Maryland follows traditional “at-fault” rules when it comes to motor vehicle crashes, allowing you to seek compensation from the negligent driver after being injured in an auto accident. Generally, you would pursue monetary damages from the other motorist’s insurer. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration requires mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage to protect victims in such a situation.
Still, after you do the right thing to get proper medical care and gather information at the scene, you may not know where to begin with filing a claim. A Baltimore County, MD auto accidents attorney will walk you through, but you should become familiar with the steps.
Notify the Insurer and Obtain the Claims Form:
Your first task is to contact the other driver’s insurance company with the information you obtained after the accident. This officially notifies the insurer of the incident and enables you to get the right forms for filing the claim.
Gather Supporting Documents and File Your Claim:
Though the claims form may only require basic information, you need to be as thorough as possible in providing details regarding your claim. Go into great detail in describing how the accident happened and include drawings that depict the crash. Failure to firmly establish fault of the other driver could lead the insurer to deny your claim or blame the collision on you.
Plus, you need to include all relevant information on your injuries. Make sure to attach all medical records from all treating physicians, documentation about missing work, and any details regarding your physical limitations.
Await the Insurance Company’s Response:
After making a copy of the entire claims packet and sending it to the insurer, you are in a holding pattern. The claims adjuster is reviewing the information, talking to its insured, and confirming details behind the scenes. The insurance company should responds within two to four weeks, but call if you sense delays.
Enter Settlement Negotiations:
In most cases, the insurer will respond with a counteroffer that is lower that your demand for compensation. At this point, you will enter into settlement discussions to try to resolve the claim. Note that insurance agents are experienced in negotiations and, though they may know they law, they are not attorneys. In addition, they are not on your side: They are employed to protect the insurance company’s interests.
Consider Litigation Options:
If you can not come up with a reasonable settlement for your insurance claim, you may need to file a lawsuit in civil court. Though you may be tempted to accept an offer rather than go to litigation, you risk being under-compensated and you give up your right to seek a fair, reasonable amount.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney After a Baltimore County, MD Auto Accident
If you have questions about how to file an insurance claim after an auto accident, please contact the Owings Mills, MD office of attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can schedule a free consultation to review your case. We can also assist you through the claims process, and we are prepared to take the matter to court if necessary to protect your rights.