Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you have ever been in a car accident in Baltimore, you know that it can be extremely stressful, and the shock of the event can cause emotions to run high. This is especially true when there are serious injuries, or fatalities involved. Unfortunately, car accidents continue to take the lives of over two million people every year in the United States. Even the most responsible drivers can be seriously injured in a car accident when they least expect it. To avoid making a bad situation worse, it is helpful to know what steps to take immediately following a car accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Baltimore
- Remain at the scene of the accident. This is especially true if there are injuries or property damage. If you leave before help arrives, you could face hit-and-run charges. Even if you are afraid the accident was your fault, wait for police to arrive.
- Check the condition of others involved. If you are physically able to get out of your car and walk around, check to see if anyone has been hurt, or is need of immediate medical attention. If another victim appears to be unconscious, or has a neck injury, do not attempt to move him or her, unless not doing so would put his or her life in danger.
- Move to the shoulder. If the wreck is relatively minor, move to the side of the road, or to the shoulder if there is one, in order to stay out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Call 911. If there are any injuries, calling 911 will ensure that emergency medical services will be sent to the scene. In most cases, a police officer will also be dispatched. If they are not, call them. After the police arrive, ask where you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
- Take pictures. If you are able to do so, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the location of the accident, debris on the road, the condition and location of traffic signals, as well as any other signage. If possible, also take pictures of your injuries.
- Exchange information. Once you have confirmed that no one is seriously hurt, exchange insurance information, including names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. In addition, if there were any witnesses at the scene, take down their contact information as well, as they may be able to provide valuable information about who was at fault.
- Be cautious when discussing the incident. It may be tempting to apologize for the accident, even if you are just trying to be friendly. Unfortunately, the other person may interpret your apology as an admission of guilt. Only speak to your lawyer or the police. If the other person’s insurance company calls, tell them you will have your lawyer contact them.
- Seek medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor, it is in your best interest to have a medical professional examine you. Head and neck injuries can be particularly debilitating, and other injuries may not appear right away. A physician can also rule out any internal injuries. Make sure that you document all doctor appointments, including physical therapists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals. Also keep copies of all tests, medications, and bills for any other treatment you may have received.
- Avoid accepting early settlement offers – call an experienced lawyer. Do not settle a claim without consulting your lawyer first. Before you sign anything, make sure that your physical injuries have been treated, as some may not show up for days or weeks following the car accident.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it helps to know what to do immediately following the incident. When it comes to protecting your legal rights and making sure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries, the dedicated Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are committed to securing the best possible outcome. We will not stop fighting until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.