It’s that time of year again when mother nature renders her will on all of us who live in the parts of the county that are susceptible to winter weather. This is the time of year where I get numerous calls from locals who were involved in weather-related accidents both in Elkton, Cecil County and throughout the State of Maryland.
These accidents can happen in a number of ways, and I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the rights that you’ll have in accidents that are either single vehicle accidents, accidents where you or a driver of your vehicle is at fault, or those accidents where someone else is at fault for the loss. Many lawyers will not discuss the rights you have in single-vehicle losses and those where you’re at fault (or have contributed partially to) because it does not render an opportunity for that lawyer to make money on that specific claim. The purpose here is to provide some education regardless of the situation and make sure you’re covered and taking care of yourself the best way you can.
Call the police and have them file a report. Regardless of the fault scenario, or what you think the fault scenario will be, have the police file a report. Especially if multiple parties are involved, this can be important it setting up the appropriate claims after the fact.
Call my office. Again, even if you think you’re at fault for the accident, or if it’s a single vehicle accident, I will help guide you through the process of setting up claims with your insurance company, getting your vehicle fixed, and determining what medical payment/wage loss insurance coverage you may have. If you’re injured, and your insurance will pay for treatment, there’s no sense in not getting the care you need. Fault for an accident and injuries are usually not interconnected. It is important for your own wellbeing to get the care you need.
Don’t call the insurance companies. Again, an offshoot of #2 above, let my office handle that. If it’s a case that we’re going to represent you for against a third party, our fee is a percentage of that recovery whether we make the calls or you make the calls. Why would you do something that you’re paying me to do? If it isn’t a case that I’ll be taking on, like the single-vehicle accident,
I’ll still call and report the claims for you, and help guide you through the injury and repair process at no charge. Again, I don’t collect a fee on these cases unless and until I get you the compensation that isn’t related to the repair to your vehicle or direct payment for your injuries or wage loss.
Assuming the best, and that you’ve dodged the weather bullet this time, what things can you do to be better prepared in the future for any accident, not just a weather-related one?
First of all, call my office and request our free guide to maximizing your Maryland auto insurance policy. It’s available on Amazon for $24.99, Handling Maryland Auto Accidents Following Inclement Weather, but if you call my office at (410) 885-6200 and mention this article, we’ll send you a copy absolutely free! You can also request a free e-book version by visiting www.marylandinsurancebook.com. If you want the free print version, though, you have to call! We’ll also send you a few accident preparedness kits to throw in your glove box in preparation of an accident.
Save my injury hotline number in your phone under ‘Accident Attorney’ so you’re doubly prepared. The hotline number is 410-975-7000, and in times of inclement weather, nights, weekends or holidays will go directly to my personal cell phone or someone else in the office who is handling emergency calls during that time frame. This isn’t the regular office number, so if you are a client with a case related question call the normal number, (410) 885-6200 , for quickest response.
Maryland Attorney Jobeth Bowers is the founder of Bowers Law and a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law