What To Do After An Auto Accident
Over the years, we have successfully represented hundreds of victims of car, truck, and bicycle collisions in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and throughout the rest of the Metro DC area. A common issue in all of these cases is that our clients were needlessly injured by inattentive drivers. For example, we recently settled a case after our client was rear-ended by a landscaping truck in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Even though the weather was clear and traffic was not particularly heavy, the driver of the landscaping truck simply was not paying attention and slammed into the back of our client, who was stopped at a red light. Ultimately, this is what happened to the rear of our client’s vehicle after it was hit by the truck:
The important lesson from this case is that, if you are injured in an accident, there are five important steps that you should immediately take to help protect your rights:
1. Call the police to report the accident. Even if the other driver seems like the nicest and friendliest person in the world, you can rest assured that they will change their tune (and their version of how the accident happened) after their insurance company speaks with them. Having a police officer there will help memorialize what each party has to say at the time of the accident.
2. Seek immediate medical attention if you are having any pain or discomfort. The other driver’s insurance company will be eager to claim that your injuries “must not have been too serious” if an accident victim does not seek immediate medical care.
3. Take pictures of the cars involved in the accident and of the layout of the street where the accident occurred. This point was critical in the case that we recently settled, as the pictures of the car clearly show how hard the landscaping truck hit our client’s car.
4. Write down the other driver’s insurance information, or better yet, take a picture of the other driver’s insurance card. We are seeing more and more clients who do not obtain the insurance information of the other driver – and sometimes the other drivers even intentionally provide the incorrect insurance information! To make sure that you have the correct information, it’s best to snap a quick picture on your smart phone, or at the very least make the other driver show you his or her insurance ID so that you can copy the information directly.
5. DO NOT SPEAK WITH ANY REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY. Please politely decline to speak with any representative from the other driver’s insurance company until you speak with our office. There is no benefit whatsoever in speaking with the other driver’s insurance company, as they are only trying to obtain a statement from you that will potentially negatively affect your rights.
Of course, if you or anyone you know has recently been in an accident, please do not hesitate to call us at 202-887-5000.