What to Do After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be traumatic experiences. Victims often go into shock. While physical shock can be immediate and life-threatening, psychological shock may not show up until hours, days or weeks after the incident. In either case, shock and trauma can take a serious toll on victims’ lives.
If you are the victim of a car accident, it’s important to have an experienced legal representative who understands what you’re going through. West Bloomfield car accident lawyer Marc J. Shefman is that person. He has decades of experience representing Michigan car accident victims.
Whether a small fender-bender, or a serious crash, knowing what to do is important when it comes to matters of the law. Based on his knowledge as a Michigan car accident attorney, Marc J. Shefman has outlined some of the most important steps to take if you have been involved in a car accident.
Although this should be obvious, if you have a Michigan car accident it is important not to leave the scene. Michigan Law demands that a motorist stop when involved in an accident. It does not matter if the accident involves a person, a car – moving or parked – or property. Driving away from any accident can result in a hit-and-run charge on your driving record.
Avoid hit-and-run penalties. The punishment levied for these charges is severe. The extent of the damage or injuries caused by the accident will determine the level of penalties. Hefty fines or jail time, possibly both, are the consequences for leaving the scene of an accident. In addition, you could also lose your driving privileges. A Michigan car accident lawyer can provide more information.
Assess the Situation
Depending on the severity of the accident, you will need a moment to collect your thoughts. Are you uninjured? What about any passengers with you? How about the people in the other car, if another car is involved? If others are hurt and you are able, you must give reasonable assistance to the injured according to Michigan car accident law.
You may need to call an ambulance. If you know how to give first aid, you should do what you can. Don’t move anyone until help arrives since you could make a bad situation worse. However, if the circumstances warrant the person or persons being moved, such as in the case of fire or leaking fuel, it is better to move them than take the risk of an even greater tragedy.
Call for Help
Call for help immediately if you have access to a phone. Flag down another motorist if you don’t and ask them to call. If you make the call, be specific about the severity of the car accident. Let the operator know exactly where you are located and whether emergency vehicles such as an ambulance or fire engine are needed.
If possible, you need to collect information from the other driver at the scene of the accident. Laws governing confidentiality make it very difficult to get information about another driver from the DMV. Both drivers need to show each other their vehicle registration and driver licenses. Additional information you will want to get from the other driver includes:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number and expiration date
- Name of the person’s insurance company
- Other vehicle VIN number, make, model, and year
- Other vehicle license plate number and expiration date
If the other driver is not the owner of the car, be sure to get the owner’s information.
Get contact information for any passengers and witnesses to the accident. Get as much information as you can. If possible, get the license plate number of anyone who was at the scene of the accident and drives off. You also want the name and badge number of the police officer who checks out the collision. This person should be able to tell you when and where to get a copy of the accident report. Collecting and preserving this information will significantly aid your Michigan car accident lawyer when formulating your case.
Report the Accident
If you made a call to 911 to report the accident, the police will be there to get all the details they need to find out what happened. They will let you know what else you need to do. You have to report the accident to your insurance company. You may need to fill out forms to submit for insurance claims.
Marc J. Shefman – Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
Marc J. Shefman is a Michigan car accident lawyer serving the Metro Detroit area including Genesee and Washtenaw Counties as well as Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair, Macomb, and Wayne Counties. Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Call (248) 298-3003 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation to learn more about how Marc Shefman can help with your Michigan car accident claim.