What To Do After Witnessing A Car Accident
Witnessing a car accident can be a frightening experience. It is important to stay calm, cool and collected throughout this moment. Car accidents injure, disable, or kill more than 2.35 million people a year in the United States, and cost more than $230 billion annually, according to the Association for safe International Road Travel. Whether you are a driver on the road or a bystander, if you do end up witnessing a serious road accident there are a few things you can do to help those affected.
Evaluate the situation
First and foremost evaluate the situation. If you’re driving make sure you pull over at least 100 yards along with your hazard lights to prevent blocking any traffic, leakage or debris. If you are a pedestrian, keep a safe distance as there could be a risk of a fire.
Depending on the severity of the accident determines whether you need medical attention or not. If the accident seems anything more than minor, call 911 so emergency medical services can be sent. Calling for medical service will automatically bring law enforcements. If no one seems injured or the accident seems minor, call the non-emergency number for your local law enforcement agency.
Check on the Victims
After ensuring the scene is safe to approach, you can check on the condition of the crash victims to make sure they’re okay. While this moment might be extremely stressful for victims it is important not to judge whose fault it is. You should never admit to fault at the scene. In addition, if you can tell that people have been seriously hurt, do be advised not to attempt to move or treat the victims. Unless there’s a risk of the car catching on fire, do not under any circumstance move an injured person. Despite your best intentions, you could actually end up making the injuries worse.
Stabilizing the vehicle (if possible)
When the accident is minor and vehicle is left running warn the driver to put the impacted vehicle in park and turn off the ignition. This will reduce the risk of fire since the accident most likely caused oil, and other fluids to leak. If you can and it’s safe, offer to move the car out of harms way. If it’s not possible and you have the correct equipment set up flare or traffic triangle to warn other drivers.
Give a statement
After police arrive you might be asked to recall any facts or just your contact information. In the following days you may be contacted by legal or medical authorities to go over your statement.
Accidents are always upsetting and stressful. It is best to be honest and report anything to the best of your ability. Remember only exit your vehicle if to render aid only if it’s safe to do so. Your calm and collected assistance can make a huge difference in the outcome.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash or truck accident and are in need of an accident attorney in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Ft. Myers or any other city in Florida –remember after 911, call 411! 1-800-411-PAIN can put you in touch with an experienced, aggressive network attorney who will fight for your rights and get the maximum compensation you deserve. Don’t forget to follow 411 PAIN on Twitter (@411PAIN), keep up with the conversation at #411PAIN and check out the 411 PAIN event gallery 411painevents.com!