able, take these steps to protect your claim:
- Call 9-1-1 to report the accident.
- Take photos of the cars involved and the accident scene.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) and answer police questions, but don’t discuss the wreck in detail or admit fault.
- Get contact information and written statements from witnesses to the crash.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Inform your insurance company of the wreck.
- Consult our experienced Frederick personal injury lawyer.
2. I can’t contact a personal injury lawyer until I have the police report
You don’t need a copy of your accident report to contact our Frederick personal injury lawyer. An attorney will know how to obtain your report, which is crucial to your claim for damages. It proves the accident happened when/where you say it did and may include evidence of liability from the officers’ examination of the scene.
3. I don’t need to see a doctor if I feel all right after the wreck
Some injuries are asymptomatic immediately after they’re sustained because the adrenaline from the experience of your accident can mask symptoms. A doctor’s exam and diagnostic tests can reveal injuries you can’t see or feel. Immediate diagnosis allows you to get treatment before the injury is aggravated, and seeing a doctor also provides documentation about the injuries you’ve suffered in the car crash. This documentation is vital to your claim, so you should see a doctor right away even if you don’t feel that you’re hurt. Even minor injuries can worsen over time and lead to long-term medical bills for which the negligent driver should be responsible.
4. I’m out of luck if I’m in an accident with a hit-and-run or uninsured driver
In either circumstance, you can file a claim with your own auto insurer for damages, which should be covered by your uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage. If you later locate the hit-and-run driver and/or file a personal injury claim to collect compensation from the at-fault motorist, your insurance company could file a subrogation claim to recoup money it has paid you. In such a situation, however, your insurer could become your adversary and try to deny your claim or offer a low award. An experienced Frederick personal injury lawyer can help you work through the complexities of a claim against your own company.
5. I don’t need/can’t afford a personal injury lawyer
If you’ve had a minor fender bender, have seen a doctor, and have no injuries that require treatment, you might not need the services of an attorney to pursue your claim for damages to your vehicle. Most personal injury/car accident lawyers, however, will give you a free consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your options. If our Frederick personal injury lawyer agrees to take your case, you’ll probably pay no attorney fees up front. You and your lawyer will agree on a percentage of your award to be paid after your case is won. Because you’re likely to get a significantly better settlement with an attorney than without one, your legal representation could pay for itself and more.
Were You Injured in a Maryland Car Accident? Our Frederick Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help!
An experienced Frederick personal injury lawyer can separate fact from fiction and fight to get you fair compensation after the crash. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.