December 19, 2010

What To Do As A Witness To An Automobile Accident

An auto accident isn't much fun for any of the drivers involved. Accidents mean higher auto insurance rates, traffic citations, and sometimes medical bills - big expenses for the driver who was at fault in an accident. What's more, accidents can often be confusing for both drivers and authorities, but things are much easier when an accident witness is available. If you see an automobile accident occur, it's important that you act appropriately and safely to help the situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

When you see an accident occur, you should immediately pull over to the side of the road or to a safe point. Don't put yourself in danger, and don't run out of your car to help the people in the accident. You might end up making the situation much worse by getting involved, and as an accident witness, you can help the people in the accident much more fully by contacting an emergency number right away. If the accident isn't major, you should consider contacting the authorities. Ask the drivers involved in the accident if they've called the police. Once the police have been contacted, wait in your car. In many states, you're legally obligated to stay and provide a verbal report to help the police officer determine who or what had caused the accident.

Remember, what you tell the police may have a major impact on one driver's auto insurance rates, so be sure to explain exactly what had happened in detail. If one car was obviously at fault, tell the cops this. They may have heard an entirely different story from the at fault driver. However, if you're not sure exactly what happened, don't try to guess. Give the facts to the police and nothing more. When you've provided information to the authorities, you'll be allowed to leave, although in a highly contested case of fault, you may be asked to witness in court at a later date. However, this is extremely uncommon. In most cases, your interaction with the drivers who were involved in the accident will end at the scene.

Taking the right steps as an accident witness is very important, so be sure to stick around if you see a collision take place. Remember, if you were involved in an accident in which you were not at fault, you'd probably want as many witnesses on your side as possible. Doing your duty as a witness is the right thing to do and may be enormously beneficial to a driver, authorities, and, of course, all of the insurance companies involved.