Many of us depend on our cars to get us safely to destinations. Whether you’re headed to work, picking up the kids from school, or running errands, you expect to accomplish your goal without incident. A negligent driver could change that in mere seconds. Car crashes can result in significant injuries and your life may feel like it’s come to a halt. If a crash has caused injury and other losses, you may be eligible for compensation. When filing a claim, you want an expert Glen Burnie car accident lawyer at your side.
Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC is a firm full of skilled lawyers dedicated to helping those who have been wrongfully injured. Seeking compensation on your own can be stressful and you may not know what you’re rightfully owed. Balancing this with your recovery can be difficult. With our lawyers at your side, you won’t have to worry about getting an unfavorable settlement. We’ll fight for what you’re owed so you can recover without stress.
What Factors Can Cause an Auto Wreck in Glen Burnie?
There are some common forms of negligence that may have contributed to your accident. According to the 2016 national data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are frequent causes of fatal accidents:
- Driving While Drunk. An intoxicated driver can easily swerve into other cars or fail to brake for cars in front of them. They’re unable to have control of the vehicle. Drunk driving caused 10,497 fatalities.
- Speeding. When drivers are in a rush or if they’re an aggressive driver, they may drive above the posted speed limit. Speeding reduces the driver’s control of the vehicle. Another reason for the high number of fatalities, speeding accounted for 10,111 deaths. If a speeding driver needs to make a quick maneuver, they may not have the time or will need to correct their driving. Often, a driver overcorrects by jerking the steering wheel to avoid something in the road, but the overcorrection makes them lose control.
- Distracted Driving. There are so many ways for a driver to get distracted. When people try to multitask behind the wheel, they may not realize how they’re putting themselves and others in severe danger. Distracted drivers have less reaction time and reduced control of their vehicles. If they are in a situation where they need to act quickly, they may not have enough time to figure out what to do or have the control to properly maneuver the car. One of the main distractions is the driver’s cell phone. Replying to texts, checking notifications, and even answering phone calls can affect a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Other distractions include changing the radio, looking at a GPS, eating food, or rummaging for something on the passenger’s seat. These actions take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.
- Drowsy Driving. A fatigued driver isn’t aware of everything around them and can fall asleep at the wheel. Causing 803 fatalities, drowsy driving is a concern because many drivers may try to push through their exhaustion and put others as well as themselves in danger. You may want to recognize the signs of drowsy driving so you can take measures to protect yourself and others. If you’re drowsy, you may find yourself blinking more frequently, drifting out of your lane, missing exits or turns, hitting the rumble strip, and not remembering the last few miles you’ve driven. Noticing these signs means it’s unsafe to drive. While some people may think increasing the radio volume could be enough to keep them awake, this isn’t going to reduce the exhaustion. Safely exiting the road to switch drivers or rest until you’re ready to drive could help prevent an accident.
- Failing to Slow Down and Stop. When a driver is approaching a traffic light, they may speed up to make it through the yellow light before it switches to red. While drivers are supposed to slow down at a yellow, this doesn’t stop some negligent drivers. If their timing is off, the driver could run through a red light. If other traffic signs turned green or the crosswalk indicated that pedestrians could cross, they could proceed into the road thinking it’s safe to do so. The driver trying to beat the light could collide with them and cause a devastating auto accident. Drivers failing to completely stop at stop signs can also hit other drivers or pedestrians.
The Severe Injuries of Car Accidents
Accidents can occur on highways, parking lots, rural roads, and in suburban neighborhoods at various types of speeds. While some may be more dangerous than others, any auto accident can result in injuries that require professional medical care. Let’s take a look at some of the types of injuries that can occur.
- Brain Injuries. When someone suffers a head injury from a car wreck, their brain can sustain significant damage. Traumatic brain injuries can cause swelling or bleeding in the brain. If the person doesn’t get medical care immediately, permanent damage could result.
- Paralysis. In severe accidents, a driver’s or passenger’s spine could fracture or break. Depending on the location, this could result in paralysis below the injury site. Issues with controlling the arms, trunk, and legs are possible. While some people may retain partial feeling and function, in some cases someone could lose all feeling below the injury site.
- Broken Bones. A car collision can result in broken bones like arms or legs. These painful injuries will likely need medical attention and could need to remain in a cast for a period of time.
- Whiplash. When a car hits your vehicle, the impact may make your head jerk back and forth at a rapid speed. This motion can result in whiplash. While there isn’t necessarily a break involved, this injury can cause persistent pain and can take time to heal.
- Sprains. Soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains can reduce your mobility and cause pain. A sprained wrist or ankle may not seem like the most severe injury, but it can severely hinder a person’s ability to work or complete basic tasks.
After an accident, you may think you’re uninjured. It’s important to remember that if you don’t feel pain, you could still have injuries. An accident is a sudden and traumatic experience. When it’s over, you could be in shock. Those hormones can mask feelings of pain and make you think you haven’t sustained injuries. However, a few hours or days after the accident, you could start to notice painful symptoms that indicate something is wrong.
