As you’re driving down the road, the last thing you expect is to witness a car accident. Unfortunately, more than 3,700 people lose their lives every day as a result of accident-related injuries. The first instinct of car accident witnesses is often to provide help to the victims. Some people, however, are fearful to act upon their natural instincts and shy away from offering help to those who need it most because they don’t want to assume liability for that person’s injuries.
If you regularly drive a motor vehicle, it is important to know what you should do if you witness a car accident and where liability falls if you decide to help.
Causing Additional Injuries to Accident Victims
One of the biggest risks involved with helping car accident victims is the risk of causing additional injuries. Common car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
If you are not trained in first aid or how to appropriately assist someone who might have injuries, it is highly likely that you could cause additional damage. In some cases, attempting to assist an accident victim who has serious injuries could cause paralyzation or death.
Understanding The Good Samaritan Law in Michigan
The Good Samaritan Law in Michigan protects trained medical professionals from being sued if the assistance they provide causes harm to an already injured individual. This law specifically protects:
- RNs, LPNs
- Physicians assistants
- Other medical professionals
The law does not protect the aforementioned professionals when they act out of willful negligence. Also, because this law does not protect regular citizens, it is important for you to carefully assess the situation.
What to Do If You Witness an Accident
Any time you witness an accident, it is imperative to follow the appropriate procedures and take the right steps to provide the victim with professional medical attention. As soon as you witness an accident you should take the following steps:
- Call 911 and notify them of the location and nature of the accident
- Approach the accident and assess the area and people involved for injuries
- Comfort the injured individuals while you wait for medical attention
- Provide the police with a clear report of what you saw
One of the most important things to do if you witness an accident is to make sure you are out of harm’s way before you provide any help.
Knowledgeable Michigan Attorneys Represent You
If you have witnessed a car accident or have been involved in a car accident, you need the help of a trusted attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can work to protect you in the case that negligence charges are brought against you.
The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center specialize in representing clients injured in auto accidents. With more than 20 years of experience and more than $200 million worth of legal cases, we consider it our job to fight for the residents of Michigan. Our team is here to answer any questions and offer advice on the necessary steps to receive compensation after you were injured in an accident or to protect yourself after assisting an accident victim. Call 1-800-961-8477 or contact us online for your free consultation.