For most drivers involved in an accident, this may be their first time
filing an insurance claim or dealing with injuries resulting from someone
else’s negligence. It is important to understand how the claims
process works as well as the benefits of retaining a knowledgeable
Maryland car accident attorney. Here are a few helpful tips and facts you may not already know.
Documents and Claims Reporting
One of the most important things you can do is call the police and ensure
a report is completed, especially if you are injured. The police report
will include important details, like contact information for the other
party and the name of the responding officer. Any witnesses to the accident
will be noted on the police report, along with any injuries reported at
If you have the opportunity, and can do so safely, take your own photos
at the scene. This can be helpful in determining liability and negotiating
an injury settlement on your behalf.
When reporting the claim, report it to your own carrier and let them file
the claim with the other person’s auto carrier. This helps ensure
the other party’s insurance does not try to trap you in a recorded
statement to make it look like you were the at-fault party.
Liability in Maryland
Maryland falls under the contributory negligence law, which means if you
had any fault in the accident, you are barred from recovery. This is why
insurance companies work hard to ensure they find any reason to claim
that you are a percentage at fault, as well, as it results in no claims
payouts for their insured. For example, if you are stopping to make a
left turn but you do not have your signal on and a speeding car comes
from behind and rams into you, you may be found 10% at fault for not using
your blinker. Even if the other party is 90% at fault and you are only
10% at fault, you are barred from any recovery for your injuries and damages.
If you carry PIP, or
Personal Injury Protection, on your policy, it is a no-fault insurance that provides benefits for
medical, hospital, and disability coverage up to $2,500 for all reasonable
expenses arising from an incident. This coverage extends to you, family
members, and non-familial occupants of your vehicle at the time of the accident.
In the event that a settlement is reached between parties, the case will
end prior to any official court proceedings. It is important to know what
the statute of limitations is for all injury and property damages. Md.
Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Pro. §5-101 notes that you have three years
to file a cause of action for bodily injury and/or property damage. In
the event you have not reached a settlement before the statute of limitations
is up, you can file a lawsuit and the case will proceed with more formal
documentation and hearings required. In the event you have not retained
a Maryland personal injury lawyer and the three years expires before reaching
a settlement, the insurance company has no obligation to pay you any money
for damages. This is why retaining a competent accident attorney in Maryland
is crucial to your case.
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-804-2312 today to set up a consultation to discuss the merits of
your case. Let us navigate the tricky world of insurance and help you
obtain the settlement you deserve.