What to Do in the Event of a Crash:
- Check for life threatening injuries. This includes you, your passengers, and the other vehicle. Call 911 if anyone requires emergency assistance.
- Make sure you are in a safe location. Pull off to the shoulder, or walk to an area of safety. Do not remain with your vehicle if it is not safe to do so, but do not go too far.
- Call 911 if you have not done so already. You should note that if no one is complaining of injuries and the vehicles are functional, the police may refuse to respond. But, you should still call. If you truly believe you need their assistance, don’t be afraid to demand it. But, be prepared to wait.
- Identify witnesses. Sometimes people witness accidents and do not give you their information. If there are vehicles in the immediate area and you believe someone witnessed the crash, get their information. If they refuse, take down their license plate numbers. Your attorney can run the tag and locate them later
- Exchange your information including name, address, and insurance information. Do not forget to take down the make, model, and license plate number of the other car.
- DO NOT ADMIT FAULT. This may seem to go against what your parents taught you, but your understanding of the law may be incorrect. You should not admit fault if you are not truly at fault for the collision. If it turns out that the collision was your fault, then you and your insurance company can take responsibility later, but only after analyzing the facts and applying the law. A common example is as follows: A driver is travelling on a through highway at 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. He is clearly and intentionally exceeding the speed limit. A vehicle with a stop sign attempts to cross the through highway and would have made it across if the speeding driver had been traveling slower, but instead, the two vehicles collide. The speeding driver may feel responsible and may wish to apologize for the collision. BUT, under Maryland law, the speeding driver had the right-of-way and was not at fault, even though he was speeding. Do not admit fault until you are sure you really are.
- Take photographs. Use your camera or cell phone to take photographs of the scene, witness vehicles, and the crash vehicles, especially if they have not been moved.
- Seek medical help. If you are injured go to the emergency room. Go by ambulance if necessary. If you go home and realize you need medical care, it is not too late to go to the emergency room. Go.
- Contact your attorney. We are here to help. Don’t make a mistake early on that you cannot fix later. These mistakes include giving recorded statements, talking to people you shouldn’t talk to, and accidently disposing of evidence. Don’t do it, call us.
- Contact your insurance company. But, DO NOT give a recorded statement to any insurance company until you have contacted your attorney. DO NOT speak with the other driver’s insurer unless you have first discussed it with your attorney.
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