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What Is Jake’s Law?

By Alpert Schreyer on September 15, 2015

Maryland distracted driving lawJake’s Law is a law that went into effect in Maryland in 2014 to deter distracted driving. In 2011 five-year-old Jake Owen was killed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. Because the laws at the time were not up-to-date with the ever changing technology, the driver responsible for Jake’s death only had to pay a $500 fine. Now those who cause an accident due to distracted driving face a $5000 fine and a year in prison.

Distracted driving is a major issue on U.S. roadways. Driver’s checking their email, talking on the phone, or answering a text are not focused on the road ahead and may not see a possible obstacle quickly enough for them to react. If you have been hit by a distracted driver here are a few things you can do to if you have been hit by a distracted driver:

Body scan

Before you get out of your vehicle check your body for any injuries. After an accident you may be in a state of shock, which can cause wounds to go unnoticed until it’s too late. If you find any injuries stay as still as possible and call the authorities for help.   If you have any passengers in your vehicle determine if they have been injured as well.

If you are unharmed and, if it is safe to do so, exit your vehicle and check on the well being of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.

Call the authorities

While it may be a fender bender you should still call the authorities to make sure that everything is properly documented. This will also help you ensure that everyone is dealt with correctly whether harmed or unharmed.

As you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive and, if you are physically able to do so,  you should obtain information from the other driver and/or drivers including:  name(s), address(es), telephone number(s); , the make, model and year of all vehicles involved, registration and insurance information for all vehicles; any complaints of injuries.   

Take pictures and Locate Witnesses

Be sure to take plenty of pictures of the accident scene and the cars themselves. As you get pictures email them to yourself and a trusted family member or friend so you have several copies of the accident pictures. This can help the process with your case exponentially if you indeed must go to court.

Write down the names, addresses and/or phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.  

Keep calm

Though you may be frustrated understand that an accident is an accident. Do not lose control of your emotions toward the other driver even if they are the one at fault.  Document, take pictures and if you are indeed injured, get immediate medical attention and contact the knowledgeable Maryland personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer for a free case evaluation.

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