Car accident claims sometimes hinge upon eyewitness testimony. If you happen to witness a car accident, there are some basics that can help you be a valuable witness while also protecting your own safety. Car accidents are stressful situations that sometimes escalate into dangerous situations, so carefully assess the circumstances and proceed with caution.
What to Do First
If you witness a car accident as a motorist, you are not required to stop, and you should not do so unless you can do it safely. If you can potentially provide aid or important information, stopping is probably the right thing to do. If you do stop, the following protocol applies:
- Park as safely as you possibly can – pulling out of the line of traffic.
- Check to see if anyone is injured, and if so, call 911 (911 will notify the police for you).
- Provide any aid that you are capable of providing until emergency medical help arrives.
Every car accident is unique to its own circumstances, but these steps are universally helpful.
Eyewitness Dos and Don'ts
If you witness an accident, there are some important dos and don’ts you should take into careful consideration, including:
- Do put your own safety first. The last thing you want to do in an accident situation is be harmed yourself, so assess the safety of the situation at hand before plunging ahead. Assess for things like oncoming traffic, broken glass, torn metal, and more. Also, do what you can to keep this very stressful situation in check by aiding in de-escalation however possible.
- Do not offer medical assistance unless it is immediately necessary. Often the EMTs will arrive within a minute or two, and some amateur medical assistance can be more harmful than helpful.
- Do not worry about your own liability. The State of Texas has Good Samaritan laws in place for this very reason. If you believe a victim needs your help – as long as you provide the aid in good faith – you should feel confident in your decision and should not have to concern yourself with any liability on your own part.
- Do offer other forms of assistance as applicable. Perhaps an accident victim needs reassurance, a phone to notify the insurance company, and/or a camera to document the accident scene. Feel free to provide whatever aid you can. Further, consider taking a proactive role and snapping pictures and videos that accurately capture the scene.
- Do provide the police with an accurate accounting of exactly what you saw and how the accident transpired – to the best of your ability.
Injured by Another Driver? Consult with a Killeen Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured by another driver, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable personal injury attorney who is committed to aggressively advocating for the compensation you need to reach your fullest recovery. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.