Car accidents are terrifying events for everyone involved, and not knowing what to do after the accident can make the situation even worse. If you clicked on this page, you are probably concerned about what to do if you are in a car accident in Maryland. This article will provide a road map to help you determine your next steps, protect your legal rights, and reach out to the right people after the accident.
Take a deep breath and make sure everyone in your car is okay. Check for any injuries and make sure the situation is safe. Once you have secured everyone in your car, check on the passengers in the other vehicle. If anyone has been injured, call for emergency medical help immediately.
Call The Police
One of the most important things you can do is ask for a police report documenting the accident. Some drivers may offer to settle without talking to the police or contacting your insurance company. Do not do that. The police can provide an accident report that corroborates your version of events. It is important to protect yourself from the very beginning.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, gather your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance to expedite the process. The police will ask you for all of this information when they arrive. You should also take pictures of both vehicles, the accident scene, and the other driver’s license plate.
Exchange Insurance Information
Ask the other driver for their insurance information. Make sure you write down the carrier’s name, the policy number, and all identifying information about the driver in your car accident, such as their name, address, and telephone number. Of course, if the police have come to the scene, they will take down all of this information. Make sure to write down the name of the officer as well as any police report number. The officer will give you some document and you should keep this.
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Do not say anything to anyone, but listen carefully to what everyone else says. Do not discuss details the accident to the other driver, and do not admit that you were at fault. The police, insurance companies, and your attorneys will work out the details of the accident. An admission of fault at the scene of the accident may be used later either for or against you. If the other driver admits fault or apologizes for the accident, write down exactly what you heard and the circumstances of how it was said to you.
Start a journal about the accident and write down all of the details that you can remember. In your journal, be sure to include any details about your injuries and how they are affecting your daily life. Be specific and detailed. This information is very useful in determining who pays for the medical bills in a car accident.
Call A Doctor
See a doctor immediately if you are experiencing pain or discomfort of any kind. If you put off seeking treatment, an insurance company could use your delay to deny payment. You can file a no-fault PIP claim for your medical bills and up to 85% of any wages you lost because of the accident. Be sure to keep accurate records of all your doctor visits and medical expenses. Do not wait to seek medical treatment, and follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Insurance Company
If any vehicles were damaged in the accident, you should immediately contact your insurance company. They will be able to provide you with further instructions about what to do next and where to have your car repaired. If you are currently uninsured, our article on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Maryland can provide specific details.
Do Not Speak With Another Insurance Company
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is discussing the car accident with the other driver’s insurance company. If they contact you, simply write down their contact information and inform them that you have a lawyer. At this time, the other driver’s insurance does not have your best interests in mind.