A major car accident can lead to a personal injury lawsuit in many cases, and the victims in the accidents often rely on the testimonies of people who witnessed the accidents. If you ever encounter an incident like this, it's important to know the correct steps to take after the accident happens. You will have responsibilities and obligations as a witness, and here are some tips to keep in mind if you are ever at the scene of an auto accident.
Get Out Of The Way
While your initial instinct might be to keep your eyes directly on the cars that collided, your first move should be to make sure you are out of the way. To do this, you should make sure you pull your car off the road completely and far enough away from the accident to avoid problems. If you are parked too close and one of the cars catches on fire, your car could also start on fire. If you are not pulled off the road completely, another car might end up colliding with yours. This is why it is important to pull off the road and away from the accident.
Call 911 And Check On The Drivers
Your next step should be to call 911 so they can be notified quickly. This is something you should do without hesitation, even if you think someone else may be calling. It is better for 911 to receive multiple calls about the same accident than to not receive any calls.
After making the call, you can then go and check on the individuals involved in the accident. If they are able to get out of the car, you can assist them with walking to the side of the road and away from the accident. If the drivers or passengers are not able to get out of the car, simply wait near the car for the police to arrive.
After the police arrive, you may be able to go back into your car while they work through the steps needed to help those involved in the accident. If you are able to do this, take out a pen and paper and begin making notes about what you saw. Include the times, positions, and facts you saw. Write down every detail you can think of, including any descriptions of other cars or people you saw near the accident.
The purpose of doing this is to have a way to offer more facts to the police and for the victims in the accident. If you do not instantly write these things down, you may forget certain things, or you may have false memories about the accident. You should not leave the scene until the police tell you that you can.
Write A Police Report
The police will at some point want to talk to you because you are a witness, and they will ask you to fill out a police report about the accident. You can use your notes as you do this to make sure you include every relevant factor you can remember. Included on the police report will be your name, phone number, and address, and you should expect a phone call within a few weeks or months after the accident. This phone call is likely to come from a personal injury lawyer who was hired to handle the case.
You may be asked to give a deposition of your account of the story, and you may also be subpoenaed to court to offer witness testimony. Your testimony in this case may help the victims recover financial compensation for the accident they were involved in.
If you're nervous about being a witness or giving testimony, the experienced attorney from a firm like Speers Reuland & Cibulskis, P.C. will walk you through the process so you can feel more confident and will answer any questions you have.