Over six million car accidents occur every year in the United States. One third of them involve personal injury to the driver or passengers. If you are involved in a car accident in Maryland, there are certain things that you must do to protect yourself and your legal rights. The following is a list of steps to take following a car accident in Maryland.
Stop Your Vehicle
When there was been a car accident in Maryland you should immediately stop your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. If you are not in a safe location, and it is safe to do so, you should pull your vehicle over to a safe location of the road and check everyone in your vehicle. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and report the injuries in a calm manner. Tell the operator your location and follow any instructions.
Call the Police
Always call the police. No exceptions. If asked, only communicate the facts and try to avoid any legal conclusions, like who caused the accident. The report given by the police is important for filing the necessary claims with your insurer.
A car accident can be traumatic and very upsetting. It is important to remain calm, if possible, and to avoid becoming angry or getting upset with the other parties involved.
Again, only if it is safe to do so. It is important to document all of the things that happened in the accident. Take pictures of the visible damages and of the accident scene as soon as possible.
Write down the make, model and color of all vehicles involved in the accident, as well as the license plate numbers. Be sure to exchange information with the other parties, including their names, addresses, driver's license numbers, and registration numbers for their vehicles. Additionally, it is essential that you obtain the other driver's insurance information. If possible, take a picture of their proof of insurance.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are injured, it is important that you immediately seek medical treatment. Delays in medical treatment could be used against you as a way to say you weren't really hurt. If you go to the ER, make sure to follow up with your Primary Care Physician, and follow all medical advice.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. A lot of insurance policies in Maryland have Personal Injury Protection, or "PIP." PIP will cover a portion of your medical expenses related to the accident. Once PIP is exhausted your health insurance will cover your medical care, minus your co-pay.
Protect Your Rights
The best way to protect your rights is to contact an experienced attorney immediately. There is certain evidence that can be preserved to ensure your rights. Do not speak with another parties' insurance company. They are not your friends. It is important to contact an attorney before you make any statements.
SBW Law represents victims of serious car crashes throughout the State of Maryland. If you or a loved one has been in a serious motor vehicle crash please contact the attorneys at SBW Law.