Immediately following an accident, you may panic and not know how to proceed. The safety of those involved should be the first consideration. Depending on how severe the accident is, you should attempt to move the cars off the road if possible. Once the accident scene is secured, it is time to deal with insurance and liability issues. There you can get help from accident lawyers in md that can help you in this process. This is really helpful when you suffer a serious accident. As you are mentally not prepared to deal with the insurance company, your lawyer will help you with the claim process as you recover.
Things You Should Do Following an Accident
- Make phone calls: If anyone is hurt, the first call needs to be for an ambulance. Do not rely on the fact that “someone else” has already called the accident in. The 911 dispatcher can send an ambulance, fire truck and police all at the same time. If the accident is minor you should still ask for a police officer to be sent to the scene so you will have an accident report. Next, call your insurance company. Even if it is after hours you can leave a message. Tell them where the accident happened, how many vehicles were involved, if anyone was hurt and what time the accident occurred.
- Take pictures if possible: Most cell phones have cameras built into them. Take as many pictures as you can before you remove the cars to the side of the road and after if you can safely do so. If you do not have a cell phone and there is a convenience store nearby, ask someone to run and buy a disposable camera for you.
- Take notes or ask someone to do it for you: You might be so upset some information will slip your mind. If your phone has recorded on it, make a few notes about what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Jot notes down on a piece of paper if you have too. Try to write down anything you can remember. Ask the other driver for their name and address and the name of their insurance company. If the police are involved, they will get this information for you, but it doesn’t hurt for you to have it too. Also, note the license plate number and make and model.
Things You Should Not Do Following an Accident
- Do not show anger or admit fault: Don’t jump out of your car in an angry manner. The other driver may feel threatened and leave the scene if they are able to. Remain calm and ask if they are alright. Do not tell the other driver it was your fault, or accuse him or her of being at fault. Calmly tell a police officer what happened and they will determine fault or they will leave it up to your insurance company.
- Do not agree to any “on the spot” settlements: The other person may not want to turn in an insurance claim and may offer to “just pay the damages.” Do not agree to any terms or cash settlement. You may find that your car is damaged worse than you thought and you will be stuck paying the bill later.
- Do not just accept an insurance quote: Insurance companies have standards that they go by for reaching a settlement. Do not just accept the check if you do not agree. You have the right to do your own research on the value of your car and dispute the amount the insurance company offers you. Do not just sit and wait, stay involved every step of the way.