No one leaves their house thinking that today is the day they're going to be in a car accident. Yet many motor vehicle accidents happen every day in Maryland. Some are quite serious, involving injuries or even fatalities. But even a minor "fender-bender," can still leave a driver shaken up, especially if the crash was not their fault. It is important for all motorists to understand what they should do following an auto accident. Keep in mind that the information in this post is for general purposes only, and those who are involved in a car crash will want to seek professional legal advice on what steps they should take in their specific situation.
Immediately after the crash occurs, it is important to stay calm. Seek medical help for anyone who may be injured in the crash. If possible, all vehicles should be moved to the side of the road, so they do not obstruct traffic or place those involved in the crash at risk of being struck by a second vehicle.
Following that, motorists should consider calling the police. Do not leave the scene of the crash until the police arrive. While a police report cannot be admitted as evidence in a subsequent lawsuit, it can still be used as a bargaining chip in the settlement negotiation process. In addition, those involved in the crash should exchange information, including their names, their insurers and their contact information. Motorists involved in a car accident may want to take pictures of the other party's license plate and the accident site.
After that, a motorist will have to decide if they will file a claim with their insurer or whether it is appropriate to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. These are important decisions that could significantly impact what compensation a motorist could obtain following the crash. Therefore, those involved in motor vehicle accidents often seek legal guidance, so they can make decisions that are appropriate in their situation.