We know that a car accident can be hectic and you may have questions about things to do after a car accident. Our Baltimore car accident lawyer has provided this list of 10 things to do after a car accident.
#1 Protect the Scene
Protect the scene of the car accident. by activating your flashers and placing flares if you have them in your vehicle. You want to warn other drivers that there is an accident and to slow down as they approach. Don’t try and direct traffic, as this can be just as dangerous as the car accident and lead to further injury.
#2 Call the Police
Even in minor accidents, a police report can prove invaluable when determining liability and recovering for your injuries and damages. Fully cooperate with the police but avoid admitting fault to the accident.
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.
#3 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 your Baltimore personal injury 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.
#4 Gather Information From Everyone
Write down as much information as possible about the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you get the driver and passengers names, license plate numbers for all vehicles, insurance information and the make and model of all vehicles involved. It’s also important to collect any Witnesses names and phone numbers at the scene of the accident. You can never have too much information and it is often easier to obtain at the scene of the car accident than after.
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.
# 5. Document The Scene of the 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.
Take pictures of the accident scene as well as all points on the road where there could be skid marks or contact was made between vehicles. Also, make sure you take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. If you have any visible bruises, scar or cuts, make sure you photograph them as well.
#6. Seek Medical Attention
Although you may not feel pain immediately after a car accident, you should see a doctor immediately. Although you may feel fine now, symptoms can appear days and even weeks after the accident. It is safe and wise to seek a review by medical professional of any potential injuries you may have suffered in the accident.
#7. Contact your insurance company
It is wise to contact your insurance company probably after a car accident. You have paid for the car insurance, why not use it to help you throughout the process after a car accident. You may also be entitled to PIP (personal injury protection) coverage, which can help get medical treatment started and pay for initial lost wages.
#8 Get A Property Damage Valuation
After most car accidents there is property damage to your vehicle. You should have taken your car insurance companies evaluation of the damage to your vehicle and provide that to your car accident lawyer.
# 9 Use Caution in Discussing the Car Accident
Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company and the police. Don’t post information or photos about your accident on social media as this could be used against you down the road.
Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers
Be wary of any settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance company early in the process. The other drivers insurance company is looking to settle the claim quickly and at the lowest value possible. You may be at a disadvantage if you accept an early settlement as it may not cover future medical bills and lost wages.
# 10 Hire an Accident Attorney
One of the smartest things you can do after a car accident is higher an injury accident lawyer. Are lawyers are trained to protect you against an unfair settlement after a car accident. There also the number of do’s and don’ts to ensure a successful outcome after your car accident. An experienced lawyer can ensure you don’t make any mistakes. If anyone was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an attorney who can maximize your recovery after a car accident.
Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras for immediate legal help after a car accident. Injuries sustained in car accidents can be serious. Make sure you hire an experienced lawyer that will fight for the compensation you deserve. Rice, Murtha & Psoras works on a contingency fee. That means if we don’t win then you don’t have to pay the lawyer.