Imagine you are driving down the highway, heading home after a long day of work. The radio is on, the windows are down, and you are enjoying the ride. Suddenly, cars near you are involved in an accident, and you have witnessed everything. What do you do next? Being the witness to an accident can be horrifying. By law, there is no obligation for someone to stop after witnessing an accident and offer help. However, many people are concerned for the people involved in the accident and choose to stop. Here is what you need to do if you witness a car accident.
Keep Yourself SafeIf you decide to stop your vehicle at the scene of an accident, it is imperative that you maintain your own safety first. You cannot be helpful to anyone if you are also injured. Use the proper traffic signals to indicate you are pulling over, put your hazard lights on, and maintain a safe distance from the scene of the accident.
Call 911After making sure that you yourself are safe, it is time to dial 911. There is no way to know for sure who has or has not called for emergency services help. You should still call 911 and report the accident even if you suspect that someone else already has. The 911 operator will ask for the location of the accident, how many individuals might be involved in the accident, and other pertinent questions.
Help Victims if PossibleAgain, there is no legal obligation to lend a helping hand to the victims of an accident. By no means should you provide medical treatment or advice, but instead look for other ways to help. If a victim is stuck in a vehicle or injured in any way, it is important to try not to move him or her. Instead offer comfort and let the accident victim know that professional help is on the way. You might also be helpful in stabilizing a vehicle in the event it is unstable. It is important to keep a level head when thinking about helping so that you remain safe and minimize any additional injuries.
Talk to the PoliceOnce the police are on the scene of the accident, they will want to speak with any witnesses to the accident. Provide the police with as many accurate details as possible. Be honest and thorough in describing the events you witnessed. You may be asked for your contact information in the event that either party to the accident, or their insurance companies, have additional questions about what you witnessed. If you have witnessed a car accident, speaking with a car accident personal injury attorney can be helpful. An attorney can help you determine if there are additional steps or actions that need to be taken in the wake of the car accident. The personal injury attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates are here to help you, whether you were the victim of an accident or the witness to the accident. Contact us today for a consultation.