Traffic accidents are traumatic events. It’s no wonder that victims often make poor decisions after they suffer injuries. Fear, anger, and shock can make people forget everything they’ve heard about what to do after an accident. In the days that follow, misinformation and poor advice can compound the problem. If you get involved in a motorcycle crash in Maryland, you should try as far as possible to follow the correct steps.
Some mistakes may not have a significant effect on your insurance claim, but others can make it really hard for you to claim compensation. Hiring a Maryland motorcycle crash lawyer from the very beginning can help you to avoid costly mistakes. In the meantime, here are some of the things you should not do if you want to recover damages.
Neglect to Call the Police
In Maryland, you’re not legally required to call the police to the scene of every accident. However, you must do so in certain circumstances such as when:
- Someone is hurt
- The driver is intoxicated
- The driver is unlicensed
- The driver flees the scene
- The driver refuses to exchange insurance details
When the police investigate the crash, they’ll write up a report and you’ll get evidence to support your claim. The report can include the officer’s opinion on what caused the crash as well as reports from eyewitnesses. This may be one of the most valuable documents in your case.
Fail to Gather Evidence from The Scene
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries to the motorcyclist. Therefore, you may not be able to talk to eyewitnesses or take photos. However, if you feel well enough, you should take advantage of the opportunity to build a strong case. Try to capture the road conditions and the damage to your bike. If any witnesses are willing, collect their contact information so your Maryland motorcycle accident attorney can reach out to them.
Neglect to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If your injuries are serious, you’ll leave the scene in an ambulance. However, if you don’t have any visible signs of injury, you may be tempted to go home. This is never a wise thing to do. When you begin to feel pain or discomfort days later, it may be difficult to prove that you got your injuries in the crash. The insurance company will likely query why you didn’t seek medical attention sooner. Going to the doctor immediately ensures there’s a paper trail.
Settle Your Claim at the First Offer
The other party’s insurance company will likely reach out to you soon after the accident and make you a low settlement offer. You should not agree to this amount. At this point, you won’t know the extent of your injuries and other losses. If you take the initial offer, you won’t be able to ask for more money if you later realize your expenses are higher. It’s best to go after what your claim is really worth. The initial offer merely opens the door for negotiations.
Delay the Filing of a Lawsuit
Sometimes, settlement negotiations don’t bring about the results you want. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way to get fair compensation. However, if you let negotiations drag on indefinitely, the statute of limitations may run out. At this point, if you attempt to take legal action, the other party will ask the court to throw out the case. You would likely be barred from suing the person you believe is liable. You typically have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. When you hire an attorney from the start, they will keep track of all applicable deadlines. They’ll ensure you don’t lose the right to take legal action.
Calculate Your Losses Incorrectly
You won’t get the compensation you deserve if you don’t accurately calculate your losses. Before you submit your claim, you need to consider current and future medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. You may also be eligible for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. You’ll need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help you quantify your losses.
Contact a Maryland Motorcycle Crash Lawyer Today to Get Legal Advice
Victims of motorcycle accidents deserve full compensation if they were not at fault for their injuries. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the correct steps, you may have to foot all your bills on your own. Securing compensation can be more difficult than it seems so you shouldn’t take chances. Call our Maryland motorcycle crash law office today to schedule a free consultation.