5 Common Myths About Car Accidents Debunked

Almost everyone has either been in an auto accident in Maryland or knows somebody who has. Further, most people think they know a lot more than they really do about auto accidents. Many of the things that you think are true about car accidents are just myths, widely perpetuated and difficult to argue against, because they may seem like common sense. Following are the most common myths that you should be aware of that are not actually true.

When it comes to accidents, there is a lot of misinformation out there. That is why we wanted to share with you the top 5 debunked most common myths about car accidents.

Before we dive in though, did you know that if you are injured in a car collision caused by another driver, Maryland law allows you to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the following damages:

  • All medical expenses – Medical costs can include more than bills from your doctor. They can include all physical therapy appointments, medications, emergency transportation, and more. If you need to rent crutches or a wheelchair, for example, you deserve to recoup those costs. You can also seek compensation for the mileage you drove to and from your medical appointments. Finally, you cannot forget to consider whether you will need medical treatment in the future. Some serious injuries require ongoing care long after a claim is settled, and you will need to estimate the costs you may incur in the future for your treatment.
  • Lost income – Car crash injuries can impact your life in many ways, and one way is by keeping you from working. Maybe your injuries require you to stay in the hospital or rest at home for days or weeks. Your injuries may also keep you from performing your basic job functions. In either case, you can lose a significant amount of income from missing work after an accident. If your Uber accident left you with long-term impairments, you may never be able to return to your same job, or your same level of income, again. Future lost earning power can also be calculated in the value of your claim.
  • Pain and suffering – This type of loss is intangible and more difficult to attach value to. Injuries can cause a substantial amount of physical pain for accident victims. Such pain can limit your activities, and even painkillers can have a serious effect on your everyday life and may even be dangerous. Dealing with pain and limitations from injuries can also affect your mental and emotional health. You can seek compensation for the pain, suffering, lasting injuries, and loss of enjoyment of life that you suffered because of the crash.
  • Property damage – You are entitled to have your vehicle repaired or the true value if your vehicle is deemed a total loss.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your claim or offers a low-ball settlement, you may file a personal injury claim to seek fair compensation, generally with the assistance of an experienced Baltimore car crash personal injury attorney. You can increase your chances of a successful claim if you are aware of five common myths and misconceptions about car accidents in Maryland.

1. My first priority is to move my vehicle to safety.

Your first priority after a car crash is to get yourself and any passengers to safety. If you are on a busy interstate where traffic is moving at high speeds or a street where the lighting is poor, it is important to get out of your car and move to a safe place. It is best not to sit in your car or truck while waiting for help, as you could be hit by another driver who does not see your vehicle in time. If, however, your car is off to the shoulder or the accident occurred in a subdivision or side street and its location will not cause an accident, do not move it. The position and location of the cars in the car wreck are important for your accident report.

If you are physically able, take these steps to protect your claim:

