Reasons to Call 911 After Witnessing an Accident

Jan. 15th, 2018   /  

Reasons to Call 911 After Witnessing an Accident

As our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, many drivers’ eyes are naturally drawn to the scene of an auto accident. For whatever reason, people can’t seem to look away from car crash sites. Unfortunately, while passers-by are often fixated on auto accident scenes, they often do not take the next logical step: calling the police to report the accident. As we will explore in this blog post, whether or not you witnessed the actual car crash or just came upon the scene after the accident had taken place, calling 911 to report the accident is an important step to take. Read our latest blog for the Reasons to Call 911 After Witnessing an Accident.

To Help the Injured

First and foremost, calling 911 to report the scene of an accident could wind up saving somebody’s life. Never assume that somebody else already called the police or that the presence of other witnesses means that help has already been summoned; if everyone operated under that faulty line of thinking—known clinically as the “bystander effect”—nobody would wind up calling the police in emergency situations.  Aside from other witnesses or bystanders who may not be contacted by emergency services, individuals directly involved in the auto accident—the victims—may be unable to call the police for a variety of reasons: they may be in a state of shock, unaware of what just took place; they may be injured such that reaching or their cell phone is impossible; they may not have a cell phone with them, etc. As our car crash lawyers know, in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, time is of the essence. The longer it takes emergency services to arrive on the scene, the higher the chances that the victim will succumb to serious injuries.

To Provide Accounts and Perspective

As our accident injury team noted above, whether you actually saw the crash take place or happened to come upon the scene of the accident after the cars had already crashed, the perspective and account you provide to police can be vitally important, and in more ways than one.

Let’s tackle the first situation—the one in which you actually witness the accident—first. If you witnessed a car crash, the details you provide to the police or traffic investigators can be crucial, and ultimately wind up in the hands of the parties and insurance companies. As our experienced auto accident lawyers know, without third-party witnesses, and without forensic investigation,  disputes arising because of an auto accident are often of a “he said, she said” nature. Your neutral, objective recollection of what happened in a car accident (including who had a green light, who was driving in what direction, who appeared to be speeding, etc.) can be vital in supporting one theory—and case—over another. The existence of your recollection, as relayed to police and included in the police report, can bolster the demand for compensation or a claim of damages by the victim in the case.

Many of the benefits of you reporting what you saw also apply to the situation in which you come upon an accident after the crash has already taken place. The significance of recollection of a witness who did not actually see the crash is often overlooked, the (mistaken) theory being that if someone did not witness the accident, they cannot provide helpful comments as to liability. As our car crash attorneys at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, while someone who did not witness the crash cannot testify as to who hit whom, etc., they can provide details that can assist investigators in putting together pieces of the puzzle. For instance, a witness might be able to provide police with facts such as that Car 1 wound up parallel to the stop sign, facing the coffee shop, with its right door banged-up, while Car 2 wound up on the sidewalk with its left headlight smashed. These bits of information, while perhaps meaningless to a layperson, can help investigators piece together what happened in the crash.

As we have explored in this blog post, calling 911 when you see a car accident is often a good idea and can prove helpful in many ways, both in terms of ensuring that injured individuals receive required medical care and in terms of providing accounts to be used later in determining who, if anyone, was responsible for the crash.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, please contact our skilled auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green to schedule a free consultation. You may reach us by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at With offices in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Plantation, and Wellington, we are here to help.


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