Why Should I Stop at the Scene of a Car Accident?
A car accident can be difficult for everyone involved. If you were hurt in a road accident, you could require years of medical attention. Many people who witness an auto accident are unsure of what to do next. Accidents not only cause serious injuries, but the scene of a wreck can still be very dangerous. You must call for emergency help if you or a passenger have been injured. If you were hurt in a car wreck due to the negligence of another person, or if you are unsure what to do after witnessing a bad accident, you are likely asking yourself, “why should I stop at the scene of a car accident?” If this is your situation, you need to call a lawyer as soon as possible.
The attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have years of experience helping clients who have been injured in car accidents. Call us today at 281-283-8500 to speak with a Houston car accident lawyer if you need legal counsel after witnessing an accident.
Staying at the Scene After Being Involved in a Traffic Accident
Sustaining an injury in a car wreck can be very traumatizing for anyone. You must first make sure that you and your loved ones are in as safe a location as possible, then call for emergency help if anyone is hurt. There is often a lot of chaos following an accident, and you may feel the need to rush to the hospital or at least go far away to a spot not exposed to heavy traffic or other dangers. A skilled auto accident lawyer can make sure that you do not needlessly suffer legal consequences while seeking urgent medical care for yourself or someone you love.
If you are in an accident with another driver where property is damaged, state law requires that you do not leave the scene of the accident. Additionally, you are required to do the following:
- If possible, move your vehicle to the closest place where it does not obstruct traffic.
- Return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible if you must leave.
- Remain at the scene of the accident until drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance information is exchanged.
The Duty to Render Aid
If you are the driver of a vehicle that is in an accident where someone is injured, you are required to provide any injured person with reasonable assistance. This law, found in Texas Transportation Code 550, specifies that a driver can help an injured person by calling for emergency medical help or transporting that person to the hospital. It’s important to understand that the standard for reasonable assistance takes into account your limitations during this difficult time. Your car crash lawyer can argue that rendering CPR or physical assistance was not reasonable for you in this emergency, and you complied with this law when you called 911. The duty to render aid only applies to drivers in car accidents, and not passengers or witnesses.
The Texas Good Samaritan Law Protects Witnesses Who Try to Help
Suddenly witnessing a devastating accident can be a shock, and you may wonder “why should I stop at the scene of a car accident?” Witnesses are not obliged by law to stay at the scene. But what if you want to provide some assistance, but you’re worried about any liability that you could incur. Fortunately, the Texas Good Samaritan Act is in place to help protect well-meaning witnesses who try and help those harmed in a bad car crash. This law prohibits you from being held responsible for any damages as long as you were reasonable in your actions. This protection will apply to you as long as you are not found to be the party that caused the accident, and you don’t seek compensation for your assistance.
Steps to Take After Witnessing an Accident
Driving accidents cause immense harm, and a car injury can result in life-altering or even deadly injuries. While you don’t have to stay at an accident that you witness, many people want to remain and provide any help that they can to those who are hurt. If you want to help others in this position, steps to take after a car accident include:
- Be sure to not put yourself in harm’s way by stopping your car abruptly or walking in front of oncoming traffic.
- Call 911, and stay on the line for as long as requested by the operator.
- If you choose to approach the car collision, keep an eye out for dangerous debris or other vehicles.
- Do not seek to extract or move an injured person out of their vehicle as this might cause them more harm.
- Try and speak with the injured persons. Let them know that emergency help is on the way.
- Try and make a note of everything that you think is relevant to the accident, but don’t try to follow vehicles that are leaving the scene.
- Identify yourself as a witness to police when they arrive.
A Lawyer From The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Can Help With Your Case
State law requires those involved in an accident to stay on the scene. Your car accident claim will require that you abide by these rules and gather as much information about your road traffic accident as possible. Furthermore, you may be uncertain about your legal duty or liabilities if you witnessed an accident. If you’re asking yourself, “why should I stop at the scene of a car accident,” an experienced car accident lawyer from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help.
Our lawyers have years of experience helping people recover from devastating car accidents. To speak with a lawyer about your right to car crash compensation, contact us today at 281-283-8500 to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.