What to Do Immediately After a Maryland Car Accident
The period of time immediately after an auto accident can be confusing. If the accident was substantial, then there may be significant property damage or injuries to account for. If you are knocked unconscious in a car accident, then all you can really do is trust in the medical attention that you have been given. But if you are conscious, then there are certain things that you need to do immediately after an accident that will help preserve the information your attorney will need later.
Confirm You and Your Passengers Are Not Seriously Injured.
The most important thing to do is to make certain that you and your passengers are not seriously injured. If you are able to move, then get out of the vehicle and see of any of the people in the other vehicle are injured. This is information you will need to know when you call the police to file an accident report. If there have been injuries, then you will need to let the police know so that emergency medical responders can be contacted. It is important to remember that you should avoid any other conversation with the other parties beyond checking to see if anyone is injured. Do not allow your emotions to cause you to say something that could be used against you later in court.
Call and Wait for the Police
Police may ask you on the phone if anyone is injured. If anyone is in any pain, even minor pain; be sure to answer in the affirmative. Police may elect not to come to the accident scene if no injuries are reported. Once the police arrive, ask if the accident report will include each party's insurance information. The police will either inform you that the information will be on the report, or they will suggest that each party supply the information to the other. The most important thing to do is to follow the instructions given by the police officers. If you see any witnesses to the accident, ask for their name and contact information. The more corroborating stories you can get for your case, the better it will be for you.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene and/or Vehicles
One of the things that people often forget to do immediately after an accident is take pictures. With most smartphones having cameras in them, it is easier now for people to take pictures of accident scene or vehicle damage. Be sure that you get pictures of each vehicle involved in the accident, pictures of the people that were involved, pictures of the witnesses and as many pictures of the accident scene as you possibly can. Remember, damage to all vehicles involved may be evidence.
Secure Witness Information
The cause of accidents is not always easy to determine. Make sure you secure phone or address information from any witness who is willing to provide it. Many people do not seek out witnesses at the scene because they feel that fault is obvious and that there will not be any dispute about how or why the accident occurred. Get witness statements anyway. If liability is later disputed, you may need a witness to corroborate the events in order to prevail in your claim.
Call an Accident Attorney
Consider retaining an auto accident lawyer and turn all of the above information over to your attorney. Accident lawyers are experienced at negotiating and proving accident claims and can guide you through the legal process. There is no easy way to determine if you will need an attorney following a car accident in Maryland or Virginia. The best way to make this determination is to speak with an experienced lawyer who can answer all of your questions in a face-to-face meeting and make the decision for yourself. If you retain a lawyer to help you deal with your accident claim, your lawyer will address any specific legal issues that may be of significance to your case.