At any time, construction site accidents pose a risk to workers, visitors, and even people passing by the area. Many of these construction accident cases end up in the courts, with the victim filing a lawsuit against the construction company, equipment manufacturer, and more. If you witness a construction accident, there are things you should and shouldn’t do. Remember, however, as in any accident, your eyewitness testimony and help may help the accident victim obtain what they need to be treated, recover, and move on with their lives.
The following are some of the things you should do, if necessary:
o DO – make sure you are in a safe place if you have witnessed a construction accident – If you are a worker, visitor, or pedestrian, make sure you are in a secure area and not too close to the accident itself. Remain at a safe distance from the accident scene unless you need to aid the victim.
o DO – dial 911 – If you are the first to witness the accident and are not optimistic that someone else has already called for medical aid or the police, dial 911 and report the incident. This should be done, even if you are unsure of the extent of the workers’ injuries or people involved. Provide as much detail as you can regarding the accident location and the nature of the construction accident itself.
o DO – offer other forms of assistance – This can be a tough call. Still, the victims could use a kind word, want to call relatives or insurance companies, or require your help to document what just happened and get all the pertinent facts correctly on paper or recorded.
o DO – give your contact information to the victim, if they ask – If this case goes to court, you may have the ability to vitally help the accident victim obtain what they need. Suppose you are willing to provide your contact information and a statement about the accident. In that case, injured victims may use this during a personal injury claim to help them prove liability. The eyewitness information could be critical to the victim’s personal injury lawyer to put their case together and obtain what they need and deserve.
o DO – ask for help from a personal injury lawyer – Witnessing and assisting at the scene of an accident in Texas is an honorable, brave, and usually the right thing to do. Don’t ever be afraid to intervene and assist those in need. Suppose you end up getting involved in a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, however, it’s mandatory to consult with a professional personal injury lawyer for help in guiding you through the legal process you may face.
What Shouldn’t I Do If I’ve Witnessed a Construction Accident in Texas?
Construction accidents can be an extraordinarily complex legal matter and involve numerous witnesses, companies, or even equipment manufacturers.
Keeping that in mind, there are some things you shouldn’t do, some examples are:
o DON’T – feel like you must stop or be involved – No Texas law requires you to stop at the scene of a construction accident. This is especially true if you are visiting the site or passing by. There may be enough aid being given to the victim already. Unless you witnessed something that no one else did, it is usually the right thing to do.
o DON’T – rush into the scene – There are times that your assistance will be helpful, but make sure you are safe yourself. There may be broken glass, sharp metal, or falling objects that still pose a threat. If you choose to enter the scene and render aid to victims, do it with extreme caution.
o DON’T – offer medical assistance unless necessary – It’s always best to wait for the EMTs to arrive on-scene. You could make things worse for the victim if you move them incorrectly. Usually, it is only a matter of minutes for EMTs to come, and first aid situations can generally wait.
Common sense is your best guide in this type of situation. You may want to help, but you don’t want to injure the victim further or end up one yourself. If you do adversely affect the situation, you should immediately get the advice and guidance of an Austin Personal injury lawyer so that your rights are protected.
According to Texas Law, What Am I Required to Do If I Witnessed a Construction Accident?
According to Texas law, you, as a witness, do not have any direct legal responsibilities at the scene of an accident. No specific law requires witnesses to stay or render aid (or do anything) unless they were directly involved in the accident itself.
If you only witnessed the construction accident, you are not legally obligated to call the police or assist any injured party. Although, and depending on the circumstances, you could save a life. If you choose to remain on the scene and be a Good Samaritan, provide information as to what occurred, you commonly should not be afraid of becoming liable for someone’s injuries if you stop to help the victim. Texas does have a law that protects Good Samaritans from liability for rendering assistance in good faith. The Good Samaritan Law states that if you witness a construction (or any)accident and stop to help those involved, the accident victims, in most cases, cannot file claims against you.
You should always follow your conscience in these matters and do what you would like to have done for yourself if you were the victim. If any problems do arise, consult with your local San Antonio or Austin construction accident lawyer, and they will provide the help you need.
If I Witness a Construction Accident in Texas, Do I Need to Testify in Court?
This is the most practical way to help accident victims who may desperately need this help. Testifying what you witnessed could clarify a great deal of confusion about how and why the accident occurred.
If you remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, they may ask you to state precisely what you saw. It is always up to you to give the statement or not. You can also leave your name and contact information with those involved in the accident.
Just stick to the facts and only answer questions that are asked. Do not embellish or speculate about fault or anything else, and you must answer honestly and accurately.
I Have Witnessed a Construction Accident in Texas, What Should I Do First
Construction accident cases are always legally complex, but the victims often need all the help they can get. General contractors or construction companies may try to cover their tracks soon after the accident to prevent their liability, but your testimony may help the victim and their family immensely.
If you are conflicted about how to proceed, the Austin construction accident lawyers at the Barry Deacon Law Firm have a vast amount of experience in these cases. Consult with them first, and they will explain your options and help you decide how to do the right thing for the victim and their family.