  • Keep calm and assess the situation – if anyone has been injured and needs immediate medical attention, call 911 right away to request an ambulance. Otherwise, you should move your car out of harm’s way so that you do not impede traffic or have another collision. Turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers that there has been a car wreck, and place down flares or safety triangles if you have them.
  • Call the Police – Let the dispatcher know you were in an auto crash and where you are located. When the investigating officer arrives, tell the truth about what happened and just stick to the facts. You should be able to obtain a copy of the police report from the police department for a fee within a few days. This is an important step to take, as police accident reports are often critical pieces of evidence that can make or break your claim.
  • Get information from the other driver – You will want to get the name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance company name, and insurance policy number from everyone involved in the auto collision. If you were involved in a car accident with a commercial vehicle, be sure to get the name and contact information of the driver’s employer.
  • Do not talk about fault – The last thing you should be doing at the scene of your collision is arguing with other drivers about who is at fault. You are better off not saying anything. Remember, even saying something that seems harmless like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” can be interpreted as admitting fault.
  • Take pictures and video – If you can, take detailed pictures and/or video of your car wreck. Make sure to show all the damage, skid marks, streets signs, traffic lights, road markings, construction, hazards, and any visible injuries. Do your best to paint a clear picture of the accident scene. Bonus tip: Take notes about your wreck while it is all still fresh in your mind. Write down when and where the car accident took place and any important details that could be useful down the road when filing a claim.
  • Seek out witnesses – If anyone saw your car crash happen, ask them to stay to give a statement to police. Before they leave, see if you can get their name and contact information. Eyewitness testimony is often a difference-maker when trying to prove fault.
  • Get examined by a medical professional – Even if you do not have visible injuries or symptoms, you should get checked out by a licensed medical doctor within 24 hours of your car wreck. Some injuries have delayed onset symptoms and are not immediately noticeable. Make sure to document your doctor visits and attend all follow-up appointments.
  • Go off the grid – Do not post anything online about your car accident. This includes talking about your accident on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and all other social media platforms. Anything you post online about your car accident could potentially be used against you to challenge or deny your claim. You are simply better off not discussing the details of your accident online or with your family and friends.
  • Notify your insurance company – You are required to notify your insurance company that you have been in a car crash, so call them to let them know you were in a car wreck. Give the facts of what happened but do not go into too much detail. If an insurance adjuster pressures you for more information or wants you to give a recorded statement, politely decline and refer them to your lawyer. Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to an attorney first.
  • Call an experienced car accident lawyer – An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to meet with you, learn the details of your car wreck, discuss your legal options, answer your questions, and help you figure out the best way to maximize the value of your claim. Since most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and will represent you on a contingency fee basis, it probably will not cost you any upfront money to have a car crash lawyer tackle your claim.

2. I cannot contact a personal injury lawyer until I have the police report.

You do not need a copy of your accident report to contact our Baltimore personal injury attorneys. A lawyer will know to obtain your police report, which is crucial to your claim for damages. It proves the accident happened when/where you say it did and may include evidence of liability from the officers’ examination of the scene.

3. I do not need to see a doctor if I feel all right after the car accident.

Some injuries are asymptomatic immediately after they are sustained because the adrenaline from the experience of your car crash can mask symptoms. A doctor’s exam and diagnostic tests can reveal injuries you can not see or feel. Immediate diagnosis allows you to get treatment before the injury is aggravated, and seeing a doctor also provides documentation about the injuries you have suffered in the car collision. This documentation is vital to your personal injury claim, so you should see a doctor right away even if you do not feel that you are hurt. Even minor injuries can worsen over time and lead to long-term medical bills for which the negligent driver should be responsible.

4. I am out of luck if I am in an accident with a hit-and-run or uninsured driver.

In either circumstance, you can file a claim with your own car insurance company for damages, which should be covered by your uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage. If you later locate the hit-and-run driver and/or file a personal injury claim to collect compensation from the at-fault driver, your insurance company could file a subrogation claim to recoup money it has paid you. In such a situation, however, your insurer could become your adversary and try to deny your claim or offer a low award. An experienced Baltimore car accident attorney can help you work through the complexities of a claim against your own company.

5. You can recover fair compensation without hiring an attorney.

The reality is that you can recover compensation on your own, but it is not likely to be fair or adequate to cover all your damages. Studies show that injured victims who work with an attorney recover 3.5 times the compensation of those who do not. Further, the insurance company will have an attorney that will be doing their best to disprove or minimize the value of your claim. For that reason, you should contact the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt for a free consultation.

What Can Your Baltimore Auto Accident Attorney Do for You?

When you contact an experienced Baltimore auto accident legal team like the attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt for a free consultation, we will separate fact from fiction, evaluate your case, answer your questions, and get you started on the right foot. We will investigate your claim, gather the necessary evidence to prove liability and the rightfully owed value of your damages. We will file your claim for you, negotiate for fair compensation, and take your case to court if all else fails. So do not fall for the common myths associated with auto accidents. Call us anytime day or night at 443-844-1528.