No one knows when he or she will face an accident. None of us likes to believe that we are susceptible to crashes, but it can catch us by surprise anywhere, anytime. Whether travelling to work, returning from school or during a long drive – car crashes are always a persistent threat. Our safety does not always depend upon the technology in our car or our driving skills. Road safety depends on uncountable factors. A slight misbalance of these can lead to tailgating accidents or significant car crashes.
What should you do immediately after a vehicle accident?
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is undoubtedly unfortunate, but you have specific responsibilities as a civilian. Your primary duty is to check if everyone involved in a crash is alright. Before you move your car away from the accident site, check the injuries. If necessary, call an ambulance. Provide assistance and support as much as possible, irrespective of your potential liability for the situation.
Once you have ensured that the other driver and riders are safe, go ahead and follow these directions –
Exchange the information on your car insurance including the driver’s license number and vehicle license plate.
Take pictures of the impact site, license plate, and surrounding debris.
Provide pertinent information to the police officer present at the scene.
If people have sustained injuries, you need to file a detailed report to the MVA. It is true irrespective of your liability. However, if there is only property damage, you don’t need to file a report.
Most importantly, do remember to call your insurance company if you want to file claims.
These are the five primary things you need to do immediately after an accident. However, even the whiplash, minor wounds, and emotional trauma can make it hard for you to gather yourself after an accident. Filing the paperwork correctly and give statements properly might seem like insurmountable challenges. It always helps to add another step – calling your motor vehicle accident attorney in Maryland to help you handle the formalities.
By when should you file an accident lawsuit?
According to the Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Section 5-101, the victim of an automobile accident should file the civil lawsuit for personal injury within 3-years of the date of the crash. Your clock starts running from the day of the incident, and you should get in touch with an expert accident attorney as soon as possible to maximise your compensation from the insurance company. The 3-year deadline applies to everyone including the driver, co-passenger, motorcycle rider, pedestrian or bicyclist. However, you should remember that the statute of limitations is not applicable to your car insurance claim. An insurance company usually has its own deadlines pertaining to the filing of claims after an accident. Most companies request their clients to make a claim “within a reasonable time” after the incident.
Gathering the evidence, filing the paperwork and finding your witnesses might take a while without the help from an experienced lawyer. Working with a lawyer with enough experience in automobile accident claims can help you file a motion within the deadline. You can be sure that filing a lawsuit after the applicable time limit can prompt the defendant to use the timeline as a discrepancy as a part of the dismissal of the motion. You can be sure that the court will grant the defendant’s motion unless you can put forth an exception that extends the timeline. While there is a slight chance to recover the compensation even after the stipulated time limit, not working with a law professional almost negates this chance.
Sometimes, people miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit because they are confident that their case will resolve their car insurance compensation. However, almost all insurance companies look towards minimum payout and maximum profit. Therefore, expecting your car insurance policy to cover all damages without the intervention of an expert lawyer is nothing more than daydreaming. Even if you are sure about your car insurance payouts, it is always smart to keep some time in hand for filing an auto accident lawsuit when the necessity arises.
Why is self-representation in accident lawsuits a rarity in Maryland?
Maryland “contributory negligence” rule makes receiving compensation significantly challenging for those involved in a traffic accident. According to the rule, when a person is even the slightest bit responsible for a crash that has led to multiple injuries or property damage, he or she shall not receive money damages. That means, even when the other driver was mostly responsible for the accident, you shall not receive any compensation unless you manage to prove that you were not responsible for the crash in any way.
It is almost impossible to do so even with the 21st-century technology since no one expects road accidents to happen to them. Not having legal experts backing your claim can mean the loss of rightful compensation that can help you pay for your medical bills, therapy or car repair. Maryland does not believe in “comparative negligence” that allows the at-fault individual to recover a part of the damage as long as he or she does not share more than 50% of the responsibility. “Contributory negligence” makes the role of an accident attorney almost indispensable in the life of a motor vehicle owner after an accident.
What should you do?
If you have been in a car accident in the state of Maryland, and you have a Maryland driver’s license, you should speak with a trained and experienced accident attorney immediately. It will help you save a lot of time, and it will reduce the hassle people usually face dealing with insurance adjusters. In case the defendant decides to lawyer up, you will always have the preparation to file an accident lawsuit. If you want to maximize the compensation and reduce the hassle, you should have the contact of a reputable Maryland accident attorney on your speed dial before you get in the driver’s seat.