After a serious wreck, knowing what to do if a car accident was not your fault could make a difference in recovering the compensation you deserve. In most cases, you will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, there are other possibilities. To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, you need to make sure you take the right steps—and you need to do so before you run out of time.
The experienced attorneys at McBride Bishop Law Group have helped clients throughout Maryland achieve justice after a crash. If you were injured in a wreck caused by someone else’s recklessness or carelessness, we can help. We understand the hardships you may be facing and we are committed to helping you move forward with honesty and compassion.
7 Steps To Take After a Car Accident in Maryland
Even if you are clearly entitled to financial compensation, filing a successful claim can prove challenging. With this in mind, here is an overview of what to do if a car accident was not your fault:
1. Preserve As Much Evidence and Information As Possible
Proving that you were not at fault will require evidence from the scene—and potentially from other sources as well. While you are at the scene of the accident, you should try to preserve as much evidence as possible. Take photos and videos with your phone, write down the other driver’s license plate and insurance information, get a copy of the police report, and try to collect contact information from any witnesses.
Once you get home (or while you are recovering in the hospital), you should also write down everything you remember about the crash. Taking comprehensive notes will help you remember key details that you might otherwise forget down the road.
2. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
Taking care of your medical needs is important for two reasons. First, it ensures that you will be able to recover as fully and quickly as possible. If you delay seeking medical treatment, your injuries could get worse, and this could limit your chances of making a full recovery.
Second, documenting the cause and extent of your injuries is critical for filing a successful claim. You need to be able to prove that your injuries are a result of the accident, and this means that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. You also need to know how much compensation to seek in your claim, and this requires a clear understanding of the long-term physical, psychological, and financial costs of your injuries.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who was at fault in the accident, you should contact your insurance company. Your policy most likely requires it; and, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, recovering just compensation may involve dealing with your insurer.
4. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If a car accident was not your fault, you need a lawyer you can trust to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. When seeking financial compensation, you have several potential sources of financial recovery. For example, depending on the circumstances involved, you could have claims against:
- The other driver’s insurance company
- The other driver’s employer
- Your insurance company
- A vehicle manufacturer or dealership
- A vehicle repair shop
- A government agency or road construction contractor
- A negligent passenger, pedestrian, or other third party
Your attorney can determine which claim (or claims) you should file. Your car accident lawyer can also conduct an investigation to gather all available evidence, calculate your short-term and long-term losses, deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, negotiate for a favorable settlement, and take your claim (or claims) to court if necessary.
5. Document Your Accident-Related Losses
As you work to move on from your car accident, it will be important for you to document your accident-related losses. This includes not only your medical bills and other out-of-pocket costs, but also your lost earnings and your pain and suffering.
6. Follow Your Doctor’s and Lawyer’s Advice
As you work to move on, it will also be important for you to follow your doctor’s and lawyer’s advice. When making decisions that will affect your health or your legal rights, it is critical that you consider all relevant factors. Your doctor and lawyer have your best interests in mind, and they want to see you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
7. Be Patient and Persevere
Finally, while your goal may be to recover quickly, you need to be patient. Recovering from traumatic injuries is often a long-term process, and dealing with the insurance companies can take time. But, if you are willing to persevere, you can achieve a positive outcome, and before you know it you will be moving on with your life.
If a car accident was not your fault – and you sustained injuries – a Baltimore car accident lawyer at McBride Bishop Law Group can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your physical, financial, and emotional losses.
See what our clients say about us.
Call (410) 390-3101 or contact us online today for a FREE case evaluation. McBride Bishop Law Group serves clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Ocean City, and other areas.