If you are involved in a Silver Spring car crash – or one in Frederick, Rockville, Greenbelt, Bowie, Hyattsville, College Park or any other city or county in the state of Maryland – there are many things to remember. It would be a great idea to print this page and keep it in your glove compartment because, if you are involved in an accident, it will be very hard to think clearly.
· Call the police and obtain a copy of the police report. When the police arrive on the scene, they will take statements and write a police report. It is very important to ensure this report is filed and that it is correct, as it will be a vital piece of information in your accident case.
· Write down the name and driver’s license number of the other driver and license plate of all cars involved. Maryland law requires you to name the other driver in your case, even though it is the insurance company that pays the damages and pays for a lawyer for the at-fault driver. It is absolutely necessary that you get the other driver’s name and driver’s license. A phone number and address helps. You must also write down the license plate for the other vehicles. This is required to identify the insurance company who will pay for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering.
· Write down the name, address and phone number of all witnesses. Witnesses are the key to winning your case if the other driver tries to make up a story that is not true. You should get names, addresses, phone numbers and any other contact information for all witnesses that say they saw what happened. Clients have won (and lost) cases on the testimony of witnesses.
· Take photographs of the position of the cars and the damage. If you can, take photographs (or have someone else at the scene take photos) of the position of the vehicles after impact and the damage (points of impact) on all involved vehicles. Use a cell phone to take the pictures. We have won cases with such photographs, and they are important, especially if the other driver tries to make up a story that is not true.
· Do not admit responsibility, even if you feel you may be at fault. Only admit to the facts of the accident. Never apologize or admit fault. There may have been other factors that you are unaware of that contributed to the crash or that place the legal responsibility for the accident on the other driver.
· Go to the hospital in an ambulance. If you are feeling any pain, you should not hesitate to request an ambulance to take you to the hospital to for medical care. Do not worry about the bill – worry about YOU. Your health and well-being are more important, and you most likely will have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage or health insurance that will pay the hospital.
· Do not give statements to the insurance adjusters. Soon after an accident, insurance adjusters may contact you. They may want you to give them a recorded statement or sign a release of liability. You are required to cooperate with your own insurance company, but not with the other party’s. Do not give a recorded statement and do not sign anything, even with your own company, until you consult with a Silver Spring auto accident attorney.
· Visit a doctor. Even if you went to the hospital, a follow-up doctor’s examination is important to both your personal wellbeing and the success of your case for compensation. A doctor can identify your injuries and help you determine how serious they are as well as how they will impact your life. Even if you do not feel pain immediately after an accident and do not go to the hospital, you can still see a doctor, as it sometimes takes time for you to experience symptoms of injuries. If you begin feeling any pain, you should go to the hospital or call your doctor for immediate attention.
· Call Nickelsporn & Lundin. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with a Silver Spring auto accident attorney. We can help you with an auto accident case occurring anywhere in the state of Maryland, including Frederick County and Montgomery County and Prince George’s County (providing service throughout the county, including Greenbelt, Beltsville, Hyattsville, College Park, Landover, Bowie and Upper Marlboro). The call is free, the advice is free, and you don’t pay anything unless we recover money for you.