Silver Spring car accident lawyers explain what steps you should take
Every 17 minutes and 45 seconds, someone sustains an injury in a car accident in Maryland, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Many times, these collisions occur because a negligent driver was doing something they should not have been doing on the road.
So what should you do if you’re in the same situation? What steps should you take if another driver crashes into your car in Maryland? You need to act fast. But you need to be smart. Any mistake you make could hurt your recovery and your ability to obtain the money you deserve.
That’s why it’s critical to know what steps to take after your Maryland car crash. Below, you can find some suggestions. It’s also important to understand that every collision is unique. That’s why it’s important to talk to a Maryland car accident attorney right away after your collision.
What should I do after my Maryland car accident?
If you are healthy enough to do so, you should take the following steps immediately after your accident to protect your health and your rights:
- Contact the police – The first thing you should do is call the police and ask them to send an officer to your accident. If you’re not sure which number to use, simply call 911. The police dispatcher can send the nearest police officer, which could be a local officer or a state trooper from the nearest Maryland State Police barracks.
- Seek medical attention – Your health must be your first priority after your accident. If anything feels wrong, ask the 911 dispatcher to send an ambulance to your crash site. That way, an emergency medical technician (EMT) can examine you there or transport you to the nearest emergency room hospital in Maryland.
- Stay at the scene – You are required by law to remain at the scene of a car accident. This includes property damage collisions. Leaving the scene of a car crash accident violates Maryland Code, Public Safety 13A-1039.
- Take crash photos – Photographs of your crash can be powerful pieces of evidence in support of your accident claim or lawsuit. If it’s safe to do so, take as many photos as possible before moving your vehicle. Make sure to take pictures of the point of impact on your car, damage to the other vehicle, skid marks on the road caused by your crash, and nearby traffic signs and street lights. The more details, the better.
- Talk to witnesses – Many times, other drivers, pedestrians, or passersby witnessed your collision. Get their names and phone numbers so the police can talk to them later. Eyewitness statements can strengthen your car accident claim.
- Exchange information – Under Maryland law, you are required to share personal information with another driver if you are involved in a collision. This includes your name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Don’t discuss the accident – After you exchange information with the other driver, don’t discuss your accident with anyone. Anything you say – even something as simple as “I’m sorry” – could be used as evidence to deny your injury claim.
Additional steps to take after your Maryland car accident
If your accident happened a few hours or days ago, there are still steps you can and should take, including:
- Schedule a doctor’s appointment – Even if you feel fine after your accident, have your doctor examine you. The same advice applies even if you were examined by an EMT at your crash site. Many car accident injuries have delayed symptoms, including whiplash and concussions. You could also have a life-threatening internal injury and not even realize it. Don’t take chances with your health. See a doctor as soon as possible after your accident.
- Take your doctor’s advice – After you have seen a doctor, make sure you take their advice. If they advise you to schedule a follow-up appointment or undergo additional medical tests, do exactly what the doctor tells you to do. There are two reasons why this is important. One, you might not fully recover if you don’t take your doctor’s advice. Two, your injury claim could be denied by an insurance company since they might claim you’re not actually injured.
- Call the insurance company – You need to notify your insurance company that you have been involved in a collision. There’s no set deadline. However, most insurance companies will tell you to do so within a reasonable time after your accident. Remember, don’t give a recorded statement to any insurance company, even your own. Talk to an attorney first to protect your rights.
- Don’t talk to other insurance companies – Many times, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you after your accident. You are not legally obligated to talk to them. You have the right to refuse to answer their questions. Again, we strongly advise you to do this – don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company or give a recorded statement. In most cases, all they’re doing is trying to trick you into saying something they can use to deny your accident claim.
- Get your car accident report – Every police officer who responds to a car accident in Maryland fills out an accident report. This report is called the Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Report. Make sure you get a copy of your report and carefully review it. The slightest mistake could jeopardize your injury claim. We also advise you to contact our law firm so we can help you better understand your Maryland car accident report.
- Contact a lawyer – Having an experienced Maryland car accident attorney on your side can often make a big difference in the outcome of your injury claim or lawsuit.
Contact our Maryland law firm. We’re on your side
The stakes are high when it comes to collisions in Maryland caused by another driver. Because Maryland has an at-fault car insurance system, you should not have to pay for your accident-related expenses, which can add up fast after a serious car crash.
But actually getting the money you deserve can be much harder than you might expect. This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced legal team on your side that truly understands how the system works in Maryland.
Our Silver Spring car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan can help you every step of the way. We have years of experience handling complex legal cases in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland. As a result, we won’t waste a second getting right to work on your case.
Put your trust in a Silver Spring law firm that gets results. Contact Goldberg Finnegan and schedule your free case evaluation with a Maryland car accident attorney who puts your best interests first. We handle car accident claims and lawsuits throughout Maryland.