After an auto accident, witness testimony can be a crucial element in determining who is liable for the damages. An uninvolved driver or pedestrian can recount the events they saw, and help corroborate physical evidence and the involved drivers’ accounts of the incident.
If you see a car accident happen, how should you react? What is your responsibility as a witness to a collision?
There is no law that requires accident witnesses to stop at the scene and provide information to a case. However, if you choose to do so, there are some things you can do to assist those involved.
Ensure the Safety of Yourself and Others
Whether you are injured in a car accident or just witness the events, safety should always be a top priority. Pull over to the side of the road if you are able to do so, and call 911.
Your ability to help the accident victims before first responders arrive will depend on the circumstances of the collision. Some auto accident scenes will be too dangerous to approach — consider your own safety before stepping in. If you are able to safely approach the victims’ cars and can help in some way, do so at your discretion.
Prepare to Speak to First Responders
Once the police and medical staff arrive, they will likely rely on you for insight into what happened and the condition of the victims. The details you provide could help inform how they proceed.
You may be asked questions such as:
- At what time did the accident occur?
- How was each person driving before they collided?
- Did the drivers violate any traffic laws?
- Did you speak to the victims? What did they say?
Most likely, the police will ask for your contact information in case they need to reach you as the case develops. The other drivers may also ask for your contact information.
Gather Information from the Scene
You should take notes of what you witnessed, photograph the area, and collect contact information from others at the scene. It is very possible that you will be asked to supply this information in the future. Your account of the collision could help the injury victims recover the compensation they deserve.
Were you injured in an auto accident? Contact Chung & Ignacio, LLP using our form, or via phone at (909) 726-7112. Our case evaluations are free!