It’s a beautiful day and you are waiting at a red light when all of the sudden- BAM!  You are rear ended by another vehicle.  And to add to the damage, you are pushed forward into the car in front of you as well.  This is an all too common scenario for auto accident victims.  While most people can use common sense to come to the conclusion that is was the rear vehicle at fault, other questions quickly arise.  Am I at fault for the car in front of me?  Can I be sued by them for damages and bodily injury?  Well, there are a number of steps you can take to help you win your case and protect yourself from being sued.

In any case of this type, an injured party must show that the other driver or drivers’ were negligent.  All driver’s have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner while on the road.  They also have a duty to obey all of the laws of the road.  Proving that a driver was negligent requires evidence and preserving that evidence is the first thing a victim needs to worry about after an accident.

After an accident, things can happen very quickly.  People are hurt, 911 may be called, traffic is blocked, and your first concern is for the safety and well being of the people involved.  If you are involved in an accident, call 911 right away!  If you are injured, even a minor injury, ask for an ambulance to be directed to the scene.  If you are able to get out of your vehicle and are not injured too badly, your next step is to check on the other driver and passengers.  Now, you can become your own investigator and start gathering information.

Take lots of pictures before any cars are moved!  Pictures of an accident scene are vital to proving who was at fault.  Take as many pictures as you can.  Be sure to include wide full view shots of the accident scene from many angles, up close pictures of the damage to the vehicles, pictures of any passengers, skid marks, road signs, and license plates are all vital pieces of evidence that can help you later on.  Another key set of pictures to get are photos of the cars and people who witnessed the accident.  Witnesses are one of the best tools to winning a case and getting all you deserve for your auto injury claim.  Even if witnesses do not stop and wait for police to arrive, getting photos of their cars, license plates, and person driving can be used by an experienced auto accident attorney to track these people down and use their statements to win your case!

A police report is the most trusted and valuable piece of evidence that you can have in these types of cases.  In Maryland, just because the police show up does not automatically generate a police report.  Police officers will not generate a report for cases where the only damage was to the vehicles and property.  One of the parties involved need to be have a bodily injury for a police report to be generated.  When asked by police, report any and all injuries to them.  These can and should include back pain, headache, ringing in ears, neck pain, joint pain, blurry vision, nausea, or any other issue not matter how minor.  Furthermore, if you do not have any injury to report at that time.  Get the name and contact number for the officer so that you can call and report an injury later on.  Often times a person may not feel any pain immediately after an accident but become worse as time passes.

An experienced auto accident attorney can help you in cases like these.  Attorney’s have experience in gathering facts and evidence, interviewing witnesses, and tracking down witnesses with limited information about the party.  An attorney also has experience working with the insurance companies to get your car repaired, start your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claim, and work with adjusters to get you all you deserve for your auto accident injury.

Finally, the best way to ensure you get the best settlement on your auto accident case is to consult an attorney immediately after the accident.  Getting a lawyer involved early in the process will ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you.  Insurance companies will use any tactic or means necessary to pay you as little as possible.  An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that you are getting your best settlement offer from the insurance company.

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*Disclaimer: The legal information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. I hope you found some useful information. Please remember all of this is for informational purposes only.  If you need legal assistance please do not hesitate to call 443-994-4039.

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