Do I Report My Car Accident Claim and Who Do I Report It To?
You should talk to your insurance company. You have to talk to the police. You should consult with a personal injury attorney if you have sustained injury. But that is about it. You should not talk to anyone else in the wake of an accident.
Baltimore injury/accident attorneys should report a Maryland automobile accident to the at fault driver's liability carrier as part of handling your case. This is good practice.
The information provided can be limited to the amounts required so as to protect the privacy of the involved individual. A skilled accident attorney can also artfully provide the specific facts surrounding an accident in such a way so as not to be locked into a specific claim, contention or position. This applies to a recitation of the facts supporting liability, as well as to the nature, scope and extent of injuries.
Baltimore injury/accident lawyers should also get PIP application* for your, or assist you in that process of applying for PIP benefits. But the consensus is that you, as the insured car or automobile accident victim, must at least notify your insurer of the incident as part of your obligations under your automobile accident insurance. You do not want to do anything to prejudice any claims you may have.
You may be asked to give a statement to your insurance company. There are some things to keep in mind.
Generally, your insurance company will try to protect that statement from discovery by the other side should litigation ensue, but that is not always the case.
- When giving such a statement, bear in mind that it may one day end up in the hands of a defense attorney that will cross-examine you on it.
- Be honest, of course, but also be complete, thorough and accurate.
- Also, keep in mind that your insurance company may not necessarily always be on your side. If your claim develops into one for underinsured motorist benefits under your own policy, an adversarial relationship will exist between you and your insurance company.
- Keep in mind that everything you say may someday be used against you. If you have been injured, say so. Be honest, of course, but also be complete, thorough and accurate. Don't minimize, exaggerate or maximize. Don't say something ambiguous, or open to interpretation, and never guess.
Some Baltimore injury/accident attorneys will also assist you in the property damage aspect of your Maryland automobile accident, which is typically resolved in the first instance with your own insurance company, under your collision coverage.
*The Assembly has recently enacted a change in this process. Marylanders now have the option of carrying less insurance. An insured may now reject personal injury protection altogether, under specific circumstances. See Insurance Article, Md. INSURANCE Code Ann. § 19-506.1.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 8/13/19.
I frequently offer guidance to my personal injury client on first-party property damage claims, upon request, free of charge, as an ancillary service to representation in the injury matter. I likewise frequently offer assistance with preparing PIP applications upon request as a no-cost supplemental service to my clients. I'd be honored to discuss questions you may have regarding your personal injury claim with you. Contact me. 410 591 2835.