Following a car accident, there are several steps drivers should take to protect themselves and others. Doing the right thing on the scene can make a significant difference both in the immediate outcome of the crash, and the longer-term processes like insurance claims. Here are some things Maryland drivers should do immediately following a car accident:
- Get to a safe place: In some cases, this may mean pulling to the side of the road. In others, it may involve leaving the vehicle and getting to a safe place. Road rage, car jackings, or other unique circumstances may change what could be considered a “safe” location, so using judgment and being aware of surroundings is important.
- Assess injuries: People are the priority in a car accident. Make sure individuals are okay directly following a collision, and report any injuries to medical professionals right away by calling 911.
- Review damage to the vehicle: Take immediate note of what is damaged following the accident. Taking photos on the scene is ideal, as it can help with a possible future claim.
- Stay on the scene, providing and collecting information: At a minimum, it is ideal to exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved. It is also pertinent to get the address of the accident, contact information of witnesses, weather conditions, and anything else that may have impacted the collision.
- Involve the police and file a report: Depending on the seriousness of the accident, police may need to be alerted. Contact them and answer their questions as well as recording the names and badge numbers of anyone at the scene.
Almost all auto collisions result in damages, which usually result in an insurance claim. It is important to make any claim as soon as possible following the accident, and provide any necessary details to start the process. Depending on the size or complexity of the claim, getting a personal injury lawyer involved early on may also be a good idea, as it can help to ensure the insurance company fulfills its legal duty to an injured party.