Here's a Few Things You Should Always Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident
You’re riding down Crain Highway in Glen Burnie when you come to an intersection. You have the green light, so you have the right of way to proceed. As a responsible driver, you look both ways before going through, and out of the corner of your eye, you see a truck barreling towards you.
You try to speed up to avoid the inevitable collision, but you are still hit by the oncoming truck. Your airbags deploy, you spin around a few times and when you finally come to a stop, you attempt to give yourself a once over. You seem OK and you try to get out of the vehicle. But now what?
After a Maryland car accident as severe as this, what should you do? Here, a lawyer explains the first five actions you should take.
Recount the Accident
The best time to record the details of an accident is immediately after they happen. This is when they are fresh in your mind and the most accurate. If you’re injured or too shaken up, wait until later to begin this step. But if you think you are capable, record everything that happened.
Record a voice memo on your phone or keep a notebook in your glove box and use it to quickly jot down what happened at the time of the accident. This includes where you were when the accident took place, what the conditions were, what speed you were going and what the other vehicle did.
Also write down the time and date of the accident, what kind of vehicle was involved and any other information you think will be helpful.
Use your phone or a camera to take pictures of the vehicles. Make sure you get all of the damage on both cars and obtain several angles of each. Photograph the road around the accident, making sure to include any skid marks or tracks that may offer some insight into why the crash occurred. Also photograph any malfunctioning equipment that may have contributed to the accident, such as a faulty traffic light or sign placed in the wrong spot.
Include anything that you think will help to convey that the accident wasn’t your fault.
Call the Police
Use your cell phone to contact the police. Bringing an officer to the scene can help to further collect more information about the accident.
The officer will begin a report of what happened, and interview you and the other person involved in the crash. He may also take pictures. The evidence that he collects will likely be used in court.
Having a police officer there may also help you know if the driver of the vehicle in the crash was intoxicated or under the influence. If the officer is suspicious that the driver has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, he may conduct field sobriety tests or use a breathalyzer on the driver.
If he believes the driver is intoxicated, he can take the driver to jail. All of this helps your case and chances of winning. Therefore, make sure you call the police after a crash.
Now is the time to exchange information with the driver, assuming both of you are healthy enough to. Collect his driver’s license and insurance card to collect the information. You may also want to take a picture of both, as well, to ensure everything is accurate.
Never admit fault or blame the driver – doing so may only damage your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Additionally, confronting the other driver may put you in danger. Simply collect your information and move on.
Also look around for any witnesses. Having someone on your side who can confirm your account of what happened increases your chances of winning your case. Obtain the name, phone number and address of the witness.
Seek Medical Treatment
Go to the doctor as soon as you can after your crash. Even if you feel fine and think that you have no injuries, you should still receive an evaluation by a doctor.
Some injuries can show up a few days after your crash. Receiving treatment now may prevent them from becoming as severe as they would without treatment. Seeing a medical professional now also begins a record of your diagnosis and treatments, which can help you if your case goes to court.
Hire Our Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Perhaps one of the most important steps to take after your Maryland car accident is hiring an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you fight for your rights and potentially receive the compensation you are entitled to.