Witnessing a car accident can sometimes be just as traumatic as being involved in one. However, after the initial shock of witnessing the car accident wears off, it is important to remain at the scene to assist the people involved in the crash. The following are the steps you should take when you witness a car accident vehicle collision:
— Pull over to the shoulder of the road safely. Make sure your vehicle is far enough away from the accident scene that it does not cause additional danger to the oncoming traffic and allows emergency personnel with adequate access.
— Call 911 and or the local police. Even crashes with little vehicle damage can result in very serious personal injury. It is important to get emergency personnel to the accident scene as quickly as possible to check on the parties involved. The person contacting 911 should be able to provide basic information, such as the location of the crash, how many vehicles are involved, and how many people need medical attention.
— After 911 has been contacted, it is important to check on the people involved in the crash. Make sure you do not touch any people in the accident. Moving someone incorrectly can actually cause more injury. At this point, you are only investigating the severity of injuries. Pay close attention for gas leaks and other risks.
— If possible, assist any drivers in moving the vehicles out of the road so they do not pose a risk to other motorists on the roadway. Make sure the vehicles are parked on the shoulder with the emergency lights flashing. This is especially important at night.
— If possible, use any flares, emergency triangles or other devices to alert other motorists of the oncoming crash site.
— Exchange your information with the people involved in the crash as well as the police officers responding to the scene. In the days and weeks following the crash, the police or parties involved in the accident may need your statement for reporting, insurance or legal purposes.
— Use your camera phone to take photographs of the accident scene. This will be helpful for everyone involved. These photographs can be used so insurance claims are paid and vehicles are fixed. Be prepared to provide these photographs to the police or the parties involved in the accident.
These are just helpful hints. Each situation is different and common sense should dictate what a person should do following a car accident. If you have a question, please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). The call is free and there is no fee unless we win your case.
The Michigan car accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. have been assisting individuals injured in a Michigan car crash for over 40 years. We have helped our clients recover tens of millions of dollars.