What To Do When You're Injured In A Car Accident

North Oak Professional Park
3034 Mitchellville Road
Bowie, MD  20716

(301) 390-9060 - Phone
(301) 390-9080 - Fax


  •  Stop:  No matter how minor an accident may be, the failure to stop can result in serious criminal consequences. If possible, stop your vehicle at the point nearest the accident scene without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

   

  • Render Aid:  If anyone is injured:     
  1. Render first aid to the extent you are qualified;
  2. Stop bleeding;
  3. Call a doctor or an ambulance or both;
  4. Do not move an injured person in any way that could possibly add to his or her injury.

  •  Protect the Scene and Those Involved from Further Damage or Injury:  If the accident has obstructed the roadway, take measures to adequately warn approaching drivers. If the highway is obstructed at night, illuminate the accident scene if possible. Use the warning flashers that are standard equipment on most vehicles.

  • Call a Police Officer:  State and local police officers are trained accident investigators. Their expertise may be invaluable in establishing the reason the accident occurred.  Be certain to get the officer's card so that you will have the officer's name, address and phone number.  After three (3) days, you should personally visit the police office to obtain a copy of the report.

  • Gather Information and Write It Down:  Don't trust your memory. Write down the facts, including the names and addresses of witnesses; approximate skid mark and distance measurements; and the names, addresses, license plate numbers, insurance information and driver's license numbers of the drivers involved. 

    Additionally, participants in automobile accidents are required by law to exhibit their driver's licenses and provide their vehicle registration numbers, insurance carrier information, including insurance policy numbers, and names and addresses of their local insurance agents for each driver involved in the accident. Below is a handy form to help you collect the appropriate information:  Feel free to print this document and keep it in your glove compartment.


           Name(s) and Address(es) of Driver(s): __________________________________________________

           Driver's License Number(s): __________________________________________________________

           License Plate Number(s): ____________________________________________________________

           Insurance Carrier(s): ________________________________________________________________

           Policy Number(s): __________________________________________________________________

          Name(s) and Address(es) of Agent(s): _________________________________________________

          Name(s) and Address(es) of Witness(es): ______________________________________________

          Skid Mark Measurements: ___________________________________________________________

          Distance Measurement______________________________________________________________

   

  • Be Careful What You Say:  Do not admit fault even if you think the accident was your fault. You may discover later that the other driver was equally or more at fault. You may even discover that what you thought was your fault was actually not!  Statements made during the excitement of an accident may be misconstrued or later misquoted by others. Discuss the accident only with the investigating officer, your attorney and your own personal insurance company.  Never provide a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company without the advice of a competent attorney.

  •  See Your Doctor:  Serious injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed. Consult a doctor or hospital if there is the slightest chance you may be injured.  If you are instructed to follow-up with your private doctor, do so!  Failure to follow-up and/or keep subsequent doctor appointments may imply that you are not really hurt.

  • Inform Your Insurance Company Immediately: Your insurance company employs trained investigators who will attempt to develop all evidence for your defense. Failure to promptly notify your insurer may void your policy and leave you without insurance coverage for damages resulting from the accident.  In addition, most drivers have PIP (personal injury protection) coverage that is, in most circumstances, immediately available for medical costs, lost wages and other expenses related to the accident.  However, there are deadlines for the filing of the PIP application.

  • Consult Your Lawyer Promptly: Even if you don't anticipate filing a civil claim for damage or facing a trial on a traffic violation charge, the sooner your lawyer is brought into the matter the better he or she can advise you and protect your rights. Your lawyer can obtain statements from the witnesses while their memories are fresh and assure that the true facts are preserved.

  • Get your lawyer's advice before giving any interviews or statements, except to representatives of your insurance carrier.

   

  • File an Accident Report with the MVA (motor vehicle administration)

   

  • Regardless of fault, the operator of every motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury within the State of Maryland must report the accident to the Motor Vehicle Administration. You are not required to file an accident report with the MVA if the accident has been investigated by the police and a report has been filed with the Maryland State Police or if the accident resulted in property damages only.


Of course, this is not a complete list of everything to do if you are involved in an automobile accident, therefore, if you're hurt in an automobile accident, no matter how minor, you need help.  Call me and arrange for a consultation right away!