If you witness a fender bender, there are several things you can do. The law doesn’t mandate you to take any prompt action, but it may save a life or secure a claim. Given that you want to help, you must do so safely.
Below are some guidelines for what to do if you witness a fender bender. If you feel the need to consult an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer, the team at Ponton law can help you. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
1. Don’t Put Yourself at Risk
If you stop to offer assistance, don’t make a bad situation worse by risking your life. It’s natural to want to save the day when the adrenaline rush kicks in. But, try to maintain a cool head and avoid doing anything that could put you in danger.
2. Pull Over and Park Your Vehicle Out of the Way
Depending on the severity of the collision, you can expect some emergency vehicles to come to the scene in short order. Ensure you aren’t inhibiting their ability to reach the accident and its victims. Park your car at a safe location and turn on your hazard lights.
3. Call 911
When you’re at a safe distance away from the wreck, call 911 immediately. If you’re in heavy traffic, only reach out for your phone when you can pull over to a secure place. When you get in touch with a dispatcher, calmly explain the location and the accident scene as best as possible.
4. Take Photos and Videos
After you’ve pulled over in a secure location, try to take pictures and videos of the fender bender scene. You can take pictures of :
- damage on both vehicle
- lane(s) the cars are/were in
- if anyone is injured
But, only do so if it’s safe. The images and videos can help law enforcement to piece together what occurred, making it easier to identify the at-fault party.
5. If Possible, Help Those Involved
The people involved in the fender bender might require help getting out of the vehicle. If you can do it safely, you can try to help in extracting them. Any deployed airbags may make this task hard, and if the vehicle is hybrid or electric, there’s added risk of fire or shock. If you’re not sure about the safety of going towards the car, wait for the emergency crew to arrive.
You should NEVER move somebody who’s been injured in an accident. That’s because you might make their injuries worse. The only time you can move an injured individual is if there’s immediate danger, like if you smell gas or the car is smoking.
6. When the Law Enforcement Officers Arrive, Give Them a Report of the Incident
If you witness a fender bender, the police may want to take a statement from you about what occurred. Even if you saw the scene just after the crash, the law enforcement officers may still have questions. All the details you give them are valuable as they write up reports and tackle the aftermath of the incident. Eyewitness statements can also be crucial to an accident case.
If you have questions about a fender bender in Georgia, Ponton Law can help. Call us at (404) 418-8507 for a free consultation with a competent Atlanta car accident lawyer.