Witnessing a car accident can be unnerving and frightening. While you are not required by law to stop if you have witnessed an accident, the severity of the crash may help determine your actions. Here are some general tips to keep in mind if you witness a car accident.
1. Make Sure You Are Safe
If you are driving and see a car wreck, be extremely careful when pulling over because you do not want to cause another accident. Make sure to leave enough distance when you pull over for emergency vehicles and also make sure to put on your hazard lights.
2. Call 911
You should call 911 after witnessing an accident. Do not assume that another witness has contacted emergency services because they all may assume someone else has done so, wasting perhaps precious time for injured victims. Let the 911 operator know the location of the accident, the number of people involved, and other relevant details pertaining to the car accident.
3. Stay Calm and Check on the Victims
As unnerving and scary as witnessing an accident may be, it is important to remain calm and collected under pressure. When you have assessed that it is not dangerous to approach the crash scene, check on the condition of the victims. Unless there is a risk of the vehicle catching on fire, or you are a trained EMT or emergency responder, do not move an injured person. Moving someone that is injured could cause even worse injuries. Leave the medical treatment to professionals and try to remain calm and provide reassurance to victims that emergency personnel are on their way to help.
4. Give a Statement
When emergency vehicles and police arrive at the accident site, give the police a statement. Make sure, to be honest, and factual and relay the relevant facts of the accident as you have witnessed them. Also make sure to provide your contact information and be available for comment in case you are contacted as a witness by police, legal or medical authorities, or insurance agents.
5. Continue to Drive Safely
Witnessing an accident can be frightening, but it is important to continue your drive by focusing on the road and not being distracted.
While being a witness to a car accident can be time consuming and inconvenient, it can also be of tremendous help to calm victims and be of assistance when making a statement.
Burnetti, P.A.’s car crash lawyers help victims who are injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. If you have sustained injuries in an accident, you should know your rights under Florida law. For more information, call 1-888-BURNETTI or initiate an online chat at Burnetti.