If you have been injured in an auto accident or have suffered some other injury caused by another, the first steps you take can be particularly important to your safety and well-being. You can help ensure a successful outcome to any claim you may have for injuries by taking the right steps early on.
We suggest you familiarize yourself with the information contained in this brochure and then keep a copy in the glove compartment of each of your vehicles. If you are ever involved in a collision you will not have to rely on your memory regarding the steps to take and information to collect. You will have this convenient checklist and information form and possibly avoid serious problems later.
STOP: No matter how minor an accident may be, the failure to stop can result in serious criminal consequences. If possible, stop your vehicle at the point nearest the accident scene without obstructing traffic more than necessary.
PROTECT THE SCENE AND THOSE INVOLVED FROM FURTHER INJURY: If the accident has obstructed the roadway, take measures to adequately warn approaching drivers. If the highway is obstructed at night, illuminate the accident scene if possible. Do not forget to use the warning flashers that are standard equipment on most vehicles.
CALL A POLICE OFFICER: State and local police officers are trained accident investigators. Their expertise may be invaluable in establishing the reason the accident occurred.
WRITE DOWN INFORMATION: Don’t trust your memory. Write down the facts, including the names and addresses of witnesses; skid mark and distance measurements; and the names, addresses and license plate numbers of the drivers involved.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY: Do not admit fault. You may discover later that the other driver was equally or more at fault. Statements made during the excitement of any accident may be misconstrued or later misquoted by others. Discuss the accident only with the investigating officer, your attorney and your insurance company representative.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR: Serious injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed. Consult a doctor or hospital if there is the slightest chance you may be injured.
INFORM YOU INSURANCE COMPANY IMMEDIATELY: Your insurance company employs trained investigators who will attempt to develop all evidence for your defense. Failure to promptly notify your insurer may void your policy and leave you without insurance coverage for damages resulting from the accident.
CONSULT US PROMPTLY: If you anticipate filing a civil claim for damages or are facing a trial on a traffic violation; the sooner we are brought into the matter, the better we can advise you and protect your rights. Call us at 301-251-6200 before giving any statements, except to representatives of your insurance carrier.