For drivers working or residing in cities such as Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C., nobody needs to be reminded that high traffic volumes and congestion are a constant problem with little chance of letting up in the future. With high traffic density a fact of daily commuter life, it’s no surprise that car, truck and motorcycle accidents continue to occur on a regular basis.
As Maryland car and trucking accident attorneys, we know the frustration of being stuck in traffic following a major accident. But as personal injury lawyers, we also know that the victims of those “inconvenient” car and truck collisions are facing much more severe and painful recoveries; certainly more extended than the hour or so of delay the rest of us experience when a tie-up occurs due to a roadway accident.
It’s a matter of record that the driver and occupants riding in sedans, minivans, sport utility vehicles and other small passenger cars can be seriously injured or killed in a high-speed wreck with another motor vehicle. Although Maryland motorists have faced the prospect of physical injury for decades ever since the first horseless carriage hit another vehicle, the fact remains: car accidents can result in broken bones, deep cuts and laceration, back injury and closed-head trauma.
Of course, when a traffic accident does occur — whether between two cars, a truck and a bicycle, or a single-vehicle crash caused by a defective automotive component – the victims are often overwhelmed from the event. Still, if at all possible, it is important to make note of the facts following a car crash or commercial trucking wreck so that it is easier to determine if that motor vehicle collision was a result of a negligent act or the carelessness of another motorist.
To help people prepare or at least be aware of the proper things to do following a traffic collision, we are including a simple list of things to remember after a crash, assuming of course that one is able to walk away with few if any serious or life-threatening injuries. Many of items on the following “to-do” list will apply to most any Maryland automobile accident.
Furthermore, considering the relative low cost of electronics these days, it’s not a bad idea to keep a camera handy as well, so that one can record in pictures any damage to the vehicles involved in the crash, the surrounding roadway and the individuals involved in the incident. Even if you don’t have a camera handy, most every cellphone these days has a camera function that can serve as an alternative method of photographing the scene.
What to Do Following a Traffic Accident
— STOP your vehicle (regardless of how minor the crash may have been)
— CONTACT THE POLICE to investigate the crash scene. Make certain that you fully cooperate with the patrolman in charge once that officer has arrived at the accident
— DO NOT DISCUSS the details of the collision with any other individuals except the policeman in charge at the crash scene
— EXCHANGE INSURANCE INFORMATION with each of the other motorists involved in the accident before leaving the site of the car, truck or motorcycle crash
— OBTAIN THE NAME(S), ADDRESS(ES) AND LICENSE PLATE NUMBER(S) of the other driver(s) and vehicle(s) involved in the accident
— TAKE DOWN ALL WITNESSES’ NAMES as well as their contact information, such as phone numbers and street addresses
— PHOTOGRAPH THE ACCIDENT SCENE, being sure to record the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Don’t forget to take shots of any skid marks on the roadway
— DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT to anyone from an insurance company until you can fully assess the severity of your injuries, if any. Do not feel rushed into giving any statements and always allow a sufficient period of time to pass that will allow you to make certain whether you have sustained any injuries, as well as the extent of those injuries, as a result of the crash
— IF YOU WERE HURT as a result of a car or trucking-related traffic accident, see a medical doctor in order to be properly evaluated; if your injuries are considerable pay a visit to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible
— IF YOUR VEHICLE MUST BE TOWED AWAY, be sure to collect all of your valuables, or certainly as many as is practical under the circumstances