Car accidents can happen anywhere, to anyone, at any time. Maine, with its beautiful landscapes, rugged seaside, and picturesque roads, is no exception.
You may find navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Maine confusing if you are injured. However, knowing what to do next can facilitate your recovery and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Below, the car accident attorneys at Mann Law explain what happens if you get injured in a car accident in Maine. We list six important steps to take to secure your safety and protect your rights.
The aftermath of a car accident can feel overwhelming. Below, we’ve listed some steps to help you know what to do when injured in a car accident.
Immediately after any car accident, the first step is to ensure everyone’s safety. Examine yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. If you or a passenger are hurt, call 911 immediately to request medical help.
Next, if you can, move your vehicle out of the traffic flow, such as to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot. Turn on your hazard lights. If you have them, set up cones or reflective emergency triangles to alert other drivers.
If your vehicle is not operable, leave it where it is and exit it carefully. Do not move seriously injured individuals, as it could worsen their injuries.
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Adrenaline can mask your pain, and some injuries, such as concussions or whiplash, may not present immediately and can worsen if left untreated.
A medical professional can assess your condition and document any accident-related injuries. This can also help in pursuing an insurance claim or legal action.
Even if the accident seems minor, it’s essential to call 911 and report it to the authorities. When the police arrive, be prepared to provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
Remain calm and cooperative. Answer any questions the police ask honestly, but avoid admitting fault or discussing the specifics.
The police will help secure the scene, direct traffic, and create an official accident report. Maine law requires you to report any unintentional collision caused by a moving vehicle on a public road and either:
The police report will include important details about the accident, such as the location, time, and weather. Even if your damage appears minimal, having an official police report can be helpful when filing insurance claims or dealing with potential legal disputes later.
While waiting for the police to arrive, gather essential information from the other parties involved in the accident. Collect the following information:
If you can, speak with any witnesses to the accident and collect their contact information. They can provide valuable insight into what occurred during the accident. Your attorney may later call them if you have trouble with your claim.
Do not discuss fault or apologize for the accident. Even innocuous statements can be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Instead, focus your conversation on exchanging information and ensuring everyone’s safety.
Next, gather as much evidence as possible and document the accident scene. If you can, take photos or videos of the following:
Also, write down the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as the weather and lighting conditions. This information will be helpful when filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Depending on your injuries and damages, you should contact a car accident lawyer before filing an insurance claim.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, protect your rights, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you plan to sue, be aware there is a statute of limitations which is a legal deadline by which you must sue. For Maine accident cases, the deadline is typically six years from the incident date. However, seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you file all necessary documentation and meet all deadlines.
Next, contact your insurance company. Be honest and accurate in recounting the incident but avoid admitting fault. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process and inform you of any additional steps you may need to take to get the ball rolling.
The other driver’s insurance company may then offer you a settlement. While this settlement may seem like a good deal, it may not fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. It’s a good idea to have a car accident lawyer review any settlement offers and negotiate to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Figuring out what to do when injured in a car accident can be confusing. Fortunately, Mann Law can help. Our compassionate advocates have successfully navigated our clients through some of life’s most difficult challenges for nearly two decades.
At Mann Law, we’re impassioned by our work and committed to protecting what you value most. We know that sudden accidents and injuries can completely derail your daily activities, work, and relationships.