Dangerous Hazards You May Encounter at a Crash Scene
After a car crash, accident victims may be unsure what to do next. There is often confusion, especially in the first few minutes and before help arrives. What many may not know is that in addition to possible physical injuries from the initial impact, there may be other serious hazards at a crash scene as well.
PKSD Law discusses these potential hazards after a collision and precautions that may help you avoid further injury until first responders arrive.
If you have been injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver, we are prepared to help. Contact our law offices 24/7 to schedule a free case review and learn what legal options you may have for seeking compensation. Our Milwaukee car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling a variety of car crash cases, and we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients.
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Common Hazards That May Be Present After a Crash
Injuries often happen in car crashes. However, there are other lesser-known dangers at a crash scene that can also cause serious, even fatal harm.
These dangerous hazards you may encounter at a crash scene include:
- Aggressive behavior from the other driver: This risk is especially high if the crash was due to road rage. Do not engage with these individuals and remain in your car until help arrives.
- Traffic flowing around the crash scene: Not all drivers will slow down, especially if they are distracted or impaired. If your hazard lights are working, put them on. Do not attempt to exit your vehicle unless it is unsafe to stay in it – or without first checking for oncoming traffic. If you must exit your vehicle, continue to be mindful of traffic while you move to safety. Do not attempt to walk across busy highways.
- Poor lighting after a crash: If the crash occurs at low light or in a rural area with no streetlights, you may be unable to see a potential hazard. Take precautions to move slowly inside your vehicle – or if you have to exit it – to avoid catching clothing or skin on jagged metal or slipping on broken glass. Keep in mind that additional debris or oil spills may surround the vehicle and use your cellphone or a flashlight to help light your way.
- Ragged metal and broken glass: Lacerations are a risk for both accident victims and those trying to help.
- Exposure to blood or bodily fluids of other injured victims: If checking on others’ injuries in a crash, it is important to avoid contact to protect yourself from contamination through bodily fluids.
- Exposure to poisonous fumes, smoke, car fires or explosions: Noxious fumes and car fires make it unsafe to remain in your vehicle. When you exit, continue to be mindful of your surroundings and any potential traffic. Look around for a safe area and remove yourself as far from the vehicle as possible.
How to Protect Yourself at a Crash Scene
Making any decisions in the first moments after a crash is difficult. Most people experience some level of shock and may also have sustained some type of physical injury.
It is important that you try to remain calm. Contact 9-1-1 immediately to get help and provide as much of the following details as possible:
- The location of the crash: If you know how to send a GPS notification to the dispatcher from your phone, this can help first responders to find you sooner. You could also provide the most recent mile marker if you know it or give general information about your route and any landmarks you see around you.
- Your phone number: Make sure you provide the number you are calling from.
- The number of vehicles involved in the crash: Include information about any vehicles that are in the line of traffic.
- Whether others appeared to be injured: Remember to include yourself – and whether any injuries appear to be serious.
Ask the dispatcher for further instructions. Do not attempt to move injured victims, unless their lives are in immediate danger. For example, if there is a car fire.
Keeping an up-to-date basic first aid kit in your car may be useful, such as if you need to apply pressure to a wound while waiting for help. It is also a good idea to keep other emergency items in your vehicle, such as a reflective vest, bottled water, a working flashlight and a fully charged cellphone.
Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Legal Help
PKSD Law has helped many injured victims throughout Wisconsin, including those injured in car crashes, recover compensation for their injuries and other damages.
If you suffered harm because of another driver’s reckless behavior or negligent actions, we are ready to help. We have decades of experience and a proven track record. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to holding at-fault parties accountable for the damages they caused.
Our law offices are standing by and ready to take your call 24/7. We do not charge for your initial case review – and there is no obligation after this meeting to retain our services. If we do represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we handle your case. We only receive payment for our services if we get compensation for you.
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