If you have witnessed a car accident, you may be traumatized by what you have seen. Indeed, a car accident that involves destruction and several injuries is not an easy thing to witness. However, if you are a witness and wish to help the victim, there are a few steps you can take. How you act following the accident will depend on the severity of the crash and the injuries.
Unfortunately, most witnesses do not know what to do after a car accident and hope that someone else will call the police. However, you should not make the same errors. Instead of waiting for other people to take action, you should call 911 immediately. If your loved one has been injured, speak to an attorney to get answers to personal injury questions.
Steps to take following the witnessing of a car accident
- Make sure you are safe.
Before you move forward to help other people, ensure that you are safe. If you were driving when you witnessed the accident, stop your vehicle at the safe side of the road and at least 100 feet from the scene. Make sure there is enough distance between you and the accident site to avoid injuring yourself with broken glass, flames, or leaked fuel.
- Call 911.
In the case of an emergency, you should not wait for someone else to call for help. As soon as you witness the accident, call 911 and wait for the authorities to arrive. Your witness statements will be helpful when they investigate the accident scene. Regardless of whether the accident seems bad, you should call for help if the parties involved have been injured.
- Check on the victims.
If it is safe for you to do so, walk over to the accident scene and help the victims get out of it safely. Check whether they require help and ask if you can do something for them. While this can be an emotionally demanding time, remember that you should be helping the parties instead of judging who was at fault and who was innocent.
- Take some photos.
Taking photos and videos of the accident scene using your smartphone is one of the most helpful things you can do. These can serve as evidence later, but victims usually cannot take photos right after the accident. The victims, insurance company, or law enforcement may later ask you for this digital evidence.