What Do I Do After an Accident?

Preserving Evidence to Protect Your Rights

It may be hard to keep a clear head immediately following an accident, but if you can follow a few simple steps, you can improve your chances of having a successful personal injury claim and securing your right to compensation. As a personal injury and auto accident law firm, the attorneys at Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP have compiled tips on what to do after an accident.

If you or anyone else involved is injured, your first act should be to call 911 and get immediate medical attention. Then, if possible, do the following:

  • Move your car — but only if it is creating a road hazard or the police instruct you to move it.
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident and the damage to all cars involved in the accident. Use the camera on your cell phone if you do not have another type of camera.
  • Tell the police if you were wearing your seat belt.
  • Ask the police to fill out a long form accident report — not a driver's exchange or a short form.
  • Do not make any statements regarding fault or liability.
  • Do not give a recorded statement.
  • Notify your insurance company of the damage or loss.
  • Seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

You should also get the following information from the other drivers involved:

  • Name and address
  • Cell phone number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance company and policy number

To prove your case, you may also need the phone numbers, names and addresses of any potential witnesses.

What You Should Bring to Your Meeting With Your Personal Injury Lawyer

When you meet with our auto accident attorneys, it’s a good idea to have the following information on hand so we may make the best use of your time.

  • The date, time and location of your accident
  • A copy of the accident report if you have it or the number assigned by the police
  • Names of the other parties if you have this information
  • The name and date of your medical visit and the diagnosis if you went to the hospital
  • Names and telephone numbers of any witnesses
  • Photos of the accident scene and your damaged vehicle if it is in your possession

Call our automobile accident lawyers in Hanover for help after an accident

If you were in an accident or suffered a personal injury anywhere in the Washington, D.C. or Annapolis metropolitan area, please contact us online or call us at (443) 749-5111 to schedule a free consultation. At Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP, our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.