How to Safely Assist Victims if You Witness a Car Accident
A Good Samaritan acts in good faith, caring for others in an emergency. Being a Good Samaritan when you witness a car accident can potentially save lives, but it is essential to take proper safety measures when assisting victims to ensure the well-being of everyone involved.
While it can be overwhelming to see such an event unfold before your eyes, it is crucial to know how to safely assist the victims until emergency services arrive. Knowing what to do in such a situation can help minimize the impact of the accident and save lives.
Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan Law
Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan law encourages individuals to help others in need by providing protection against liability for those who act in good faith when providing emergency assistance. This law is essential in car accident cases because it helps ensure that witnesses come forward and provide statements that can be critical in determining fault and responsibility.
The Dangers of Assisting Car Accident Victims
Assisting car accident victims is commendable, but it is not without risks. In 2019, 44 first responders were killed in accidents while attempting to help car accident victims.
In many cases, these incidents occur because the first responder crossed lanes of traffic to reach the victims or stood too close to the road while helping. Understanding these dangers is essential to ensure your safety and the safety of the victims you are trying to help.
One of the biggest risks when assisting car accident victims is the potential of being struck by another vehicle. Oncoming traffic may not have enough time to react to the accident scene, leading to collisions with those attempting to help. Distracted or impaired drivers pose an additional risk to accident victims and those trying to assist.
Another danger is standing too close to the road when helping car accident victims. This can result in being hit by debris from passing vehicles or even being struck by a vehicle if the driver loses control. If the accident involves vehicles with hazardous materials or if there is a risk of fire or explosion, getting too close to the scene could put you in harm’s way.
Safety Precautions to Take
When approaching the scene of an accident, follow safety measures to ensure your well-being and the well-being of the victims.
- Park your vehicle away from the accident and turn on your hazard lights.
- Wear reflective clothing and use a flashlight to make yourself visible to oncoming traffic.
- Before approaching the victim, assess the situation from a safe distance.
How to Assess the Situation
To evaluate the accident’s severity, look for signs of serious injury, such as unconsciousness or severe bleeding. If a victim has sustained a severe injury, keep them as still as possible until help arrives. For example, moving someone with a spinal injury can cause further damage and even paralysis.
If it is necessary to move the victim, do so with extreme caution and only if there is an immediate threat to their life, such as a fire or approaching traffic.
When to Intervene Directly and When to Call for Help
Before intervening directly, ensure you have proper CPR and first aid training. If you are not trained or are unsure about your abilities, it is best to call for professional help.
When calling emergency services, provide as much information as possible about the accident, including location, vehicle number, and visible injuries. While waiting for help to arrive, offer comfort to the victims by reassuring them that help is on the way and that they are not alone.
If You Witness an Accident, Come Forward
If you witness a car accident, it is crucial to come forward and provide any assistance you can. Your actions can impact the outcome of the accident and potentially save lives.
Your presence and witness statement can also serve as crucial evidence if the victim decides to pursue legal action to obtain damages for their injuries. Your witness statement and the help of a Green Bay car accident lawyer could get them the compensation they need to move on with their life.
Remember to follow the safety precautions and contact professional help if needed. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights and responsibilities as a witness or Good Samaritan, contact Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers for assistance and guidance.