Unless you are a police officer or other public official with a duty to act, you do not legally have to do anything if you see a car accident. However, there may be instances in which you want to help at the scene but do not know how. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker our first priority is that everyone involved – including witnesses – stays safe. Read the three things you can do if you see an accident. If you are injured, even as a witness, contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
1. Call for Emergency Services
The first thing to do is to call 911 for emergency assistance. You should provide as much information as possible about the accident. This should include the location but also factors such as any potential threats the victims and / or rescue personnel may experience. If you see that someone else is on the phone, do not assume that they are calling for emergency help. Even if you know they are calling 911, you may still call yourself to assure that all necessary information is provided to emergency personnel.
2. Ensure That You Are Safe
Once again, it is essential that you stay safe yourself. If the accident happens in front of you, pull over in the nearest safe location you can find. Put on your hazard lights if you are not in a parking space. Do not stop directly next to the accident or behind it. Doing so could result in you being hit by other drivers who are not paying attention to the accident scene. If there is fire or chemicals spilled, stay a good distance away. You do want to help but you cannot do so if you yourself end up injured.
3. Check on the Victims of the Accident
If you believe that it is safe to approach the victims then you can check to see if they are safe. Do not move the victims unless they are in direct danger because moving them could potentially injure them further. That said, if there is a fire, the vehicle is in water, or there are other reasons that the person must be moved in order to survive, then you should move them.
Being a Good Witness Can Be as Simple as Standing by to Take Note of What Happened
If you do not want to get directly involved but you do want to be helpful, simply waiting for the police to show up and then giving them information can be extremely helpful. In the event that the parties involved to not agree on who was at fault, being able to provide the personal injury attorney with details on what you saw can be extremely helpful. If you are injured in the accident, please contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now so we can asses your options.