If a Maryland car accident results in an injury or death, you must report it by law. However, many people are unsure how long after a car accident you have to report an injury in Maryland. The reporting of car accidents is governed by Maryland Transportation Code 20-107.
This law states you must report a car accident that results in bodily injuries or death to the Motor Vehicle Administration within 15 days. The responsibility is on the driver of each vehicle involved in the wreck.
The drivers of all vehicles involved in the wreck must file evidence of their car insurance policy with the accident report. Failure to file an accident report can land you in the criminal courts.
Baltimore car accident lawyer Randolph Rice discusses the deadline for filing an injury after a crash in Maryland and when you should report an accident to a police officer.
Do You Have to Report an Injury in Maryland After a Car Accident?
You should always report accidents with injuries in Maryland to the appropriate emergency services. Injuries often require treatment at the scene from paramedics. If you are in doubt about the presence of injuries, you should call 911 as a precaution.
Additionally, a police officer will gather evidence at the scene and talk to witnesses.
Although insurance companies conduct independent investigations, this evidence gathered shortly after the accident may prove to be invaluable in your case.
If you leave the scene of an accident without waiting for a police officer to arrive, you can be charged with hit-and-run.
Information Required to File an Accident Report in Maryland
People who file an accident report with the MVA must provide the following:
- The name and the address of the insurance carrier or another security;
- Details of the policy and the insurance policy number;
- The name and address of a local insurance agent representing the driver;
- A substitute report by the owner of a vehicle involved in a crash if the driver is unable to make a report due to injuries, a disability or an unwillingness to give a report. The MVA may also require supplemental reports.
When Should You Call a Police Officer After a Car Accident?
Call 911 in the following circumstances after a Maryland car crash:
- The wreck caused injuries or potential injuries;
- Someone died in the wreck;
- Alcohol or intoxication by drugs is a possible cause;
- One or more of the drivers lack a valid license;
- Another driver refuses to provide information;
- A driver attempts to flee from the accident scene;
- A vehicle is badly enough damaged to require towing;
- The parties disagree on the cause of the accident.
If you are not sure, always call law enforcement to be on the safe side. Accidents often cause an adrenalin rush. People act irrationally. A police officer can cool heads and emotions at the scene and make an impartial report.
Do I Have to File a Report if a Police Officer Comes to the Accident Scene in Maryland?
Police officers are called to most accidents with injuries by the parties in Maryland. If a police officer compiles a report there is no requirement to file a report with the DMV because the police officer will file the report.
Can Failing to Report an Injury in Maryland Damage Your Claim?
Failing to report an injury sustained in a car accident for weeks or even months can seriously hurt your claim. Even if you seek medical attention for your injuries, the insurance company may insist the wreck did not cause your injuries if you fail to report it.
Occasionally, drivers agree not to contact their insurance companies and “just work it out’ among themselves.
This is a dangerous strategy. Often, drivers or passengers don’t realize they suffered an injury at the accident scene, but pain sets in later on.
Property damage that seemed minimal at the time of the wreck can be more serious on a second inspection. Parties often renege on agreements made immediately after the accident.
Secondly, nearly all major automobile insurance policies require you to report any car accident. If you were blameless for an accident, there is no reason not to report the incident to your insurance company.
If you fail to do so, a future claim for injuries may be jeopardized. Generally, there is no obligation to notify the insurance company of the at-fault driver of your claim. Your Baltimore personal injury lawyer can take over negotiations with the culpable driver’s insurer.
The at-fault driver may try to convince you not to report a claim. Drivers often point out a claim will drive up their premiums and suggest you can settle the matter amicably.
In some cases, such as when a passenger gets hurt in a single-vehicle wreck, the at-fault driver and the victim know each other or are related.
It’s important to seek compensation for your injuries, even if the driver is a friend.
You have no legal redress if the driver who caused the crash fails to pay you. The driver’s insurance company will likely fail to pay compensation at a later date because you did not report the crash.
This can also be a high-risk strategy for the at-fault driver, who can end up being liable for a big claim that his insurance company won’t cover.
The bottom line in car crashes is clear. Always report them to the police, the insurance companies, and the Motor Vehicle Administration in the absence of a police report. The risks of failing to report a car wreck outweigh any potential benefits.
Talk to a Baltimore Car Accident Injury Lawyer About Your Crash
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we will advise you of all aspects of your auto accident claim. We will ensure you have met all of the reporting requirements, which are the bedrock of a successful recovery in Maryland.
Failure to properly report a Maryland car wreck can weaken or invalidate your case for compensation.
A Maryland car accident lawyer will help you through every step of the process.
Research has found people who hire Maryland personal injury lawyers for their claims can recover more than three times more money than those who deal directly with the insurance company themselves.
Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 410-694-7291.