If you are in an accident in Maryland, there are important steps to take afterwards to ensure that you are in compliance with State law. While being involved in a car accident can be an extremely scary and chaotic event, knowing what to do will make the situation go smoother on the scene and the aftermath to follow.
Don’t Leave the Scene of a Car Accident
First and most importantly, a driver is prohibited from leaving the scene of an accident. Doing so can result in a suspended license and a possible criminal charge. While leaving the scene of an accident is a violation of Maryland law, you should pull your car over if possible to a safe spot. Pulling the car to a safe location will not result in a violation of Maryland law if you do not go far from the scene.
If you get in an accident with an unattended vehicle, you are required to leave a note with contact information and a brief description of what happened. Failing to do so can again result in a suspended license or an officer believing that you fled the scene of an accident.
Check Others Involved in the Accident
You should then check to make sure that everybody involved in the accident is ok. As a driver in the United States, it is your civilian responsibility do so. If there are injuries to any of the parties involved, you should call 911 or medical assistance immediately and try to aid that person as best you can.
After ensuring that no one needs medical assistance, you should then call local Maryland police. The police will file a report which is helpful for insurance companies and a lawyer if you decide to contact one.
When and if police arrive at the scene of the accident, they have the right to ask for valid proof of insurance. If you do not have liability insurance, your license can again be suspended. Even worse, if you are not in compliance with insurance regulations, you can eventually lose your license for driving an uninsured vehicle.
If the accident resulted in death or injury of a person, and a police report is not filed, it must be reported to the Maryland Vehicle Administration within 15 days. If you fail to do so, your license can again be suspended.
Exchange of Information After an Accident
Next, Maryland law requires that you exchange certain information after being involved in an accident. Such information includes: name, address and contact details, driver licenses, license plate numbers and auto insurance. You should get this information from all parties involved and witnesses if there are any.
You should always notify your auto insurance company when you have been involved in an accident. If you are injured in a car accident, you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney. If you do plan to contact and/or hire an attorney, it is helpful to keep copies of any medical expenses that were a result of the accident.
Do I Need Witnesses After My Car Accident?
Witnesses are extremely helpful as having them leaves less to dispute about how the accident occurred and who caused it. With car accidents, there is always the potential that a driver may file a civil claim against another. Therefore, getting contact information from witnesses is important as they may be called to testify in a trial.
Should I Take Photographs After a Car Accident?
Photographs are also helpful if there has been any damage. Insurance companies and attorneys will need these pictures if damage is alleged to properly assess the accident and amount of damage. In addition, photographs hold all drivers accountable. Documenting the incident insures that another party involved does not skew what actually happened. These photos may also be used as evidence if you find yourself in a civil trial.
Should I Move My Car After a Car Accident?
Ultimately, the most important thing to do after being involved in a car accident is pull your car over to a safe place. You then should make sure that everyone involved is ok. Once you have made sure that no one needs medical assistance, you should exchange personal information with all parties involved and witnesses.
You should also call the police so a police report can be filed. After all of this, you should call your insurance company and consider hiring an auto accident or personal injury attorney. Maryland law holds the driver who caused the accident liable for compensating injuries, damages and losses to other parties. If another driver was negligent, causing you injuries or losses, you may be entitled to significant monetary compensation.