In the aftermath of a car accident, you may notice that someone has been seriously injured. If you are on the scene and rendering help to an injured person, here is what you should know about whether or not you should move someone who’s been injured in a car accident.
Car accidents can be traumatic. In the blink of an eye, 4,000+ pounds of steel can collide, leading to serious property damage and catastrophic injuries. If you are involved in an accident or witness one, you may be unsure of what to do as you wait for authorities to arrive. Here is an overview about what you should know about rendering aid at the scene of an accident and moving injured car accident victims.
The very first thing that you should do if you witness a car accident–particularly a serious car accident where someone is injured–is to call 9-1-1. While you are on the call, provide the operator with as many details as you can, including reports of any injuries. On the call, the operator will provide you with information about what types of first aid to render. This can be nerve-wracking; try to take deep breaths and stay calm and follow the operator’s instructions.
Do Not Move the Injured Person
If a person is injured in a car accident and they are in a location that seems dangerous, such as the middle of the road, it may seem very reasonable to move them. However, it is much better to cordon off the area and divert traffic rather than move the injured person if injuries are serious. In some cases, moving an injured person can exacerbate injuries, especially when those injuries are serious.
For example, the Mayo Clinic recommends keeping a person who has suffered a severe head injury still until medical help arrives and avoiding moving a person and moving the person’s neck. In fact, if the person is wearing a helmet–for example, if the injured person was riding a bike at the time of crash–you should not remove it.
The same is true for a spinal cord injury: you should not move the affected person. Moving someone with a spinal cord injury could result in permanent paralysis. If you need to perform CPR on a person who possibly has a severe injury, such as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, do so without moving the head or neck.
Get Help if You Have Been Seriously Injured in a Car Accident
If you witness a serious car accident, be sure to stay on the scene until the police arrive and, when they do, to provide a thorough report of what you saw.
If you are someone who was seriously injured in a car accident, your first step should be seeking medical care. After that, reach out to an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer who can represent you in your claim for damages. At the office of Lomurro Law, we can help. Please call our law firm directly today or send us a message for your free consultation.