Mistakes to Avoid Following an Annapolis Car Accident

It can be difficult to know what to do following a stressful incident such as a car accident. However, it is important to avoid making mistakes under these circumstances. There are a few mistake that are particularly common and troublesome, and it is good to be aware of these. An Annapolis car accident attorney can advise on how best to avoid common mistakes following an accident.

Common Mistakes

The single most common mistake an individual makes is failing to contact an attorney. There is no reason that an individual should not contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. At the very least, an individual will be able to understand the pros and cons of retaining that attorney immediately, understanding the benefit that an attorney can provide to the individual, understanding all of their rights, responsibilities, obligations, and understanding the general process.

There is no fee for a consultation, and these cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that if the attorney is retained, there is no responsibility or obligation to pay that attorney any cost or fees unless and until there is a recovery. That is then based on a contingency fee, which is typically a third of the case settlement.

Failing to Contact the Police

One of the main mistakes to avoid after a car accident is failing to call the Annapolis police. It is important to have an independent person on the scene to observe what has occurred and to talk to the parties. They can give assistance in terms of statements that are made, because that police officer can then be a witness as to what statements were made to the officer on the scene about the incident, which can be very helpful later on down the line.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

There is no need to go unrepresented in court. It is arguably the biggest mistake an individual can make following an accident. An individual is going into this process without a level playing field, since the insurance company has their adjusters and attorneys representing both the at-fault party’s, and the insurance company’s interest. An attorney can help an individual make an educated decision about the process of their trial, while keeping the client’s best interests in mind.

Once a person has gone down the path of handling insurance claims on their own, the damage done may be irrevocable, and the attorney may not be able to undo what the person has done. This can seriously hurt the outcome of the case, and is the difference between obtaining the recovery that maximizes the outcome in a case, versus having provided information that should not be used, and which has been used to the detriment of obtaining a maximum recovery.

The sooner an individual contacts an attorney, the sooner the attorney can provide proper advice and proper representation.  Once the attorney is involved in the case, then the attorney interfaces with the insurance company, and the client does not.

However, if an individual does not obtain the services of an attorney, and the insurance company forces the case into the litigation phase unnecessarily, thereby incurring many unnecessary costs, a lawyer may be hesitant to represent a case.

Investigation Process

The attorney handles all aspects of the legal part of the process, and the individual can focus on what is important to them: seeking proper medical care to get better. The attorney or firm has the resources and the staff to properly investigate the accident independent of the police, independently obtain statements from witnesses, and obtain any video footage from traffic cameras or nearby business cameras that can be helpful. A common mistake an individual makes is attempting to investigate the case on their own. Normally, individuals do not have the skill or expertise to properly gather this evidence, and suffer without the knowledge of an experienced lawyer.

The attorney has investigators who can go out and talk to witnesses, take pictures of the scene, take pictures of the property damage, and otherwise investigate the accident. The lawyer has the resources to hire any experts that need to be hired early on in the case to preserve evidence, to test any vehicles, and to perform any accident reconstruction investigation.

Substantiating Evidence

The attorney and firm have the further resources to do everything necessary to obtain the support and substantiation of all elements that need to be proven in the case on the issues of liability and damages, so that such injuries can be presented to the fullest extent.

This is to the individual’s benefit, in seeking a proper and just settlement or in proceeding with the claim in court as necessary to obtain the maximum recovery possible.

Working With a Car Accident Lawyer

The insurance company will have their adjusters and their lawyers representing the at-fault party’s interests, so to have a level playing field, it is only right that the victim obtain counsel to advise them of their rights and responsibilities.

Lawyers who represent the injured victims handle these cases on a contingent basis, which means that injured victims are not responsible for any costs and fees, unless and until there is a recovery in the case. There is no financial obligation to a victim’s rights lawyer unless and until there is a successful recovery. There is really no reason for the injured victim not to obtain counsel to represent their own interests throughout the process.