Witnessing a car accident can be a shocking experience, but it is crucial to remember: your swift actions can save lives and you may be able to provide crucial information to help the injured person seek compensation. You can learn more about what you should do after you witness an accident below.
If you have been injured in an accident, the Cincinnati car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are here to assist you. Request a free, no obligation consultation today and our attorneys will review your claim and answer any legal question you may have. We can also question witnesses to find out what they know and how their knowledge can help strengthen your case.
Ensure Your Safety
After witnessing an accident, your safety should be your top priority. Be aware that there are no laws that require you to stop at the scene of an accident you are not involved in. If you feel it is too dangerous to stop because of traffic or other factors, do not stop.
However, if you do choose to stop, make sure you stop in a safe spot. As a pedestrian, you need to stay on the sidewalk or away from traffic. If you were driving, make sure your vehicle is pulled off to the side of the road and out of the way of emergency response vehicles that will arrive. Turn on your hazard lights and place hazard markers if you have them so others can easily see your position.
Unless you are rendering aid to someone who was injured in an accident, it is critical that you stay at a safe distance. Accident scenes are often dangerous and unstable – do not put yourself in harm’s way if it is not necessary.
Immediately after witnessing an accident, you should call 9-1-1 so first responders can be dispatched to the accident scene. Provide as many details as you can. Give specific details on the location, such as mile markers on highways, nearby exits and landmarks. Describe the nature of the accident, any victims and their condition as best you know.
Leave medical care to first responders unless it is absolutely necessary for you to step in. Most situations where first aid is needed can wait the few minutes until emergency medical personnel arrive. Do not move an injured person as doing so could make injuries worse.
Check On The Victims
If you check on victims before emergency responders have arrived, be sure to keep calm. Let victims know that help is coming. Tell victims not to move, as doing so could worsen their injuries.
Even if you are not providing medical assistance, you can still be of help to victims after an accident. A comforting word goes a long way after a traumatic incident. You may offer an accident victim your cellphone to contact family members if his or hers was lost or damaged in the crash or the individual does not have one.
Victims often feel panicked after an accident and may even be confrontational. Keep calm and urge them to do so as well. If a driver is attempting to leave the accident scene before police arrive, remind him or her that there are legal consequences for fleeing an accident scene and if possible, take note of his or her vehicle and license plate number.
Give A Statement And Provide Contact Information
When law enforcement arrives, be cooperative and provide a statement if asked. You should give the police all details you know about the accident, including what you saw before, during and after the collision took place. Give your name and contact details to the officer, as well as the accident victims – their insurance companies or attorneys may wish to ask you questions later about what you saw.
Contact O’connor, Acciani & Levy Right Away
If you were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Cincinnati car accident lawyers help victims hold at-fault parties responsible while pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to protect your rights and learn your legal options. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.