Baltimore is a beautiful place to call home, but the traffic can be frustrating, and more importantly, dangerous. The Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) provides annual updates concerning the impact aggressive driving, impaired and/or distracted drivers, and speed-related auto accidents have on its citizens.
The 2016 MHSO report relates the startling statistic that nearly two-thirds of vehicular crashes in Maryland result in injuries or death. In Baltimore alone:
- Nearly 5,500 crashes involve distracted drivers
- Close to 1,000 crashes are related to speed
- More than 800 crashes are the result of driver impairment due to alcohol/drugs, and
- Nearly 500 crashes involve aggressive driving
What if you are involved in a serious auto collision? Will you know what to do?
News coverage on these accidents are a daily occurrence. Commercials fill our media with attorneys who want you to call them when you are involved in an accident. So, what should you do?
Here are four things to remember and share with others:
- Contact the local police department.
Even if it is only a “fender bender,” do not just exchange insurance information with the other driver. You may be setting yourself up to be held liable for more than the actual damages to the car and/or injuries to others. Also, you may be setting yourself up for the seriousness of your damages and injuries to be doubted.
- Do NOT let the insurance companies make decisions for you.
Allow someone who really understands the laws and how insurance companies work do the talking for you. With years of experience in the auto insurance industry and auto accident personal injury claims litigation, I can help guide you through the claims process.
- Seek medical attention even if you think you are not injured.
After an accident, your body is in survival mode and may hide symptoms for days. Get evaluated by a medical professional; let the doctor know when you feel pain and do not dismiss follow-up care and therapies. The hope is you walk away with no medical concerns, property damage concerns, and bills, and life goes on without missing a beat. The reality is that you may feel the results of the accident for a while. Don’t settle for a quick fix. It is always worth the time to ensure your body heals and your quality of life is maintained.
- Keep records.
Take advantage of your smartphone and snap pictures of the scene of the accident, photo identifications of everyone involved of the accident, your car, the other driver(s) car(s), every bill and receipt. Keep a travel log for anything related to the accident, including trips to the doctor, any follow-up treatment, pharmacy, etc. Keep a calendar with the days you miss work or other income opportunities due to the accident. Keep a journal detailing the days that you hurt, how you hurt, and what you are doing about it. In that journal, be honest with how the accident affected you each day including relations with family members, outings, and change of lifestyle. Be proactive in being able to produce proof if it should ever be needed.
Being informed is key. Hopefully, these four steps will be an asset to you if you ever have the misfortune of needing them.
If you are involved in a car accident, contact me at 410-205-5571 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.