texting and driving appAt some point in our lives, most of us will either be in an accident or know someone who has. Not all accidents are the scary kinds that involve rollovers. More often than not, they involve a simple fender bender or something similar. With accidents like this, it’s easy to think nothing of filing your insurance claim and simply waiting to hear back. However, after an accident, you should always seek legal advice before you do anything else.

Contributory Negligence

For one thing, just because you’re sure you are not to blame doesn’t mean the other party involved will see it that way. No matter how confident you are, if the other side says you’re responsible, you could fall into the problem of contributory negligence.

Maryland is one of a handful of states with this law. Basically, it says that if you were in the least bit responsible for an accident, you can’t collect damages from the other person.
Let’s say you’re going a few miles over the speed limit on the highway when the person in a lane next to you changes lanes without their blinker and without looking, sideswiping your vehicle. Because you were breaking the speed limit, the other side could argue that you face some responsibility and you’ll be out of damages.

Factors That Cause an Accident

Other times, both you and the other party may mutually agree the accident was no one’s fault. Maybe you were turning left onto a street, but visibility was bad, so you ended up pulling out right in front of someone and you got rear-ended.

This could definitely be a case of just bad luck for both of you. However, there’s also a chance something else was going on for the other driver. Do you really want to give up damages so easily?

Think about, for example, that texting while driving is illegal in Maryland (and every other state besides Montana and Arizona). Using handheld cell phones while behind the wheel is also against the law. For drivers under 18, the same is true for any kind of cell phone use, handheld or otherwise. That’s just a couple examples of what constitutes distracted driving behaviors in Maryland. There are plenty of others though. If the other party in an accident was participating in any of them, you could be entitled to damages.

Seeking Legal Advice

Hopefully, you can now see why having legal advice is so important, even in the most minor of accidents. Without a qualified attorney helping you, it would be pretty easy to end up worse off than you already are after getting into an accident with one or more people. Aside from ending up having to pay for your own repairs, you could wind up having to do the same for the other parties involved.

Never take this kind of risk. Instead, call Ingerman and Horwitz at 1-800-776-4529 and ensure you get qualified attorneys looking out for your best interest. We’ll even give you a free consultation before ever moving forward with legal action.