While out on the road, in a car or on a motorcycle, you observe an accident, what should you do and how can you help?
Almost every traffic accident has witnesses. Witnesses who could help immediately and potentially in the future. As experienced accident and personal injury attorneys we outline the points below to help witnesses understand how they may assure safety and fair outcomes for all involved in a motorcycle or auto accident.
- Pull over to safety and immediately call 911. Don’t become a secondary victim. It is disarming to observe the violence of an accident so immediately make sure you are safe and out of traffic. You cannot help if you are also injured.
- Be prepared to assess the situation for the 911 dispatch person. Review in your mind what you observed. Have in your mind where you are. The location, the street or road names, approximate block address or mile marker, nearest intersections, compass direction. Types and colors of the vehicles involved. And importantly, any possible injuries. 911 will use your information to dispatch appropriate law, safety and medial resources to the needed location.
- Assure the parties involved that you have contacted 911 and someone is on the way. Being involved in an accident is at best a bewildering experience. Letting the victims know that 911 has been called and help is on the way is a comforting reassurance when it is needed the most.
- Do not leave the scene because if you are a witness, your statement to police will be critical. It seems that we are all almost always in a hurry but taking the time to share your observations of an accident with a police office could be one of the best actions of good citizenship we can do.
- If you are able, take photographs and or video at the scene. It is often difficult to remember but many of us have phones on our person that will take excellent photographs and video. If you have a smartphone please remember to take photos or record a video. The images you record could help preserve everyone’s rights and assure fairness. Your images will still be a clear unbiased record long after the shock of observing an accident wears off.
If you have any questions as an accident victim or a witness please feel free to call us.