What to Do If You’re in an Accident

Some time in your life, chances are good that you will be involved in a car accident. It doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are or how careful you are. You can’t control all of your driving conditions or the other people on the road. Knowing what to do in case of an accident is essential. Teach your children what to do in the case of an accident when you are teaching them to drive.

First, you must remain calm. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are hurt. With the sudden surge of adrenaline following an accident, you could be hurt seriously and not even know it. If you are hurt, you should not be moving around until a doctor clears you. Are your passengers okay? If anyone needs medical attention, call 911.

Second, if possible, move your car to a nearby safe location (to the side of the road or a parking lot). In a serious accident, this isn’t always possible. If you can’t move your car off the road, put your blinkers on and/or set up road flares to prevent an additional accident. Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information, no matter how minor you think the accident was.

In serious accidents, you will need to contact the police, but for minor accidents, exchanging information and reporting it to your insurance company will suffice. You will need to exchange the following information with everyone involved (including witnesses): name, address, and phone number(s). You will also need the year, make, and model of the other car, along with the license plate number, insurance carrier, and insurance policy number. Do not ever take the other person’s word for this information. Write the information down yourself. A friend of mine allowed an older woman to write all the information down for him when he was involved in a minor car accident (that caused quite a bit of damage to his car). Turns out she gave him all false information. He had no way of finding her after she drove away. If a police officer is called, get his name, the police department he is from, phone number, and incident number.

After all this, you should call your lawyer. You have a car accident lawyer Maryland that is experienced and can help you with your insurance company and with the settlement amount. Getting in touch with him can be quite helpful if you face an accident issue. 

You should carry a disposable camera in your car at all times in case of an accident. You will want to document the damage to your car, the other person’s car, the accident scene itself, and any persons involved in the accident. Sometimes court cases are years after the accident. Pictures will help keep everything clear in your mind and pictures offer irrefutable evidence. In addition to a camera, it’s a good idea to carry the following with you at all times when you are driving: insurance ID card, vehicle registration, list of emergency contacts (in case you are unconscious or injured), a medical card listing allergies or other health considerations, a pen, a notepad, a flashlight, flairs, a first aid kit, a blanket, paper towels, trash bags, and a cell phone.

Once again, remember to remain calm and do not panic. Never admit fault, even if you feel you did make a mistake. Tell the other person that you have insurance to figuring it out for you. Let your insurance company sort out all the details. Always cooperate with the police. Remain calm and polite, even if you discover that the person who hit you just left happy hour. If you are prepared and know what to do, it will be easier to make the right decisions. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to use my advice, but if you do, good luck.

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