Did you know that 20-50 million are injured in auto accidents each year? It happens so often, that you’ve probably seen one happen right in front of you. Not many people stop to help or even call the cops unless it is a major accident. Hopefully, you have never been involved in a major accident. If you have been, we hope someone was there to help.
Here’s how you can help protect injured victims if you witness a horrible accident.
When you notice the accident, pull over to the side of the road, but not too close to the scene. Park at least 100 feet away. You don’t know if there is a fire, broken glass, or leaked gas that could be dangerous. Turn off your car, and turn on your emergency flashers to alert other cars.
Assess the Scene
Your first instinct may be to automatically call the police, but you should immediately look over the scene. You should be able to give accurate details to the emergency services. Look for things they might ask, like how many cars are involved, how many victims there are, if there is a fire, if you see smoke, etc.
Once you have assessed the scene, call 911. If you notice other people have pulled over as well, ask them to call the police in case they saw anything you didn’t. If you don’t know your exact location, provide different landmarks so emergency services can find you easily. Let the operator know that you are going to check on the victims. Ask the operator what you should be looking for and to stay on the phone with you. If there is a big problem or crucial emergency, they should be the first to know.
Signal Cars Away from Accident
Warn other drivers about the accident. Ask other bystanders to flag traffic away from the accident, and set out flares or cones if you have any. Set the flares or cones a couple hundred feet from the scene.
Does the Victim Need Help?
If the victim is conscious, ask them if they need help and if you can assist them in any way. Not every victim may want help – even if they need it. If the victim is being stubborn and is in danger, you can’t help them. All you can do is wait for the professionals to come and take over the situation.
If they do not answer, shake them slightly to see if they are conscious. If they don’t respond, they are unconscious. If a person is unconscious, Good Samaritan laws will protect you so that you can help them. These laws protect volunteers who give victims aid or assistance in emergencies from legal liability for injuries or damages.
Check their Airway
If a person is unconscious or is not responding, check their airways. First, look at their chest to see if it is moving up and down. If you don’t notice any movement, place a finger underneath their nose to feel any breath.
If they aren’t breathing, you might need to perform CPR. If you don’t know how to properly perform CPR, ask if any bystanders know how before you proceed. If you do not know how, do not try it. Roll the victim onto their side to protect their airway, while supporting their neck to protect or prevent injury.
Give the Victim Aid
You shouldn’t move a person because you might worsen their injuries, unless it is an emergency. If the car is on fire, you should move them out of and away from the vehicle. If the person has any heavy bleeding, use cloth or clothing to apply pressure to the wound.
Comfort the Victim
The victim is most likely scared and possibly in pain. Give them encouraging words, and let them know that you will stay with them until help arrives.
Turn Over Care to Emergency Services
Once emergency services get to the scene, give them room to help the victim. Remember, they are trained to handle injuries in situations like these. If you have noticed anything about the victim that could help emergency services, tell them. They will probably ask you to describe what you saw to the police once they arrive to the scene.
Contact Personal Injury Attorneys, Ryan Orsatti Law
If you live in San Antonio and have recently been the victim of a reckless driving accident, don’t settle with insurance companies. They want to get you the least coverage they can. Contact Personal Injury Attorney Ryan Orsatti to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. We are dedicated to protecting victims of accidents and guiding them through the legal process, so they can make the best recovery. Call Ryan Orsatti at (210) 525-1200.