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What to Do if You Witness a Car Accident?

April 25, 2024

With nearly 2.9 million cars, trucks, and motorcycles on Michigan roads, the chances are fairly good that you will come upon an accident in your travels. Knowing what to do if you see an auto accident can help save lives. Remember these tips if you encounter a collision:

  1. Stay Calm. If you’re unable to render first aid, you can still be of assistance at the scene of an accident. Park your vehicle a safe distance from the accident and turn on your hazard lights. Keep cool and call 911. You can help the emergency services dispatcher send first responders by providing an accurate assessment of the scene and accurate details. Without putting yourself in danger, provide the dispatcher with as much information as you can about the situation. This will be a much more effective 911 call that will get accident victims help as quickly as possible. Don’t assume another bystander has already phoned 911. By staying calm and focused, you can help ensure your own safety and make sound decisions.
  2. Assess the Scene. Although no one is thought to be seriously injured, your detailed assessment of the scene may prove quite helpful to investigators in the aftermath. Your observations of the accident may shine some light on otherwise unanswered questions in the event that there’s a dispute over the way in which the accident happened.
  3. Take Care of Your Own Safety. Remember that auto crashes result in leaking vehicle fluids which can be flammable. There will also be broken glass and sharp metal edges. These types of hazards at the scene of an accident can expose you to danger.
  4. Refrain from Confronting Those Involved. It may be tempting to confront someone who you think is at fault, like an intoxicated driver or a motorist who attempts to flee the scene. That’s not your job, so leave this to law enforcement professionals.
  5. Help First Responders if Asked. The officers responding to the car accident may ask you for a statement and a way to contact you. Be helpful and honest with your account. Frequently witnesses are asked for information from claims adjuster and investigators from insurance companies.
  6. Get Treatment if You Need It. Seeing an auto accident can be a traumatizing experience even for bystanders and witnesses. Seek help for yourself if you’re reliving the accident or are stressed from the incident.

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The way you respond in the critical first few minutes after a motor vehicle accident can have a significant effect on both the victims and the first responders. Rember these tips.

For a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids and Detroit, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs.