What happens if you crash someone else’s car? Every driver, especially in Maryland, should know the answer to this question. Getting involved in a car accident, mostly if you are the At-Fault driver can have a domino effect if not appropriately handled.
Maryland is a fault state, which means as an at-fault driver, you are liable for property damages and bodily injuries. You need a Maryland car accident attorney to represent you if you are the at-fault driver in a crash.
If the crashed vehicle belongs to someone else, you will be entirely responsible for the consequences and legal implications. This article will shed light on what happens after you crash another person’s car.
Report the Accident to The Police
The first thing to do when you crash another person’s vehicle is to call the Maryland police to report the accident. Calling the authorities is very crucial if the crash resulted in injuries, death, or property damage.
Maryland’s law necessitates that you do not leave the scene until the police arrive. If you do, they will charge you with a hit and run, further complicating your case.
Before the authorities get there check for injuries on yourself and other people involved in the collision. Maryland law requires drivers to assist people injured in an accident.
It is advisable to cooperate with the police officer(s) sent to you. Refusing to cooperate with the officer and making confrontational remarks like “I know my rights” could result in a citation or your arrest. Whatever the officer instructs you to do, you should do it.
You could also decide to report the incident to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. This has to be within 15 days of the crash. However, if the police investigate the accident, you might not need to inform the MVA.
The Investigating Officer Files a Report
In filing the police report, the Maryland police officer(s) assigned to your case will gather evidence at the accident scene. They could get proof from traffic cameras or eyewitness reports to help the officer get an unbiased view of the incident.
There are some issues the police officer will take into consideration at the accident scene. For example, if you were driving under the influence or do not have a valid driver’s license, it will be included in the police report.
After the filing of the police report, you can request a copy from the Maryland State Police Central Records Division. The filed police report plays a vital role in regards to insurance companies.
Insurance Companies Get Involved
In Maryland, drivers need to have auto insurance in case of an accident. At the scene of the accident, you are to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Reporting the car crash to your insurance company is one of the clauses you agreed to at the beginning of your contract.
Your insurance company must hear your side of the story before anyone else’s. This is to allow your insurance company to gear up before the other driver hires an attorney. Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will discuss a settlement of the damages made to vehicles and individuals.
Payment for Damages
After doing the above stages, you have to pay for the damages resulting from the crash. In most cases, you do not have to pay for the damages from your pocket; your auto insurance will cover it, except it exceeds your policy limits.
The compensation you have to pay to the driver whose car you crashed is dependent on the severity of the crash. If it is a minor crash, you might pay for the repair to the vehicle, that is, if there were no bodily injuries to the other driver.
However, if it was a significant accident involving bodily injuries, you will need to pay for medical bills, medications, pain and suffering, auto repair costs, rental costs, etc.
In Maryland, “pain and suffering” is a legal term that combines the physical, emotional, and mental distress an individual suffers from an accident. The other driver is the only one entitled to pain and suffering compensation and not the at-fault driver.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC for Legal Advice
We’ve walked you through what happens if you crash someone else’s vehicle in Maryland. Another thing you should do is hire an experienced Maryland car accident attorney to defend you or give you legal advice. At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we are capable of helping you with whatever legal issue you have. Contact us today to set up a consultation or to get more information on how we can be of assistance to your case.