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Tips For Being An Effective Witness For A Major Auto Accident

by Marie Caldwell

If you have the misfortune of witnessing a major automobile accident do you know what you should do? While your instincts will lead you to call for help and assist people who have been injured, you may not even consider your vital role as a witness to the incident. While no one wants to see an auto accident where people are injured, it is important that you know what to do if you happen to find yourself in this unfortunate position. To this end, below is a list of tips to ensure you will be an effective witness for any future accidents you observe:

Tip: Help the Injured Only in Ways that Are Safe for Yourself

You cannot be helpful to the accident victims if you become injured yourself. In fact, if you take action that is not safe and become injured, then you will put further strain on the first responders who are tasked with helping the accident victims.

When you witness an accident, you should take each of the following actions to ensure your safety:

  • park your vehicle away from traffic
  • turn on your hazard lights
  • put out flares on the roadway

In addition, you should never approach a car that is burning, actively leaking fuel, or near downed power lines. Keeping yourself safe ensures that those in need will get the help they need.

Tip: Call for Help and Ensure the Injured that Help is on the Way

Once you are parked in a safe space, then you must call for help. Dial 911 and tell the emergency dispatcher:

  • there was a major automobile accident
  • the location of the accident
  • how many cars were involved in the accident
  • how many people were injured in the accident

Also, since calls to emergency dispatchers are recorded and often later used as evidence in court, make sure you give the dispatcher a basic description of how the accident unfolded and exactly what you saw. Your memory will be the clearest right after the accident so this step is vitally important.

Tip: Never Leave the Accident Scene Before Giving Your Report to Law Enforcement

Finally, it is very important that you do not leave the scene of an accident until you have had the chance to give your witness statement to law enforcement. Eyewitness reports from witnesses are often some of the most influential information introduced by your car accident lawyer in your court case.