By David Peel
Eyewitnesses rarely seem to stay at crash scenes anymore. Police will take statements from witnesses at the scene, but often are very busy, and don’t seek them out too actively. So, if they do not stay, they may be lost.
There are at least several reasons why:
1. The feeling of community has diminished in our more individual and mobile culture.
2. There is a general sense of “not wanting to get involved.”
3. Police often are significantly delayed in getting to accident scenes.
4. People seem to be generally in a hurry these days.
5. Sometimes there are crowded, dangerous or and uncomfortable crash scenes.
6. Occasionally, witnesses are not where they are supposed to be.
After a crash, once you have gotten everyone to a safe place and called 911, there are steps you can promptly take between the time of the crash and the police arriving:
If you are speaking with eyewitnesses, you may ask the witness to write down what they saw and heard, get phone numbers, and then have the witness sign and date it. Or, you may video them, along with the scene, including them describing the crash. You could also simply photograph their driver’s license to capture their information.
Eyewitnesses to car accidents may be:
1. Drivers and passengers of other cars, whether involved in the accident, or not.
2. Passersby, pedestrians, and people who stopped to render aid to victims.
3. Adjacent business owners, employees, and patrons.
Store’s surveillance cameras and ATMs that can record accident-related items. Store or bank managers may even allow you to view the video recorded at the time of the accident. It should be saved thereafter.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.