What Happens if I Witness a Hit and Run Car Accident?
December 20, 2021
Legally speaking, there are no laws on the books that state that if you have seen a hit and run car accident, you need to get involved. State laws do not obligate witnesses to stay at the hit and run scene or provide the police with an account of what they have seen.
It is important to note that Good Samaritan laws only apply to people who choose to get involved in an accident and provide first aid or other assistance. The measure would protect anyone who aids those injured in an accident from being sued for civil liability reasons if they get involved and they happen to make the person’s condition worse. They also do not call for witnesses to get involved.
Although you do not have any legal obligation to help someone in a hit and run accident, the final decision is a matter of personal choice. It is important to note that any details you have about the hit and run accident could be critical to solving the case. Information such as the description of the vehicle, description of the driver, and how the accident happened could be vital to hold a motorist accountable for the consequences of their actions in a hit and run accident.
If you do have information regarding the hit and run car accident, a number of parties, such as law enforcement, a driver or passenger, an insurance company, or a lawyer, could use your contact information to subpoena you, a legal directive to appear in court or at some other proceeding. It is important to note that a subpoena is not a request, but an order. Ignoring a subpoena will have you facing a contempt of court charge or other legal action.
Tips on How to Respond to Hit and Run Car Accidents
If you have witnessed a hit and run car accident, it is OK to compose yourself before you do decide and provide aid. If you are on the road and witness an accident, pull over to a safe space where you leave enough room for emergency vehicles and engage your vehicle’s hazard lights. Do not leave your vehicle unless you are sure that the area is safe. Once you are safe and sound, call 911 and provide the operator with any relevant information that will help assess the situation before medical and law enforcement personnel arrive.
If you are at ease with providing aid to someone injured, go ahead and do so. Ask the person if they are hurt or need assistance; offer them your phone so that they can inform their loved one; and if you have an emergency car kit in your trunk, set up road flares to warn oncoming drivers to slow down and drive cautiously.
If someone is hurt and not in imminent danger, allow for medical personnel to arrive to move them from the scene, as moving the person could make their injuries worse, depending on the severity. Stay at the scene to give law enforcement the information that you have about the hit and run accident.
In many situations, especially if someone was driving improperly or recklessly and caused the accident, the person injured will be assisted by you giving a statement to the police as a witness.
In addition, your presence at the scene could help prevent any possible altercation between any parties gathered at the hit and run accident scene; just be cognizant of your safety and keep your composure.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Fight for Those Injured in Hit and Run Car Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that was the result of a hit and run driver, reach out to Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. We will investigate the cause of the accident and help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain, and suffering. Call us today at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.