Do’s and Don’ts When You Witness a Car Accident

There is a lot of information out there on the important steps you should take after you’ve been in an automobile accident, but do you know what to do if you’ve been a witness to a car crash? Do you know what you’re obligated to do as a responsible citizen or by law?

There are a few steps you can take to help the victims in a car accident, if you choose to do so. Most states don’t require you to help by law, but going the extra mile for someone when they’ve been in an accident can really help them out. Keep reading to find out what to do and what not to do.

Don’t Put Yourself in Harm’s Way

Just seeing a car accident happen is extremely upsetting and stressful. Your first reaction might be to stop and get out to help, but never put yourself in danger by doing so. Try to remain calm. Don’t panic. You should only get out to help if it’s absolutely safe for you and the other people involved.

Do Call 911

Getting in an accident can put a person into shock, especially if they have been injured during the crash. They might not be able to call for help, so if you can call 911 and get the emergency services on their way that could be extremely helpful. 

Be sure to provide the 911 operator with the location of the accident, how many vehicles were involved and if there are any injuries. Reporting an accident, especially if there have been injuries, could help to save lives by getting people the help they need.

Take Photos and Videos of the Scene

It’s very helpful to insurance companies and lawyers to have photos and videos of the scene of an accident. However, many times the victims are unable to get the evidence on their own due to injuries or because they are in shock from the accident.

If you can help gather photo evidence, it can be used later by the victims for their compensation case. A Bay Area auto injury attorney will use this evidence to fight for payment of medical bills, lost wages, and personal property loss. 

Provide Information to the Police

If you’ve been a witness to a car crash or you helped in any way, even if you didn’t see the accident happen, the police might ask you to give a report for their records. They might ask you what you saw and what you did to help.

Be sure to give them an exact recount of what you witnessed, what steps you took to help the people involved, and provide them with any evidence you helped to gather. Provide them with your contact information as well, in case they need to follow up with additional questions.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Help

Getting into a car accident can be tremendously scary for those involved and the people who watch it happen. Even though you are not required to help, it can make a world of difference to those that are suffering such a traumatic event. Knowing what to do and what not to do can save lives.