Michigan Lawyer Aaron Larson

Car Accidents in Michigan

Unfortunately, at some time in our lives, most of us will experience an auto accident. When you are in a car accident, even if you are not injured, there are certain things that you should and should not do.


What To Do After An Accident

If you are involved in an accident involving injury, or substantial damage to property, stay at the accident scene until the police tell you that you can leave. If you have any question about whether the damage caused by the accident is substantial, err on the side of caution -- when the law requires you to wait for the police, leaving the scene of an accident can result in criminal charges and driver's license sanctions.

If somebody is injured, and you are trained in administering first aid, try to help. Do not move an injured person. Have somebody call the police to report the accident. The person who contacts the police should tell the police that people are injured, if possible also providing the number of injured persons, so that enough emergency personnel respond to the scene. If you are on the roadway, turn your flashers on, or use flares to warn approaching traffic of the accident.

Information to Obtain

In any accident, you should obtain the following:

  • Information about the other driver: Name, address, driver's license number, insurance information, and license plate number.
  • Information about witnesses: Name, address, and telephone number.
  • Information about police officers: Ask the police officer's who investigate the traffic scene to provide you with a business card, with the "incident number," so that you can obtain an accident report. Most officers will provide this information to you, even if you don't ask.
  • Information about the location: You may wish to take notes about where the accident occurred, the road conditions, speed limits, traffic control devices, the weather, and the lighting.
  • Information about the accident: You may wish to take notes about how the accident occurred, such as the direction of travel of the vehicles involved in the accident, and what the cars were doing at the time of the collision.

Be aware that if litigation results from the accident, you may have to share your notes with somebody that you are suing, or somebody who is suing you.

Even if you think you are at fault, do not admit liability. There may be factors which you don't know, which played a role in the accident, and it may turn out that the other driver was more at fault than you.

Do not make statements to anybody at the accident scene, except for the police. When you speak to the police, tell them only the facts of what happened. Let the officers draw their own conclusion from the facts.

Get Medical Treatment

See a doctor. Michigan's no fault insurance law covers medical treatment necessitated by a car accident. If you don't seek medical attention, you may find that you are unable to obtain "no fault" benefits for your injuries -- your insurance company may argue that your injuries arose from something that happened after the accident. If you sue the other driver for injuries you suffered, you may similarly find that the other driver argues that your injuries were not related to the accident. Also, the "adrenaline rush" from the accident can mask your symptoms -- a physical examination may reveal an injury that you do not yet feel.

Tell the doctor if you have any loss of memory, headache, blood or fluid in your ear, dizziness, tinnitis (ringing in the ears), disorientation, nausea, confusion, or any other unusual physical or mental feeling. Many people hit their heads, or suffer brain injuries in car accidents, and don't realize that they are injured -- it is best to be safe, by reporting your symptoms so that the doctor can rule out the possibility of a concussion or brain injury.

Truck Accidents

There are special rules which govern the operation of large commercial trucks (such as semi tractor-trailers and "eighteen wheelers"), which are meant to lower the risk of truck accidents by keeping trucks in good working order and keeping tired drivers off of the road. As accidents involving these extremely large vehicles have a much greater chance of causing serious injury, companies which operate trucking fleets know very well that violation of the safety rules can carry very serious consequences. A lawyer can help you evaluate whether rule violations contributed to a truck accident, and how that may affect liability.

Your No Fault Rights

If you are injured in a car accident, please be sure to learn your rights under Michigan's "No Fault" law, including your right to medical care, lost wages, and rehabilitative services under "First Party" No Fault law, and your right to sue for damages under "Third Party" No Fault law.


The information contained in this web site is provided as a public service. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not legal advice or legal representation and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Because of the rapidly changing nature of the law, we make no warranty or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein or at other sites to which we link. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific facts and circumstances of your case, information cannot substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

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Mr. Larson does not seek clients from outside of the state of Michigan. If you require legal advice, please contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state. We will be happy to assist you, if possible.