Helping Auto Accident Victims
I’m Ed Smith, a Grass Valley auto accident attorney. Witnessing a vehicle accident take place first-hand requires that you stay cool, collected and calm under chaotic circumstances. What course of action you take largely depends on the extent of the injuries and the severity of the accident you witness. Below I will go over some things to keep in mind so you can be better prepared to help your fellow motorists until the first responders arrive on the scene.
Always Ensure Your Safety First
If you’re driving when you witness an auto accident, pull over and park your car safely off to the side of the road at least 100 feet from the scene of the accident and turn your hazard lights on. It is important to be far enough away to protect yourself, and also give first responders room to get close enough to where they need to be.
Call 911 and Report the Accident
Never assume that another motorist has already called 911, even if the wreck doesn’t look severe, the authorities need to be notified. Tell the 911 operators that you witnessed a vehicle accident. Tell them the number of people involved, the location, and any other important details.
Check on the Victims
Once you have made sure it is safe to approach the scene, check on the condition of all the victims to make sure they are okay. If you’re still on the phone with the 911 operator, offer a brief description of the parties involved. If the driver is able, ask them to put their vehicle in park and turn off the ignition. This greatly reduces the chance of a fire. It is important to remember to never move an injured person unless there is a risk of the vehicle catching on fire. While waiting for trained medical professionals to arrive to provide proper care to the victim’s injuries, you can reassure the victims by telling them that help is on the way. Also you can be helpful by asking them if there is anyone who they would like you to contact.
Your Statement and Information
When the police arrive on scene, give them relevant facts of what you witnessed along with your name and contact information. In the coming weeks you may be contacted by law enforcement investigators, legal representatives, and auto insurance personnel for their purpose of collecting further information. Always give truthful, factual information.
California Good Samaritan Law
The California Health and Safety Code Section 1799.102 is set up to encourage people to help one another during an emergency situation, ensuring that those who do volunteer to help are protected from any liability by acting responsibly. The law protects good Samaritans who stop to render assistance in good faith at the scene of an emergency. The law clearly states that a person cannot be held responsible for damages unless his or her omissions or actions constitute willful misconduct or gross negligence.
Grass Valley Auto Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Grass Valley auto accident attorney. If you, a member of your family, or someone close to you has been injured in an auto accident, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or you can reach me toll free at (800) 404-5400 for friendly and free advice.
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