Witnessing a car accident can be a shocking experience, but your primary concern should be ensuring your safety. However, many people struggle with deciding whether to help accident victims while others contemplate the possibility of criminal prosecution if they don’t. Join us as we answer some of the most pressing questions car accident witnesses have.
Should I Stop?
Florida law doesn’t require citizens to stop and aid car accident victims. You’re only obliged to remain at the scene if you were involved in the accident. If you choose to stop and provide aid on your own accord, avoid putting yourself at risk. Most people are reluctant to assist because Florida’s Good Samaritan Act does not apply to all. However, keep in mind that your actions can help save someone’s life.
Due to the significant benefits of stopping to help accident victims, Florida’s Good Samaritan Law could soon change. This change was suggested after a recent drowning was witnessed by several individuals who made no effort to assist. The two bills would require anyone at the scene of an emergency to provide reasonable assistance, like calling 911 if they know someone is seriously injured.
Should I Call the Police?
It is better to have several individuals report an accident then no one at all, so don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 upon witnessing an accident. Here are a few things to tell the operator to ensure that authorities are adequately informed:
- You witnessed an accident and were not involved in the collision in any way
- You are safe in your vehicle
- The location of the accident
- The number of victims involved in the accident
- If there’s anyone who has sustained injuries
Having this information ready to provide to the operator can make for efficient communication and result in accident victims receiving the needed treatment.
Do I Have to Submit a Statement?
The police will require a statement from you to gather as much information as possible about the accident. Your account may be crucial to determine fault or identify any traffic infractions. You should stay relaxed and provide clear and concise responses when speaking with law enforcement to avoid any miscommunication. Though you were a witness, be sure not to make assumptions or take sides, only state the details of what you observed.
Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were a witness or a victim in a car accident and are seeking legal counsel, our attorneys can provide you with advice on how to proceed. Our team of Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP are experienced and knowledgeable in personal injury law. With decades of experience recovering millions for people just like you, we are confident that we can answer your questions and find a resolution to your legal issue. Contact us today at (954) 467-8622 for a free case evaluation.