Some car crash victims want to collect evidence at the accident scene while they are waiting for the police and first responders to arrive.
Although taking pictures and gathering other evidence may help your lawyer build a case for compensation, it is important to remember car crash scenes can be risky. If you choose to get out of your car, you need to watch out for dangerous crash scene hazards.
If you were injured in a collision in Fort Worth, call Anderson & Cummings to discuss filing a claim for compensation. Our Fort Worth auto accident attorneys are here to help at no upfront cost.
Call to schedule your free, no-obligation legal consultation: (817) 920-9000.
Hazardous Conditions at Crash Scenes
Crash scenes can be dangerous, and not just because of passing traffic. After the initial impact, there are multiple hazardous conditions you may encounter at the scene of a crash:
Collisions can create a variety of debris, such as bumpers, headlights or taillights that were knocked off the vehicles involved. This debris could be sharp, putting you at risk for deep cuts or lacerations if you are not careful. Debris could also be a tripping hazard – crash victims could fall and injure themselves by hitting the pavement or falling directly onto crash debris.
Sometimes drivers get angry after a collision, even if they are the one who caused the crash. There may sometimes be a risk of a physical confrontation.
Fires, Fumes or Hazardous Materials
Sometimes crash victims need to exit their vehicles quickly because those vehicles are on fire. The other driver’s vehicle could also catch fire, or in rare cases, explode. Fires put smoke into the air, and potentially noxious fumes that could cause lung injuries.
Crash victims should be especially careful after truck crashes, as trucks could be hauling materials that could create toxic fumes if they catch fire.
Crashes can cause windows and windshields to shatter, leaving broken glass all over the road. Glass can cause severe cuts and lacerations.
Poor Lighting or Lack of Lighting
Sometimes crashes happen in areas without streetlights, or areas where the streetlights are dim or not functioning as well as they should.
Poor lighting can make it difficult to see debris on the road. It can also make it much harder for passing drivers to see you.
Passing traffic is one of the biggest risks at a crash scene, especially if the vehicles involved in the crash are blocking traffic. Unfortunately, drivers do not pay as much attention as they should. They might not slow down as they pass, even though it is the safe thing to do.
Blood or Bodily Fluids
Sometimes car crash scenes are biohazards, as injured victims may suffer significant bleeding. Victims may want to help, but they need to be cautious about touching blood or letting another person’s blood get on their body.
Staying Safe at the Scene of a Crash
It is best to exercise an abundance of caution while at the scene of a car crash. That means you should not assume any crash is no big deal. You should always call 9-1-1 so the police and emergency medical personnel will be dispatched to the scene.
Provide your phone number to the dispatcher in case you get disconnected. Make sure to provide a detailed description of your location, not just the street names. Note any landmarks or other distinguishing features. Sometimes it is hard for the dispatcher to determine the location of someone who is calling on a cellphone.
If the other driver is injured, ask for advice from the dispatcher. They can tell you whether you should leave the person where they are or provide aid. The dispatcher can also instruct you on how you may be able to help.
You can collect evidence at the scene, but it is often best to leave that to an experienced lawyer. However, if you do decide to take pictures or collect other evidence, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Be cautious and check for traffic if you have to quickly exit your vehicle
- Do not walk too close to traffic; people get clipped by passing cars all the time.
- Avoid getting too close to debris or broken glass – watch where you are walking and use a flashlight to avoid stepping on anything that could cause you injury.
- If the other driver starts yelling or seems angry, stay in your car. Do not attempt to engage or making eye contact as this could set an angry person off.
- Stay away from fires, as there could be an explosion and you do not want to breathe in smoke.
- Turn on your hazard lights to help passing drivers see you and your car.
If the situation looks too dangerous, and your vehicle is drivable, it may be best to move your car as far away from traffic as possible. Then you should wait for the police and other first responders to arrive. While collecting evidence may help your lawyer, it is best not to put yourself in harm’s way.
Anderson & Cummings Helps Crash Victims. Call To Learn More
One of the most important things you need to do after getting injured by another driver is call a lawyer. The legal process is complicated for crash victims who are not represented by a lawyer. Insurance companies know how to take advantage of people who are injured and in need of compensation.
When you hire a lawyer, he or she can manage each step of the process, including investigating the crash and negotiating with the insurance company.
Call us to discuss how we may be able to help: (817) 920-9000.