What Should I Do if I am a Witness to an Accident?
If you witness a car accident, park your car in a safe place and call 911 before attempting to assist victims or giving a statement to the police.
Most car accidents do not result in civil lawsuits or criminal charges, but statements from witnesses who were not in either of the vehicles involved in the collision can still be useful to insurance companies when apportioning fault for the accident and determining appropriate settlement amounts for the parties who filed claims in connection to the accident. Even though it may be your instinct to mind your own business and not get involved in other people’s problems, your witness statement in a car accident can help all the parties involved resolve their claims more quickly. It is important, though, not to get more deeply involved in the situation. If you try to be a hero or an amateur judge, you will make the situation worse. To find out more about the role of eyewitnesses in car accident lawsuits, contact a Murrietacar accident lawyer.
Do Not Endanger Your Physical Safety
If you are drivingwhen you witness a car accident, find a safe place to stop your car before you render assistance. For example, park your car on the shoulder of the road or in a parking lot. Make sure that you are far enough away from the accident that broken glass, oil leaks, or road debris will not create hazards to your car.
How to Help People Injured in Car Accidents
Before you approach the scene of the accident, call 911. The people directly involved in the accident might not have called 911 yet, and the sooner someone calls, the sooner first responders can attend to injured people. Approach the vehicles when it is safe to do so and ask the people if they are injured. If an injured person is stuck inside a car, do not try to get them out of the car unless the car is on fire or is about to catch fire. The paramedics have the necessary equipment to stabilize injured people for transport to the hospital, but you do not, and you will probably make their injuries worse if you try to move them. The only time you should move an injured person is when you would be putting them in more danger by not moving them.
Giving Statements About What You Witnessed
If you are present when police arrive, give them a statement if they ask. If they do not ask, simply give your contact information to the drivers involved in the accident. The insurance companies will call you if they need to know about what you witnessed.
Contact a Murrieta Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer can help you support your car accident claim with eyewitness testimony and other types of evidence. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to set up a consultation about your car accident case.