Maryland is one of the top 5 most densely populated states in the United States, with over 6 million residents living within its borders. This makes it no surprise that car accidents are common here. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 116,000 traffic accidents that happened in 2019, with almost 550 fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, do you know what steps you should take?
If you or your loved ones have suffered injuries after a car accident, you may be wondering what you can do next. Our car accident lawyers have outlined the steps immediately following an accident in addition to steps for filing claims. Fortunately, if you live in Maryland, you have several options available to you when it comes to filing a claim against your insurance company.
Check yourself and any passengers for any signs of injury. Remember that some injuries are below the surface of the skin and may not appear as serious as they may be.
Call 911 for yourself, passengers, and the other driver(s). Do not try to move anyone or yourself if there appear to be more serious injuries as they may worsen if not moved properly. Get a medical evaluation from the emergency personnel regardless of how serious you think your injuries may be. Adrenaline and hormones may be tricking accident victims into thinking injuries are less serious.
If you are able to move, gather all the information from the other vehicle. This can include the other driver's insurance information, car make, model, and license plate number, the location of the accident, and damage done to your vehicle, the other vehicle(s), or property. Obtain contact information for the other drivers involved.
In addition to taking notes of the damage and insurance information, take as many pictures as you can. This will provide proof of impact between the vehicles when filing insurance claims or in court. This can also be used if any vehicles leave the accident location. Take photos of the vehicles, roadway, and any other property that may have been damaged.
If the police did not arrive when you first called 911, be sure to file a police report. This will be similar to filing an insurance claim and is important to document the accident and circumstances.
After being in an accident, collecting all the information, it is a good idea to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. A Maryland car accident lawyer can help protect your rights through the process of filing claims. An attorney can advise you in regard to:
File a claim with your insurance company and provide details of the accident and the drivers involved. Remember that while insurance companies collect premiums they may not always have your best interest in mind when paying out claims.
Of course, if you were seriously injured you should seek medical treatment immediately, your health and safety are most important. This could include needing to go to a physical therapist, chiropractor, or other rehabilitation services.
Here are 5 tips for things to avoid doing after being in an accident.
The stress of an accident can make victims say things that may not be true. Anything said may be recorded by the police or insurance companies and can make it harder to contest. Remember, you do not know all the facts about how or why an accident happened, you have only seen it from your perspective. Experienced lawyers will gather witness statements and any security footage to compile the facts of the accident.
Do not leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive or before gathering detailed information about the accident. Only leave after the police or energy responders say it is okay. If there are none on the scent, only leave after you have collected all possible information.
Leave everything as you see it and document it with photographs. Something important relating to the accident could be misplaced. Wait for the police or emergency services to clean the accident area.
It may not be legal to record or document someone without permission. Do not photograph any injuries without the explicit consent of the victim, injuries will be documented and cared for by the EMTs so including in insurance information is not necessary.
Of course, insurance information will need to be shared with other drivers at the time of the accident, but do not discuss the accident or details without first speaking with an attorney. This includes posting about the experience on any social media accounts, even if they are private. Deleting posts around an accident can also lead to trouble.
An experienced Maryland car accident lawyer will be able to tell you how to disseminate information, wait for a lawyer's advice before doing anything with the information collected.
While it is impossible to completely avoid accidents because of other drivers on the road, there are some things recommended that every driver has in their car for emergency situations. If you have an emergency medical kit in your car or are looking to purchase one in case of an emergency, it is important to know what items should be included. Here are some basic things that every driver should carry:
Many of these things will be available as kits as outlined by the National Safety Council (NSC). These things can also come in handy outside of accidents, such as if your battery dies or you get a flat tire.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to ensure your rights are protected through the accident process. They will determine facts around the accident including:
Maryland Injury Guys offer free case consultations for car accidents. Contact one of our local Maryland car accident law offices today for more information, especially if you have been in a car accident.