What to Do if You Witness a Car Accident

car wreck - The Jackson Law Firm

Car accidents are common occurrences in Virginia, and it isn’t unusual to see one happening in front of you. Maybe you are on the road when two cars collide up ahead, or you could be standing on the sidewalk when you observe an accident. Regardless of how the accident unfolded, there are certain things you can do to help injured victims. Our car accident attorney lays out the key steps to take.

Stop What You Are Doing

You should stop to help anyone involved in the accident. Legally, you are not required to stop unless you were involved in the crash. But we recommend being good citizens and pulling over to the side of the road to see if you can be of assistance.

Ask the Victims if they Need an Ambulance

Some accidents are so minor that both motorists will soon be on their way after swapping personal information. Other accidents, however, can cause serious injuries. You can go over to all cars involved in the collision and ask occupants if they need an ambulance. Call emergency services if any of them do. This way, they will receive prompt medical care, which can make the difference between life and death.

Take Pictures of the Cars

Under Virginia law, motorists must immediately stop if they are involved in an accident. You can help the victims by getting a couple of pictures using your phone of where the cars end up immediately after the crash. Yes, the drivers themselves can take these pictures, but they might forget. Or they might be too injured to exit their vehicles, in which case your help is necessary to document evidence.

You can also take pictures of all cars involved in the crash. Go around to each side and zoom in on dings or dents.

Call the Police, if Asked

The driver of any car involved in an accident needs to call the police. Failure to do so is either a felony or a misdemeanor in Virginia, so this step is very important. Some motorists might be so badly injured, however, that they can’t call. If asked, you should call for them. The police should come out and create a police report.

Share Your Name & Contact Information with Motorists

Because you witnessed the accident, your testimony might be highly relevant. For example, you can testify as to who caused the crash, which is important for determining fault. You should share with all motorists your name and contact information, like a phone number or email address. You can also share your physical address.

Talk with Attorneys if Contacted

Don’t be surprised if an attorney or insurance adjuster calls you to get your perspective on the crash. Share your memories of what happened and be as honest and detailed as you can be. Your testimony might prove pivotal to the resolution of the case.

And if you were hurt in a crash yourself, contact The Jackson Law Group to speak with a member of our team. You might be entitled to compensation.