Car accidents, no matter how bad can be scary. They can mean anything from injuries to car damage and even traffic violations. Each one of those comes with their own subcategories of trouble as well. Injuries could bring hospital bills, physical therapy, chiropractors and they all mean more bills. Damage to vehicles will likely be covered by insurance, but if you’ve been hit by an uninsured motorist or you were the offender, it may mean higher interest rates. And those traffic violations could mean anything from a ticket to court appearances to jail time, depending on the severity.
Kemet & Hunt is on your side. Here’s a guide on what to do if you’ve been in an accident.
Step 1: Remain Calm
Okay, so that may be easier said then done when you’re in the heat of the moment. Remaining calm is a key element to keeping a level head and remembering these steps. Take a calming breath and release. Before doing anything else, you should check for injuries to yourself and any passengers you may have with you. After ensuring everyone in your vehicle is safe, you should check on the status of the passengers of the other car. If there are any injuries, call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
*If the accident occurs in an unsafe location (such as the middle of the highway for instance), move your vehicle (if it’s operable) to a safe location near/at the side of the road close to the scene of the accident.
Step 2: Get the Police Involved
The other person may seem nice, but despite any requests to settle without police or insurance involvement, always call the police. The police will document the accident and give both parties a copy of the police report. They may even have witnesses come forward to provide statements in regard to what happened. The report can be an instrumental tool in proving your side of the story. If the issue must be resolved in court, without the police report or witness testimony, it will ultimately come down to “he said, she said”.
Step 3: Document What Happened
While waiting for the police, take pictures of both (or all if there’s more than two cars involved) cars damage as well as the location in which the accident took place. Not only will this aid you in your insurance claim, if the matter proceeds to court, the photos can serve as evidence. Once the police arrive, they will ask all parties involved to produce their license, registration and proof of insurance — having those documents ready when the police arrive can help to expedite the process.
Step 4: Exchanging Insurance Information
Ask the other driver for their insurance information such as the carrier name, policy number and the name, address and phone number of the people involved. If the other driver(s) are either unwilling or hostile, the police will also take this information to add to the police report.
Step 5: Details
Do not provide details or admit fault. Admitting fault or providing details may be used against you at a later date. If the other driver admits fault or provides any details, write them down to provide to your insurance company, the police and your attorney. You should also keep a log of your injuries. Be specific and provide as many details as possible.
Step 6: Call your Insurance Company
Many urgent cares need a claim number from your insurance company to see you. On your way to urgent care (if you’re NOT driving), contact your insurance company to start the process. Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for around a day before symptoms start appearing. Don’t be afraid of making more than one trip to the doctor. Just remember to record everything.
While we’re discussing insurance companies, DO NOT provide any information to any other driver’s insurance carrier. They do not have your best interests in mind. Leave the work to your insurance company and your attorney.
Car Accident Lawyer in Prince George’s County, Maryland
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Kemet Hunt Law Group, leading car accident attorneys in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Attorneys Kemet & Hunt are experienced in personal injury law and can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Kemet Hunt Law Group, Inc. is a Maryland firm whose strong belief in client communication and down-to-earth values make it a unique asset to those who need legal assistance. With a mission to serve their clients with respect, professionalism and skill, the attorneys at Kemet Hunt have used their expertise to successfully represent hundreds of people with family law, criminal, business, bankruptcy, immigration, and other legal issues. To schedule an appointment, please call: 301-982-0888