Rear ended. T-bone. Head on collision. Whatever the type of accident, those who are involved in a car crash will likely experience shock and confusion immediately following the wreck. Getting out of this initial reaction and into a more productive mindset can be difficult. It can help to know these four straight forward steps to follow after an accident.
The exact steps can vary a bit depending on where the accident occurred. Although this piece is pretty widely applicable, there are some portions that focus specifically on how an accident should be handled in Maryland.
Step #1: Call authorities
If possible, move your vehicle so it is not blocking traffic. If the accident was serious, it is important to call authorities. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance.
Step #2: Exchange information
After an accident, all parties involved should exchange insurance information. Get the other driver or drivers names, contact information, license plate, driver license numbers and insurance information.
Next, you will want to notify your insurance of the accident.
Step #3: Document
Take pictures of the accident. If possible, use your phone to snap a few photos at the scene. If you are injured, take photos of those. Keep detailed notes including medical appointments and missed work. Make copies of hospital bills, auto repair bills and any other expenses related to the crash. Start a file to keep all this information organized and easily accessible.
Step #4: Consider legal counsel
Auto accidents are often the result of negligence. If you believe the other driver was not operating their vehicle with care, you may have a personal injury claim. If successful, this legal claim can result in funds to help cover the costs that result from the accident.
It is important to note that some states, like Maryland, have time limits that govern when you can file a legal claim. This statute of limitation is generally set at three years after the date of the car accident. This includes the time it takes to gather all documents and put together the basics of the case. As a result, it is wise to act promptly. An attorney experienced in motor vehicle accidents can review the details of your accident and discuss your options.