The moments immediately following a car crash are often a whirlwind for accident victims, especially if injuries or serious property damage have occurred. With the flurry of activity that is sure to surround the scene, it can be hard to make heads or tails of what’s going on. Unfortunately, those moments right after the crash are critical to ensuring that an accident victim’s rights remain fully protected moving forward.
Regardless of the accident’s severity, it can significantly impact your life, and knowing what to do after the crash is paramount. Unfortunately, following a car accident, common mistakes often jeopardize an accident victim’s chances of receiving fair compensation for injuries and damages.
In this post, the Maryland car accident lawyers at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP outline six common mistakes everyone should avoid following a car accident in Maryland. By making yourself aware of these common mistakes before you hit the road, you can be better prepared in the event of an accident.
Mistake #1: Failing to Contact the Police
Immediately after a car accident, it’s crucial to contact the police, even if the accident seems minor. Maryland law requires you to report any accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500.
A police report can provide crucial incident documentation, including information about the parties involved, witnesses, and other relevant details. This report will be essential for insurance claims and any potential legal proceedings.
An official police report can strengthen your case by providing an unbiased account of the accident. A police report also serves as objective evidence to support your version of events and help refute any false claims made by the opposing party or their insurance company.
Therefore, you should never underestimate the importance of involving law enforcement after a car accident in Maryland.
Mistake #2: Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, seeking immediate medical attention after an accident is incredibly important.
Delaying or not seeking medical treatment can jeopardize your health and potentially harm your personal injury claim.
Documenting your injuries with medical records is essential to establish a causal link between the accident and your injuries, strengthening your compensation claim.
It’s important to note that some injuries may not manifest immediately after the accident, and a medical professional can identify hidden injuries and provide necessary treatment. By promptly seeking medical attention, you prioritize your well-being and create a solid foundation for your personal injury case.
Mistake #3: Admitting Fault or Oversharing Information
Avoid admitting fault or discussing the accident in detail with the other party involved or their insurance company.
Even a seemingly innocent statement can be misconstrued and used against you during negotiations or in court. Therefore, it’s best to avoid discussing fault and directing all communication through your personal injury attorney.
Your lawyer will handle all communication, advising you on what information to provide. By entrusting your case to a Maryland personal injury attorney, you can avoid unintentionally compromising your claim.
Mistake #4: Failing to Gather Sufficient Evidence
Collecting evidence at the accident scene is crucial for building a strong personal injury claim.
Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, and any contributing factors such as skid marks or road hazards. Gather contact information from witnesses who can corroborate your version of events. If you cannot gather this evidence, enlist the help of a friend or family member.
This evidence will strengthen your case and help your attorney negotiate a fair settlement or present a compelling argument in court.
Mistake #5: Failing to Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Promptly notifying your insurance company about the accident is important to comply with the terms of your policy. However, be cautious when providing statements or signing documents without consulting your personal injury attorney.
It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to try and minimize your claim. Having strong legal representation can help protect your interests and ensure fair treatment.
Mistake #6: Delaying Your Decision to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
One of the most significant mistakes you can make after a car accident is to delay your decision to hire a personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney with experience in Maryland’s personal injury laws will navigate the complex legal process on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected, and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Remember- you will pay the same fee whether you hire an attorney right away or six months later.
Avoiding Common Mistakes Made by Maryland Accident Victims
After a car accident in Maryland, avoiding these common mistakes is vital to protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. Hiring a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident is crucial, as they will guide you through the legal process, handle communications with insurance companies, gather evidence, and advocate for your best interests.
By taking the right steps and having skilled legal representation, you can focus on your recovery. At the same time, your attorney will work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve.
At the law firm of Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP, our expert team of personal injury attorneys understands how chaotic things can be following an accident, so we stand ready to assist you as you navigate the complexities of Maryland law.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Carroll County or anywhere else in the state, contact the Maryland car accident attorneys from Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP by filling out our online contact form or calling us today.