Waiting or ignoring these signs could lead to more financial strain and physical discomfort later. When you know the ways to protect yourself and your claim after an accident, you’re taking measures to make it more likely you’ll recover physically, emotionally, and financially in the future.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
The moments after an auto accident are often full of confusion and panic. While remaining calm may be difficult, it’s important to try as best you can. Your actions after the wreck could help your claim. Take a look at the following list of things you should do if you’re involved in a collision in Glen Burnie.
- Assess Yourself for Injuries. Your health always needs to come first. If you’re able to move, check if anyone else needs help. If you find that you cannot safely move, then it’s best to stay put so you don’t injure yourself any further.
- Contact Emergency Services. Alert emergency services about the accident. They’ll send paramedics who will be able to look at your injuries, as well as police who will make a report. Allow the paramedics to assess your health. If you need to go to the hospital, they can facilitate transportation. There’s also a chance you could need some first-aid care but will not need emergency transportation to the hospital. If you’re able to remain on the scene, then you can give your statement to the police.
- Report the Facts to the Police. A police report can be an asset to your claim. They provide an unbiased account and can help show you weren’t the negligent party. However, you need to keep in mind the negligent party may not be at the scene of the accident. When you’re speaking with police, only report the facts of what you remember. Guessing, filling in details, or assigning blame is detrimental because you could give information that’s not true and state the wrong party is at fault. This could call your credibility into question later.
- Exchange Information with the Other Driver. Get the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance policy information, and the make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of their vehicle. Be careful about what you say. Even though the accident wasn’t your fault, you may feel compelled to apologize. While your intentions could be to convey to the other driver you’re sorry this situation is happening, this statement could be used as evidence of fault, which could result in affecting your compensation.
- See a Doctor. After the accident, you need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. They could find latent injuries that were just beginning to show symptoms. Once they evaluate your injuries, they will recommend a treatment plan so you can begin recovering. Seeing a doctor will also establish on your medical record that your injuries were severe enough to seek medical care. The doctor’s evaluation of your health will show the extent of your injuries and the treatment required for you to heal. Your auto accident attorney could use this evidence later to help your claim. If you wait to see a doctor, you’re putting your health and your claim at risk. As you wait to get treatment, your injuries could worsen and you may need longer or more expensive care. If this happens because you waited, then you may not receive full compensation for your injuries.
- Follow the Doctor’s Treatment Plan. When your doctor recommends treatment for your injuries, it’s up to you to follow it. If they tell you to rest and limit physical activity, refrain from putting weight on a limb, or to avoid screens, they’re doing so to help you heal as quickly as possible. Failing to follow their treatment plan could risk re-injury or make them worse than before. This is another situation where you may not receive full compensation for your medical bills, as they were a result of not following the doctor’s orders instead of the initial accident.
- Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer. After you’ve gotten a medical evaluation, it’s time to get in touch with a car accident lawyer. They’ll help you with the legal process.
While there are many steps to keep in mind for your actions at the scene of the accident and after, you also need to be aware of what to do after you’ve contacted your attorney. During this time, you may be approached by insurance adjusters who will try to persuade you to settle early or make official statements—but these can be used to reduce your compensation. The lawyers from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC have experience in communicating with insurance companies. We’ll help prevent harassing phone calls so you can focus on taking care of yourself.
Your Glen Burnie car accident lawyer can give advice about how to proceed while you’re going through the legal process. One tip would be to maintain communication with your doctor to find out when you can return to work. They could give you a period of when you need to rest, evaluate your progress in follow-up appointments, and give you the clearance to return to work when it’s safe. Many people may try to push through their pain and return to work too early—but this can cause more harm than good.
Another important tip is to refrain from using social media. Posting information about the accident, your injuries, or your legal proceedings could be used against you by the other side. It’s best to increase the security on your profiles so they remain private and you control who sees your posts. You may also consider staying away from posting anything at all so you don’t have to worry about it.
If you ever have any questions about ways you can help or hurt your claim, our car accident lawyers are here to provide answers. We’ll help you take the necessary steps to protect your future.
Our Firm Protects Victims of Negligence in Glen Burnie
After an auto accident, you may need extensive medical care to treat your injuries. During this time, you’re missing work and thinking about how long it’s going to take for you to get back to your everyday life. Unfortunately, your responsibilities don’t stop while you recover. Other bills and groceries are expenses you’ll need to keep up with in addition to paying off your medical care costs. At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we understand how stressful this situation can be, but we’re here to help. By filing a personal injury claim, you may be able to receive peace of mind.
We’ll go over the various ways the auto accident has caused injuries and damages. Your medical bills, lost days of work, and pain and suffering are items that can be included in your compensation. Our attorneys will work diligently for you to recover full compensation so you will have a secure financial future.
A successful settlement can bring peace of mind and help you on your way to recovery. While the legal process can get complex, having an experienced Glen Burnie car accident attorney will give you a better chance of having a strong claim. Our lawyers are familiar with Maryland auto accident laws and what goes into building a claim with merit. We’ll start by meeting to go over your claim and your options. To schedule an obligation-free consultation, call our office today.