Maryland Car Accident Law: An Interview With Attorney Doug Stevens
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Doug Stevens, a Maryland attorney who has practiced law for 30 years and whose firm focuses on personal injury and car accident matters in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Stevens recently sat down with us and answered some questions about his background, what types of cases his firm handles and what injured victims can do to preserve the value of their case.
Question: What is your background?
Answer: I am a graduate of Harvard and Georgetown Law School. Out of college, I was a legislative assistant to Congressman Stephen J. Solarz; then I worked for Congressman Morris Udall when he ran for President and then was the Assistant Counsel to the Carter- Mondale Re-Election Committee. After being an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Congress from New York State, I spent a year working for the firm of Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C. and then hung out my own shingle after that.
Question: What types of cases does your firm handle?
Answer: The vast majority of our cases involve car accidents, but we handle any type of personal injury case. Our most recent large case was a construction case where a young man had been hired to sand drywall in a newly constructed residence. He was told to start sanding on the top floor and he stepped into the last closet on the top floor to sand it. However, it was an elevator shaft and the crew had removed the safety bar. That was our most recent wrongful death case that wasn’t auto related.
Question: What can an auto accident victim do to protect the value of his or her case?
Answer: Protecting the value of an auto accident case is easier when victims:
- Take photos. Take photos if you’ve got a camera. That always helps. Now that many cell phones have cameras, it makes it much easier.
- Keep records. Keep notes, write down what happened and keep a diary of what you could and couldn’t do after the accident. Take progress photos of your injuries. Many times, bruises can be worse on days five and six, just as the pain can be worse on days three and four.
- Obtain witness information. Finally, get as much witness information as you can. Police officers often indicate that witness information will be in the police report, but sometimes it isn’t. Police officers simply don’t have a personal stake in the matter.
- Get tag numbers. Getting the other vehicle’s tag number is really important. It’s amazing how many people leave the scene. A lot of times, if you can get the tag number of a witness, we’re able to convince the witness (who decided he didn’t want to give his name to the police at the time of the accident) to talk to us. They may decide to be a Good Samaritan and provide us with the information we need.
Contacting an experienced Maryland car accident attorney will be able evaluate your situation and discuss what options might be best for you.