Getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is a big responsibility. Accidents are common on the nation's roadways. Even though you might be fortunate enough to avoid being involved in an accident yourself, it's very possible that you might witness an accident while you are driving.
In order to protect yourself from litigation (even though you weren't involved in the accident) here are three things you need to keep in mind.
1. Keep safety in mind.
Once you witness an auto accident, you may feel a rush of adrenaline that can cause you to overlook some vital safety tasks. If you want to avoid causing another accident, you must ensure that you maneuver your own vehicle safely before you begin helping those who have been involved in an accident.
Pull completely off the road, and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of your vehicle's location. Taking the time to do these simple things before rushing onto the scene of an auto accident will help ensure that you don't cause another accident that could lead to a lawsuit.
2. Know your responsibilities.
Many drivers think that they are legally obligated to stop if they witness an auto accident occurring on the roadway. The fact of the matter is that most states in the U.S. don't have a law requiring citizens to render assistance. Fortunately, if you do stop and render aid to individuals who have just been involved in an accident, your actions are protected.
Many states (like Indiana) have enacted Good Samaritan laws to protect citizens from civil litigation for offering help in emergency situations. Be sure that after you stop you engage in responsible behavior, like calling 9-1-1 and cooperating with law enforcement officers once they arrive, and you should be able to avoid any legal problems that might arise in the future.
3. Don't move victims unless absolutely necessary.
If drivers or their passengers have been injured in an auto accident, it's best to leave them inside their vehicles unless emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene. If you don't have the medical training needed to accurately assess injuries on-site, you may end up turning a minor injury into something more serious by moving an accident victim.
Avoid potential legal problems tied to negligence by leaving accident victims where you found them as long as there is no immediate threat (like a potential explosion or additional injury).
Understanding the role you should play as a witness to an auto accident will help you avoid potential legal problems should you decide to stop and offer assistance after an accident occurs. Contact an attorney like one from Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC for more information.Share
28 March 2016
When you get into a serious car accident, things can become complicated quickly. In addition to worrying about other lawyers and problems with your vehicle, you might also be left with serious injuries that keep you from enjoying your life. On top of everything else, you might be left with a huge stack of medical bills, and it can be hard to know what to do next. I want you to understand that there is hope, which is why this blog is all about hiring an attorney. By using this advice, you might be able to streamline your case and enjoy a larger settlement.