What to do if you see an accident
At the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers frequently counsel individuals who have been injured in auto accidents of one sort or the other. While attempting to cope with their injuries, they seek our legal assistance to fight for the compensation they need and deserve.
In many instances, what can make or break a victim’s case is the extent to which others are available (and willing) to comment or testify on what they saw of the accident. Witnesses are incredibly important in both bolstering a plaintiff’s case and, perhaps more importantly, in letting the insurance company know that the arguments they use to reject or limit coverage will be met with contradictory assertions from neutral third parties: people who happened to be at the scene of the accident but who do not have a financial interest in the case one way or the other.
Because witnesses are so important, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers wrote this blog post to advise you all – potential future witnesses of future accidents in which people will get hurt and seek compensation – what you should do if you do indeed witness an auto accident. The below tips should be understood as a general guide rather than a step-by-step instruction manual. Always take into consideration the particular circumstances of the accident and always ensure your safety first; rushing to the scene of an accident could entail making your way through shattered glass, twisted metal, etc.
Most people notice when they pass an auto accident on the side of the road – few actually do anything about it. One of the most important things you can do is call 911 and report the accident. Simply having someone in your car (ideally a passenger, but perhaps a driver if it is safe and legal for them to do so) call 911 and report the accident and its approximate location can be a great help to those who have been involved in the accident.
Do not assume someone else called 911. Maybe the people involved in the accident don’t have their phones with them. Maybe their phones have died. Worse yet, as our personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know from experience, the people involved in the accident might be so injured that they are unable to call for help themselves. If someone has already called 911, the dispatcher will let you know. In short: be safe and call 911 when you see an accident.
Check on the victims.
If you’ve made sure that it’s safe to approach the scene of the accident, and you’ve called for help, it’s always a good idea to check on the victims. Mentally assess the scene, and the state of the victims, but do not move an injured person unless, perhaps, they are stuck in a car and the car is on fire. By moving an injured individual you run the risk of a) worsening their injury and b) subjecting yourself to liability for that enhanced injury. Comfort the injured victims by assuring them that help is on the way.
When the police arrive, be cooperative.
When police officers or crash investigators arrive on the scene, make sure to be cooperative and volunteer all of the information you have. Provide officers with exactly what you saw, your name, and your contact information. The information you provide will be particularly useful to the injured party who attempts to obtain compensation for their injuries and may need your witness testimony to assist them in doing so. Remember: as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, strong, reliable witness testimony can mean the difference between recovery compensation for injuries incurred due to the wrongdoing of another or having to suffer without any legal recourse.
If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury- or auto accident-related issue, please do not hesitate to contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green. You may contact us by telephone at 561-266-9191 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to assisting you!