What started off as a minor fender-bender turned tragic when one of the passengers involved in the car accident was killed after the incident. According to Prince George’s County Police, the initial collision occurred between a passenger vehicle and an SUV in District Heights, Maryland on the evening of November 19, 2017. Online news source Patch.com reported that the drivers of both vehicles pulled over and a passenger from the SUV got out. For unexplained reasons, the woman moved to stand behind the car, at which point the driver backed over her. The story serves as a sobering reminder of how to stay safe after a crash, and other actions you should take when involved in a Maryland auto accident.
Safely Pull Over When Possible
If no one is hurt or injuries are relatively minor, move your vehicle off the road and away from traffic. A stopped car in the roadway or a busy intersection can lead to secondary incidents. When your vehicle cannot be moved, you and your passengers should remain in the car with seatbelts fastened. Turn on hazard lights, and set out flares or orange cones to draw attention to your predicament. Once you are in a safe position, do an initial assessment to check for injuries to yourself and passengers.
Exchange Information Away from Traffic
Drivers of all involved vehicles are required by law to provide contact and registration information. Make sure to exchange all insurance details, as well as the make, model, and year of all cars. As the recent Maryland accident demonstrates, passengers should remain in the cars if it is safe to do so. In the confusion after a collision, the scene of the incident can be chaotic and additional injuries can result.
Document the Accident Details
Your recollection of the collision may fade over time, so it is important to note relevant information regarding the accident. Use your phone camera to photograph damage to the cars, the scene of the crash, and any posted signage. If there are any witnesses in the vicinity, get their names and contact information, which may be useful in filing a claim.
File an Accident Report
Even if the accident resulted in minor injuries and property damage was minimal, you should still file a report with authorities. In minor accidents, law enforcement may not arrive on the scene, but you can obtain a form by visiting the police station closest to the scene of the accident. If it is necessary to get insurance companies involved, a police report can make the claims process more efficient.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in a car accident in Maryland, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You may have a claim against a negligent driver, allowing you to recover compensation for such losses as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Without a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process, you put your rights at risk. For more information on auto accident cases, please contact the Owings Mills, MD office of attorney Michael A. Freedman. We are happy to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation to discuss your case.
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