Following a car accident, there are a number of steps to take. You’ll need to document the incident, get medical attention, and repair your vehicle, among other tasks. 

Many people don’t realize that time limits come with some of those steps in Maryland — including filing a police report, notifying insurance, or filing a claim. Take a closer look at the important deadlines all Dundalk drivers should know about.

How Long Do You Have To File a Police Report?

While you may not be legally required to file a police report for very minor accidents, there are a few situations where you do have to notify the authorities. Here is when to file a police report for car damage or other situations:

  • Someone was injured, even minorly
  • Drugs or alcohol were involved
  • A vehicle needs to be towed
  • One of the drivers fled the scene
  • A driver lacks a license or insurance

Additionally, drivers are also required to stay at the scene until authorities arrive if the accident results in a fatality. Not reporting an accident with a fatality could lead to imprisonment or a fine.

Can You File a Police Report After an Accident?

Since there may be disputes with the other drivers involved, it is always a good idea to contact 911 immediately after an accident. If you don’t call authorities right away, though, both drivers have 15 days to file a police report. 

Why Is My Accident Police Report Taking So Long?

Generally, it takes between 10 and 30 days to receive your police accident report. Accidents involving severe property damage, injuries, death, or criminal charges can take a bit longer, though. 

It’s normal to feel concerned about an accident report taking a while. You may be searching, “Didn’t get police report after accident” because you are concerned about fines or criminal charges. If you feel like it’s taking too long to receive your report, contact an attorney to determine what you should do next. 

Notifying Insurance

Though some states have a “24-hour rule” for notifying your insurance company about a car accident, Maryland is not one of them. Instead, insurance companies set their own deadlines. Read through your policy to determine how long you have to alert your insurance company about an incident. 

Filing a Claim

In Maryland, drivers generally have up to three years to file a claim or initiate a lawsuit against the other driver. The time limit may be shortened or expanded in some unique circumstances, however. 

Young Drivers

In most situations, the countdown to file a claim starts on the exact date of the incident. However, if the driver is a minor, the countdown doesn’t begin until their 18th birthday, so they will have until the age of 21 to file their claim. 

Accidents Involving Government Vehicles

If you were harmed in a car accident where the negligent party was driving a government-issued vehicle, such as a police officer, you have a shorter amount of time to file a claim. These claims are often complex, so it’s usually best to start the process quickly.

Impairment or Hit-and-Run Cases

If an accident results in injuries that impede your ability to file a claim, then you may be granted an extension. Additionally, if the negligent party was difficult to find because they fled the scene and attempted to conceal their identity, you may be able to factor in the amount of time it took to identify the other driver. 

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Though Maryland sets specific time limits for filing a police report, notifying your insurance, or submitting a claim, it’s best to handle these tasks as quickly as possible. The further from the car accident you get, the harder it can be to reach a successful outcome — especially if you plan to seek damages. 

This is where a Dundalk car accident attorney is key. Your attorney can ensure you don’t miss any deadlines while you focus on recovery.

Contact the Dundalk Car Accident Law Firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information contact the Dundalk car accident law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers – Baltimore Office
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
(410) 837-2144

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers – Dundalk Office
7329 Holabird Ave Suite 3, Dundalk, MD 21222
By appointment only
(410) 970-3080