What You Should Do After A Car Accident

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What You Should Do After A Car Accident

There are roughly 100,000 car crashes in Maryland and DC each year.  Most of these accidents only involve damage to the vehicle, with no injuries beyond a minor bruise.  

Unfortunately, some accidents involve more than just property damage–hundreds of Maryland and DC residents die in car accidents every year, and many more are injured. If you end up in an auto collision, it is important to take the right steps to protect yourself legally and financially, as well as protect the safety of others.  With that in mind, here are the steps you should take after a car accident.

  • Stop Your Vehicle

Even if you believe there has been no significant damage to the other vehicle in a car accident, you must stop your vehicle.  Not only are you legally required to do this–it’s also the right thing to do.

2) Draw Attention To Your Vehicle

It’s critical that other drivers on the road see your vehicle from a reasonable distance.  The more visible your vehicle is, the easier it will be to prevent additional accidents. You may want to consider turning on your hazard lights or setting up flares.  If those are not options, it is useful to have a flashlight on hand, especially at night.

3) Contact The Police

It’s usually a good idea to call the police, even if no one has been injured.  Sometimes it’s necessary to file a police report to make a claim with an insurance company.

4) Make A Record Of Everything That Happened

You probably won’t remember every single detail of your accident the day after.  That’s why it’s useful to write down every piece of relevant information as soon as possible.  Take note of any injuries you suspect you might have, how the accident occurred, and anything the other driver said after the accident.  When the police arrive, share this information with them. Do not attempt to guess anything you’re not completely sure about.

 

Car Accident Lawyer – Maryland and Washington, DC

 

5) Take Photographs

As long as you’re not interfering with a police investigation, it’s helpful to take pictures of any damage to the vehicle, in addition to any injuries you may have.  

6) Exchange Information With The Other Driver

In most cases, a police officer will gather this information.  But if a police officer never shows up, it’s important to college the contact information and insurance information of each individual who was involved in the accident.  If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their information as well.

7) Contact Your Insurance Company

It is paramount that you contact your car insurance company as quickly as you possibly can.  Many insurance companies will require you to report an accident immediately.

Find out if your insurance policy includes medical benefits.  If it does, that will take some financial burdens off of your health insurance, making it more likely that all of your medical bills will be paid in full by insurance providers.

8) Get Medical Help

Your health is your first priority, which is why you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.  Even if you do not believe you have sustained any serious injuries,

 

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9) Organize All Information And Documents Related To The Accident

Information relating to a car accident can pile up quickly, and losing it can cause unnecessary stress.  To prevent this from happening, organize all documents, claim numbers, etc, into a file.

10) Get An Attorney

This is perhaps the most important step.  Here are some of the things an attorney can do after an accident:

  • Prevent you from being blamed for things you’re not guilty of.
  • Press the insurance companies to give you all the benefits you deserve.
  • Help you with logistics and organization after your accident.