Maryland may be a small state, but it has more than its fair share of auto accidents. According to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), there are more than 100,000 car accidents each year, with over half resulting in injuries. Knowing what to do if you are in an accident can take away some of the stress of the situation. After you call the police and exchange information with the other driver, you will need to comply with Maryland's car accident reporting basics.
How to File a Car Crash Report in Maryland
This chart provides a summary of Maryland laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.
Note: State laws are always subject to change. It's important to verify the information you read about by conducting your own research or consulting with a Maryland attorney.
Do the Police Always File an Accident Report?
In Maryland, the police don't normally investigate a car crash that results only in property damage, so there is no need to contact them or file a report. The law simply requires you to move off the roadway, if safe to do so, and exchange information with the other parties to the accident. The MVA created a convenient form for drivers to use when this type of accident occurs.
The police should be called immediately to perform an accident investigation in the following situations:
- Someone is injured
- A vehicle can't safely be moved
- A driver appears intoxicated
- A driver doesn't have a license
- Accident is a hit and run
- Public property is damaged
Completing a Personal Accident Report in Maryland
More than half of all car accidents in Maryland result in personal injuries. All drivers involved in this type of accident have 15 days to file a statement with the MVA showing evidence of liability insurance or other security. The statement must contain the following information:
- The name and address of the insurance carrier or other provider of security for the person making the report;
- The policy or other identifying number of the liability insurance or other security;
- The name and address of the local insurance agent for the insurance carrier or other provider of security.
Reporting Accidents with Domestic Animals
If your vehicle strikes and injures a domestic animal, Maryland law requires you to immediately notify the appropriate State or local police of the accident. The police will notify the appropriate agency to transport and care for the animal.
Similarly, if you hit a deer or other wildlife, you should immediately contact the police by dialing 911. Although it is not required by Maryland law, it is important for authorities to be alerted to an injured animal in the area. If the deer is lying in the roadway obstructing traffic, you must call the police to clear the accident scene. You'll also want to file a police report, so that when you call your insurance company to make a claim, there is a report on file.
What Happens if You Don't File a Maryland Accident Insurance Report?
If the vehicle owner or driver fails to file a written accident report that shows proof that their vehicle carried appropriate insurance, the BMV may suspend or revoke:
- The license to drive of the person; and
- The registration of each vehicle owned by the person.
These rules apply throughout the state, regardless of whether the accident occurred on or off a highway. The suspension order will affect the owner of any vehicle that is present when the accident occurs even if the owner was not the driver.
Get an Attorney to Review Your Car Crash Claim
After an accident, you may feel as if you're left all alone to deal with a mess. There are car repairs, medical appointments, and insurance phone calls to deal with before your life can get back on track. An experienced Maryland attorney can help you navigate the claim process and ensure you are fully compensated for any damages. Get started to day with a claim review by a local attorney to learn more about how the law applies to your facts.