Statistically speaking, most of us will end up in an auto accident at some point in our lives, whether as a driver or as a passenger. Understanding what steps to take following an accident can make the insurance claims process easier, and can make it easier to seek compensation from the at-fault driver through a personal injury claim.
Here is a handy checklist of what you should do following a Maryland car crash.
- Get to safety (if possible) – if the vehicle damage is minor, move the vehicles to the shoulder of the road.
- Stop your vehicle – even if you can’t move your vehicle out of the roadway, make sure it’s in park and the engine is turned off.
- Check on others – if you are physically able, check on the other people involved, both in your vehicle and in the other vehicle(s).
- Call 911 – if there are any injuries, call 911 as soon as possible after the crash. Even if the injuries don’t seem severe, police should probably come to the scene.
- Exchange information with others – from the other driver, you’ll need contact information, driver’s license information, and insurance information. It’s also helpful to get contact information for any witnesses to the accident, as well as license plate numbers, makes and models of the vehicles involved, the exact location of the accident and the badge number/name of any police officers who respond. An easy way to exchange information is via taking photos of the other driver’s license, registration and car insurance card.
- Document the scene of the accident – take cellphone pictures of the vehicle damage and the actual scene if you can; it is helpful both for filing your insurance claim and for proving fault.
These things might not always be possible after an injury-causing crash. If there are any injuries on the scene, it is vitally important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor crashes can sometimes result in severe injury. You should also strongly consider seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney if you or someone you love was hurt in a crash because of the inattentiveness, recklessness or negligence of another person.