Whenever you’re driving in Maryland, you may find yourself involved in a car accident. The first thing to remember is not to panic. Try to keep your mind on what you need to do next. Here are three tips to help you focus and maintain control of the situation.
1. Don’t admit guilt
The first thing you should do is call 911. State the facts without claiming guilt. The matter may result in a lawsuit, and the other driver’s attorney may obtain a copy of the recorded emergency call.
Exit your car when it’s safe to do so and check on the other driver. Avoid engaging in small talk, and don’t admit you were at fault. Let the police officer investigate and write the accident report.
2. Don’t fail to document
Ask the police officer for a copy of the accident report. This request is a routine procedure following car accidents, so if the officer doesn’t give you a copy, write down their name and badge number.
Take photos of both cars and any skid marks, road obstructions, intersections and stop lights. Take closeup photos of any damage to either vehicle. If the other driver objects, ask the police officer to assist. A cell phone camera is sufficient.
Request insurance information from the other driver. This data includes the name of their insurance company, the policy number and the contact phone number. Write down the vehicle’s make, model, year, license plate, and VIN number.
3. Don’t ignore the pain
If the paramedics arrive on the scene and suggest you go to the emergency room, do it. They are familiar with the various injuries that can occur during car accidents. They also know that some of these injuries may not be apparent. For example, by the time you start experiencing severe brain injury or internal bleeding symptoms, the initial impact damage may have developed into a life-threatening situation.
Neck and back injuries may not cause any discomfort until the following day. The same thing is true for head injuries. If you start having headaches or other pains after an accident, see a doctor immediately.
Drive carefully, but if you have an accident, stay calm and collect any data you might need for your claim. If the insurance company payments aren’t sufficient, the case may result in a lawsuit.