Six Steps To Take After a Car Accident
A car accident is a traumatic experience for anyone involved in one. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers have represented numerous individuals who have been seriously injured or traumatized by car accidents. We know how easy to lose yourself in the first moments following a car accident. You're panicked and you're worried.
These following steps to take immediately after the accident:
STEP 1. STAY CALM & CALL THE POLICE
Try to keep your wits about yourself. We understand that this is definitely easier said than done. It's tough, we know. You're probably shaken up. A million things are going through your mind and you don't know where to focus your attention on first. We suggest that you take deep breaths and regain your composure. Once you've got yourself together you should immediately call the police. When police do their jobs properly they will report to the scene and record important information regarding yourself and the other driver. This should include the location of the accident, your names, vehicle information, insurance information and witness information.
If only minor injuries are involved the police will record this information in a document called an Information Exchange Report. This report will be taken on the scene, printed up in the squad car and provided to both drivers.
In accidents involving more serious injuries the police will generate a full Accident Report. In addition to the information included in an Information Exchange Report, an Accident Report will indicate the vehicle locations and a narrative of how the accident occurred. It should also indicate whether any citations were issued and any determination of fault. Because a report is more involved they aren't generated on the scene. It will typically take at least forty-eight (48) hours after the accident for it to be released once it's been approved by the reporting officer's supervisor.
STEP 2. CHECK FOR INJURIES AND DAMAGES TO YOUR VEHICLE
When you've calmed down, check yourself for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. Be sure to take a mental note of any odd sensations or feelings of pain within your body. If you have passengers check on them and then check on the other parties involved. Do not discuss your injuries or make any admissions regarding how the accident occurred. Make sure there are no injuries that need immediate medical attention.
Once you're finished making sure everyone is okay, you should inspect for any damages to your car and try to recount everything you remember about the accident. At this point you should make notes or better yet, take photos of the accident.
STEP 3. TAKE CELL PHOTOS
One of the best things you can do is to take photos. If you have a cell phone you should take pics of the vehicles and the other driver's information. You should include: the positioning of cars immediately after the accident, damage to the vehicles, the license plate of the other vehicle, the other driver's license, the other driver's vehicle registration; and the other driver's insurance information.
STEP 4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
In a busy urban area like Baltimore it's not uncommon for the police to take a long to time to report to the scene of an auto accident. If the police don't respond you'll have to exchange all pertinent information with the other driver directly; and if you don't have a cell phone you'll have to write this information down. Take the time to repeat all numbers and names to make sure you've written everything accurately.
Whatever you don't get into an altercation with the other driver and don't discuss the circumstances of the accident.
STEP 5. GET MEDICAL HELP
Ideally one should seek medical care within forty-eight (48) hours after an accident. These days you're not restricted to going hospital emergency rooms because of the options presented by the multiple urgent care centers located in the region. The benefit of a hospital (in addition to having greater medical resources) is that they will not turn you away regardless of your ability to pay. The benefit of an urgent care centers is convenience. They are typically are close in proximity and have much less of a wait time. However, urgent care centers will expect to be paid out of pocket or by your insurance coverage at the time medical services are rendered.
STEP 6. CONTACT OUR BALTIMORE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
After you've gotten yourself medically examined contact the car accident lawyers at The Baltimore Accident Center. With each case our goal is to help you through this trying time and make sure the person responsible for your injuries will be held accountable.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE IF I HAVE BEEN INJURED IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT IN MARYLAND?
There are few things to get before you leave the scene of any accident. At a bare minimum you want to obtain the name, address, and phone number of the driver who hit you. In addition you need to obtain the name of the other driver's insurance company, their policy number and a description of their vehicle. If you have a cell phone you can take a photograph of the other person's driver's license, their insurance card and their vehicle license plate. You should also take clear photographs of the damages to all the vehicles involved in the accident. If possible, you should take photos of the positioning of the vehicles as they are immediately after the accident before they are moved.
If you've been injured in a car accident, you should call the Baltimore Accident Center to discuss your case today at: (443) 499-2919.