A car accident can be pretty hectic. Not only would you be dealing with your injuries, but you also have car damages and potential loss of income. A seasoned Baltimore automobile accident attorney understands how easy it is to lose yourself in the first moments after an auto accident.
That’s why in this article, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about what steps to take after a car accident. Below are tips on what you should do at the accident scene, including dealing with an insurance company.
What Should You Do at the Scene of a Baltimore Car Accident?
Your opportunity to increase your chance of compensation after an auto accident starts from the crash scene. When you know what to do ahead of time, you increase your chances of a favorable settlement.
1. Protect the Accident Scene
Your first step after an auto accident is to protect the scene. Activate your hazard lights and flares if you have any. The goal is to warn oncoming drivers of stopped cars and people ahead. Don’t redirect traffic, as this could turn out dangerous and lead to further injuries.
2. Check to See if Anyone Is Hurt
A vital step is ensuring that everyone involved in the accident is okay. This is your civilian responsibility as a driver. If there are injured parties, immediately call for medical assistance by dialing 911.
3. Call the Police
Even when it’s a minor car accident, your Baltimore automobile accident attorney can use a police report to help you prove liability. It is invaluable for recovering damages. So alert the police of the crash and cooperate with the responding officer.
4. Document the Accident Scene
You’ll also need to document the car accident scene; it would serve as evidence down the line. Photographs come in handy when there’s been damage. Your Baltimore automobile accident attorney and insurance companies might require the pictures to assess the accident and the level of damage properly.
Ensure you take pictures of the accident scene, including road points with skid marks. Also, photograph the point of contact between the vehicles. Finally, snap the damage to all cars involved in the accident, not just yours. If you have visible cuts, bruises, and scars from the accident, ensure you take photos of that too.
5. Gather Information From Everyone
Ensure you collect all the information you can about the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Try to get their name and that of their passengers, license plate numbers, car make and model, and insurance information. It’s easier to get the details at the accident scene than after, as you may be unable to contact them later if you don’t.
6. Take Down Witness Information
Once you leave the accident scene, it can be challenging to track down everyone who was at the accident scene. However, witnesses are essential because they can speak to the validity of your version of events. Therefore, you should get passersby’s names and contact information. Although you may not need them afterward, these potential witnesses are invaluable in a court case.
7. Seek Medical Assistance
Sometimes, you won’t feel pain immediately after an auto accident. However, you should seek medical attention immediately after the crash. This is because of delayed injuries whose symptoms do not appear immediately.
Additionally, a jury could translate your reluctance to seek medical attention as an admission that your injuries are not serious if you file a lawsuit. Therefore, it is not just safe; it’s a brilliant idea to seek the help of a medical professional.
Should You Move Your Car From the Accident Scene?
If you’ve been in a car accident and the police are on their way, you might be wondering if it’s okay to move your car and change the accident scene. Also, you might wonder if changing the car positions makes it harder to tell what happened.
Fortunately, there’s nothing to worry about. Police officers are excellent at accessing the cause of accidents even when the cars are not in their original position. This is because they know the roads well and will take both drivers’ statements about what happened into account in the report.
The most important thing to do after a car accident is to move your car to a safe location. If your vehicle is disabled after the crash and you can’t move it out of the way, simply turn on the hazard light to show your position to other drivers. Secondary collisions are common after a crash on a busy road. It is prevalent at night and in low-light conditions. Therefore, you have to prioritize your safety and prevent the situation from worsening.
Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Baltimore Car Accident
How you communicate with insurance carriers will determine how they compensate you after an accident. Once you’re a party in a car crash, you won’t be dealing with just your insurance company but also the other driver’s insurance carrier. Follow the guidance below or contact a Baltimore automobile accident attorney to assist you through the process.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company immediately after the car accident. However, the at-fault party’s insurer will primarily cover your treatment cost and other losses when you file a claim.
Apply Caution When Discussing With Insurance Carriers
After the other party files the claim with their insurance company, an insurance representative will contact you. Note that the other party’s insurance company is not on your side. Instead, their goal is to discover ways to reduce the compensation sum.
Therefore, they might try to get you to make statements against your interests. The goal is to use these statements against you in a lawsuit. The claims adjuster might even use a general apology to imply you’re admitting fault for the incident. So speak to only your lawyer and the police after the accident.
Be Cautious of Early Settlement Offers
It’s important to note that you’re not obligated to accept any offers from the other driver’s insurance carrier. The claims adjuster often seeks to settle quickly and at the lowest value possible. Therefore, they’ll try to take advantage of your fear and desperation. If you accept an early settlement, it might not cover your lost wages or future medical bills.
Hiring a Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer
After an auto accident, the best course of action is to seek professional assistance. Our legal team will help you figure out the proper steps to take to get fair compensation. Contact us today to speak with a Baltimore personal injury attorney at Pinder Plotkin, LLC.