Driving requires all your focus, with eyes on the road, mind engaged in safe driving techniques, and both hands on the steering wheel. While many responsible drivers do this every time they’re behind the wheel, it only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash that has terrible consequences. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you may be struggling with how to move forward. Filing a claim is how you can financially recover from the wreck. While going through the legal process, you’re going to want a reliable Rockville car accident lawyer from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC at your side.
When a car accident completely upends your life, we can help you regain control. Our attorneys have years of experience in getting car accident victims the justice they deserve. Negligent drivers should be held accountable for their actions and you deserve a fair settlement because you’ve suffered financial losses. We’re here to protect your best interests no matter what.
Common Types of Car Accidents
When our lawyers look into your case, we’re going to find out what type of accident you were involved in. It’s imperative to have as many details about the incident as possible. You may have been involved in one of the following types of collisions:
- Rear-end. This is when the front of one car hits the rear of another. Rear-end wrecks can happen at red lights when traffic slows down and stops, but the negligent driver doesn’t realize it until it’s too late.
- Multi-vehicle. When there’s heavy traffic, a multi-vehicle accident is more likely to occur. An accident could initially happen between two vehicles, but then other vehicles become involved because they don’t have time to slow down or steer out of the way.
- Sideswipe. Cars traveling in the same direction may make contact. This could happen if one driver doesn’t check their blind spots and tries to change lanes. The drivers may lose control of their vehicles in sideswipe collisions.
- Head-on Collision. When the front end of two cars crash, it’s called a head-on collision. Injuries in head-on collisions can be devastating, especially if the car occupants aren’t wearing seatbelts. If they’re not secure, they could be ejected through the windshield.
- Broadside Collision. Also known as a T-bone collision, the front end of a vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. These are common at intersections when a car is turning left. If the car doesn’t notice oncoming traffic, they could get in a broadside collision when they turn into the lane.
- Rollover. Larger vehicles are more likely to roll over—especially tractor-trailers. If a truck is improperly loaded and it takes a curve too fast, it could roll over and strike your vehicle.
No matter what type of accident you were in, you deserve compensation to cover your losses. We have extensive experience determining the type of accident a client was in, which can lead us to determining why it happened. Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of wrecks.
Understanding Why Collisions Happen
There are many reasons why your accident could have happened. Determining the cause is an important aspect of filing a claim because you need to be able to prove the crash wasn’t your fault and that you were impacted by it physically, economically, and emotionally. Some of the most common causes of wrecks our Rockville car accident lawyers help clients recover from include those involving intoxicated drivers, distracted driving, and aggressive or reckless drivers.
The legal limit for any driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. Different bodies process alcohol in different ways. Where one person may be able to consume three drinks and remain under the legal limit, another person may be put over the limit after only one. That’s why it’s so important to secure a ride when drinking. The more a person drinks, the less likely they are to realize just how drunk they’ve become. If they get behind the wheel, they could seriously injure or even kill an unsuspecting driver or pedestrian.
In Maryland, 1,716 people lost their lives to drunk drivers between 2003-2012. When a driver is intoxicated, their ability to safely operate a vehicle is severely affected. An intoxicated driver could swerve out of their lane, drive the wrong way on the street, or fall asleep at the wheel.
Distracted driving causes many accidents, too. When someone is texting, using their GPS, or fiddling with the radio, they’re more likely to crash. Others may try to accomplish tasks like flossing, applying makeup, or eating.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road, while manual takes their hands off the wheel. Both reduce the control a driver has over the vehicle. Cognitive distractions, which can be among the most dangerous, take a driver’s mind off the road. When a driver isn’t completely focused on the task at hand, they’re more likely to be unprepared to make an emergency stop or take a sharp turn properly.
Aggressive drivers tend to speed, tailgate, and weave through traffic. If another driver around them needs to brake or there is a sharp turn or debris, the aggressive driver may lose control of their vehicle. An aggressive driver may also try to speed through traffic lights as they’re changing from yellow to red, which puts others in the intersection in danger.
To combat reckless driving, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration asks drivers to show courtesy to others accessing the road, comply with traffic laws, heed all traffic signs, signals, and markings, and stay alert. Unfortunately, not all drivers operate their vehicles safely. When they don’t, it’s important to know what to do after a crash and when you should contact a car accident attorney.
Steps to Take Following a Crash in Rockville
The actions you take immediately following a crash could impact you for the rest of your life. Take a moment to evaluate what has happened. Examine yourself for visible injuries and check on any passengers in your car. If you can, locate the vehicle that hit you and check on those inside as well. If emergency medical services are needed, call 911.
It’s important for you to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. The doctor will assess your injuries and you can start your recovery plan. Depending on your injuries, you could be looking at time at home resting, physical therapy, or surgery. It’s important to note that even if you feel okay after a crash, you should still be looked over. This is because not all injuries are visible, and others take time to progress.
After you’ve sought medical attention, you’ll need to collect contact information from the other driver. This includes the information on their driver’s license and their auto insurance policy information. Depending on the severity, you may need to give a statement to a police officer at the scene, who will then see to it that an official report is filed.
If you can, take pictures at the site of the accident. Make note of the damage to both vehicles, the weather conditions, and the state of the road. Your attorney will be able to use that information later to build a claim that proves how the other driver was negligent. For example, if you were struck at an intersection, traffic cameras will tell what color your light was when you traveled through and your photographs will show how you were hit by the driver that ignored their yellow or red light.
Once you’ve made it home and have taken some time to process what you’ve been through, it’s time to contact an attorney. They will help you file a personal injury claim, so you have access to the funds you need to recover as quickly and as fully as possible.
To do so, your lawyer will look at your medical records and your doctor’s evaluation of your injuries. This can help determine your settlement amount. If you needed to go to the hospital, have tests, medication, or will need surgeries or rehabilitation in the future, your personal injury lawyer in Rockville will take those items into account. In addition to your medical expenses, any lost wages and future lost wages can be taken into consideration. You may also be eligible for compensation to cover noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
The Benefits of Having a Skilled Representative at Your Side
Shortly after your crash, it’s likely insurance companies will start contacting you. They want to determine fault and compensation as quickly as possible so they can maintain their bottom line. In fact, you could still be recovering in the hospital when insurance adjusters try to contact you.
If you receive a phone call from an insurance adjuster, it’s important to not give any information about your accident until you’ve spoken with a lawyer. They may seem friendly and conversational at first, but then they may start asking detailed questions. Their goal is to get you to make statements about the accident or your injuries because they can use those statements against you to lower your settlement.
An insurance adjuster will also try to get you to settle early. You need to take the time to find the full extent of your injuries and know what the accident truly cost you in damages. Settling early could mean you get an unfavorable settlement that didn’t take everything into account because you didn’t know about it yet.
Our Rockville car accident lawyers can help you navigate phone calls with insurance adjusters. While they will need certain information, we can be on the call with you so you don’t give out anything that could be used against you.
Contact Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC
After a car accident in Rockville, you don’t have to go through the legal process alone. We’re here to help the citizens of Rockville get back on their feet after they’ve been wrongfully injured. All you have to do is schedule a consultation with us, free of charge. When we meet, we’ll go over the details of your case and find out the best way to help you.