Baltimore is conveniently positioned within minutes of Washington, D.C. Its roadways are notoriously congested with motorists traveling into the area on business or through the city on a trip up north or down south. With the abundance of traffic that our Maryland city sees, it’s no wonder Baltimore sees its fair share of car accidents.
It can be quite inconvenient if a car accident in Baltimore leaves you with physical damage to your vehicle, rendering it non-operational. However, matters may be worse if you suffer from debilitating car crash injuries. This is especially the case if they’re of the life-altering variety, like a traumatic brain injury, amputation, or spinal cord injury.
Debts can mount as the recovery process lingers, adding to the stress. Filing a car accident claim is a way to hold a negligent motorist accountable for their actions and an approach that allows you to recover compensation for your accident-related expenses. Read on to learn some tips for building a strong car accident claim.
3 Critical Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident
After your car wreck, there are a few steps you should take, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Three primary steps you should take include:
- Call police to come to the scene to prepare a report
- See a doctor as soon as possible to document any injuries you may have
- Contact your insurance company to report the incident
While the recommendations outlined above may seem quite intuitive to you, our experience as Baltimore personal injury attorneys is that this is where natural instincts about handling car accident claims end.
Details To Take Care of at the Crash Scene To Set the Stage for a Strong Car Accident Claim
As you might have surmised from this section’s header, you should address a few details while still at the accident site to set the foundation for a strong car accident claim in Maryland, which include:
- Identifying witnesses who saw what happened before your wreck occurred and taking down their contact information
- Taking photographs of all vehicles involved and the damage they sustained in the crash while at the scene
- Minding your words when interacting with the other motorist or the police (sticking to just the facts without making any admissions of fault)
While what you say and do at the scene where the accident occurs matters, so too does how you proceed.
Post-Crash Details That Adversely Affect the Strength of a Car Accident Claim
Prospective clients often come to us, requesting our representation of them in their Baltimore car accident cases months after their crash occurred after they’ve tried and failed to secure a fair settlement. In discussing their cases with them, we often find that they:
- Waited too long to see a doctor after their auto accident or saw one but didn’t follow their physician’s recommended treatment plan
- Voluntarily made statements casting doubt on liability for the wreck when insurers made inquiries
- Shared information on social media about negligence or injuries that didn’t align with statements made to police or an insurance company or medical records
The factors above can seriously impact the strength of a car accident case, even potentially making it impossible for an injured victim who suffered due to another driver’s negligence to recover compensation.
Strengthening Your Baltimore Car Accident Claim
Now that you’re aware of what can negatively impact your car accident claim, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what you can do to enhance it. You can:
- Continue treating with your doctors until they’ve released you from their care because you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- Not give any accounts of what happened leading up to the crash after making your initial, brief report, whether it’s allegedly being recorded or not
- Discontinue use of social media until the conclusion of your case, change the security settings on your account to private, consider not accepting any new friend requests, making any posts on a friends page, or allowing pictures of information regarding you being posted there
- Not accept any lowball, initial settlement offer offered by an insurance adjuster early on in your case
- Hire a Baltimore car accident lawyer to communicate with insurance adjusters, who will know what to say and when to protect the integrity of your case
In terms of the latter point, insurance companies often see an unrepresented car accident victim as easily manipulated. This is why they’ll try to coax you into making statements that hurt your car accident case or settling early before your injuries have had a chance to set in or you’ve incurred the full extent of any crash-related medical bills or lost wages.
While most of the strategies outlined above are perhaps more appropriate for crashes involving two vehicles, some may be appropriate for single-vehicle accidents—especially if they’re attributable to defective auto parts manufacturing. The key here again is any omissions you make can either help or hurt your case.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help if a Crash Hurt You
Hiring a car accident lawyer immediately puts insurance companies on the defense. They understand that an experienced attorney will never make certain admissions that could jeopardize your right to a settlement and advise you to do the same.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car crash in Baltimore and you plan to pursue the negligent motorist who struck you for your accident-related costs, the pain and suffering, and other damages they’ve caused you, reach out to our personal injury law firm at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your case. Doing so as early as possible provides your attorney with a chance to help you file your car accident claim within the three-year statute of limitations as outlined in Maryland Courts & Judicial Proceedings Code section 5-101, so you don’t squander your right to recover the compensation you deserve and need.
Your initial consultation with one of our attorneys is free. Contact us to get on our schedule today. It’s the first step in the right direction for building a strong car accident claim.