What to Do After a Car Accident

The immediate aftermath of a car accident is always confusing and stressful, especially if injuries have occurred. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) can help you protect your rights in case you need to file a personal injury claim with a Maryland car accident lawyer for the losses you have suffered at some point in the future.

If you have been injured in a car accident Bethesda, Rockville or the greater areas of Maryland, or Virginia, call (301) 605-9469 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced car accident lawyer.

car accidentProtecting Your Rights After a Car Accident

The first thing you should always do after a car accident is call 911. Everyone at the scene of the accident should be evaluated by a medical professional – even if no one seems to be seriously hurt. Your medical health is the priority. Some injuries, such as brain injury and whiplash, may not show symptoms until days or even weeks after the car accident.

In addition to seeking necessary medical assistance, some other important steps to take after a car accident include:

  • Gather key information – Collect the other driver’s name, address, date of birth, phone number, driver’s license number, and the license plate number of their car. Also be sure to obtain the name of their insurance company, and their insurance policy number.
  • Talk to witnesses – Witnesses can be a valuable asset in a car accident case, especially if fault is disputed. Take down the names and phone numbers of as many witnesses as possible.
  • Talk to the police – Ask for a copy of the police report, and take down the name and badge number of the police officer who is present at the scene.
  • Take photographs – Pictures are some of the best evidence you can have in a personal injury case, and now cellphone cameras make this an easy task. Thoroughly document the scene of the accident by taking photos of the vehicle damage, any obvious visible injuries, and environmental factors that may shed light on the circumstances of the accident (e.g. skid marks, damaged guardrails, etc).
  • Write down details – As soon as you can, write down as many details as you can remember about the accident. The longer you wait to do this, the fewer details you are likely to remember.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment and therapy appointments.
  • Time missed from work – If you are off work, please get a disability slip from your doctor.
  • Keep a diary – Maintain a diary of how you are feeling, making sure to note your aches, pains, limitations on your ability to do any daily activities, and of the medications you are taking and how often.

Taking these actions as soon as possible will help you retain important evidence that will help your case immensely and help us as we begin to investigate your auto accident.

What NOT to Do After a Car Accident

There are a few things you should avoid doing in order to protect yourself legally after an accident:

  • Don’t discuss the accident – Only speak about the accident with the police officer and your doctors. Do not discuss it with insurance company representatives or the lawyers of the other driver even if you are in the right.
  • Don’t sign anything – Other than the police report, do not sign any document that is presented to you at the scene of the accident or right after unless it is necessary for medical treatment. Make sure the police report is accurate before you sign it, if asked.
  • Don’t accept a settlement right away – Do not accept a “final payment check” or any kind of settlement that is initially offered to you by an insurance company until you have consulted with your doctor and with an experienced car accident attorney.

Contact our Rockville Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have further questions about car accidents, please contact the Law Offices of  Maryland car accident lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Rockville car accident lawyer. We represent injured car accident victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.