Maryland residents are no strangers to car accidents. This state has nearly six million residents to count, and there are just over 500 fatalities each year because of automobile incidents on the road. These figures are shocking, but what happens in the aftermath of a crash? Determining liability is a necessary part of figuring out insurance claims, and the Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Monge & Associates discuss the topic in the post below.
Sometimes, the drivers at the scene of the accident will take the lead in determining who is at fault. This is often a volatile method and leaves people vulnerable to double crossing, changed minds, and general discrepancy when it comes to making an insurance claim for damages and personal injury. When emotions are running high in a traumatic situation such as this, drivers will be at risk of accepting liability for something they didn’t do. It is all too easy for one strong willed individual to absolve themselves entirely and blame the other parties, even if they had a part to play in what came to pass. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could leave you open to lawsuits and big insurance costs, so what can Maryland residents do to protect themselves here?
You can take pictures, names, and vehicle details at the crash site. This will help you when you talk to our team at our office in Maryland and ensure that you are able to keep a level head when it comes to observing the facts.
Make a Note of the Facts
Write down where the accident happened, how many cars were involved, and the registration numbers and ID information of the other drivers. Don’t forget important information like what the weather was like and the time of day. Most accidents in Maryland take place on highways like the I-95, but some do happen on country roads too. Location is a key factor that should never be ignored!
Wait for the Police
Until the police arrive on the scene, stay quiet and do not accept fault for anything, especially if you know that you did nothing wrong. Law enforcement will file an official report, and this is vital evidence.
Accident Report Determines Fault
More often than not, the official accident report written up by the attending officer will offer crucial details about who was at fault for the crash. We have offices in 19 states and over 32 locations including here in Maryland and also Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Nebraska, and Florida and that means we have seen plenty of car accident reports used as concrete evidence to determine liability in these types of situations.
Insurance Companies Investigate
When neither the police report nor the drivers can state without a doubt who is to blame for the car accident, it will typically become the responsibility of the insurance companies. We can help with this and emphasize how important it is to never speak with an insurance adjuster without an attorney present. There are all sorts of tricks being used to make people accept fault where they are not to blame, and if this happens to you, it is hard to come back from.
If the insurance company cannot reach a decision, the case will go to arbitration and an independent party will decide the outcome. You can still appeal this, but then the matter will be escalated to a trial by jury in most cases. Maryland crashes are common, and nearly 40% of car crashes took place in Baltimore County and Baltimore City. So, it is easy to see why at least some of these claims would end up going to arbitration.
A Jury Decides
If it reaches the point where your insurance case is passed over to a jury, we will stand by your side and represent the facts as we know them. It is easier to show what happened with evidence, statements, and medical reports so this will all factor in. A jury’s decision is often final, so there will be little to do in terms of negotiation once the verdict has been reached. This will say who was to blame and which parties held the most liability overall.
Monge & Associates is a team of experienced lawyers with offices all over the country. There is always a degree of negotiation when it comes to determining liability in car accident insurance claims, but we can help you paint the best picture and defend yourself against bullies or insurance companies wanting to settle low.
Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been hurt in a car accident and someone else was at fault.