When you’re hurt in a car accident, you may see police all over the scene. You may not be sure what they’re supposed to do, however, and you may be worried about protecting your rights. So, what’s a police officer supposed to do when they’re called to the scene of a car accident, or when they witness one?
The key is protecting the health and safety of the public, which of course, includes you. If you’re concerned about your car accident, here are a few things the police officer should do after a car accident.
A police officer’s top priority after a crash should be ensuring the safety of those involved or near the car crash. If someone wrecked and people may be injured, they may need to call paramedics for those in need at the time. They may also need backup or fire fighters, depending on the situation.
When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, getting medical care can mean the difference between life and death, even if you feel fine. You may have a serious injury, but it may not hurt yet. These injuries, called “delayed injuries,” can do a lot of damage before you get help. The police officer should assess the situation and call an ambulance if there’s a possibility of a serious injury.
Once the police officer has ensured everyone involved is safe, they need to talk to those who witnessed or were in the car accident. These testimonies can help give the officer a better picture of the accident if they weren’t on the scene when the crash happened, especially if there are any eyewitnesses at the scene.
Witnesses can give the officer a less-biased report of the scene, rather than believing, for example, only the word of the person who hit you. Since they may lie to protect themselves, the police officer may talk to several people to get the full picture of the accident.
Preventing Further Harm
A police officer’s job is to “protect and serve,” which is why they may be a key part of a car accident. The people involved may have severe injuries like spine damage, people involved in the car accident may become hostile, or the car may blow up.
When you’re in such a complex situation, you want your police officer to do everything in their power to reduce the harm and suffering you experienced. They should help get you to safety, so you can focus on your physical wellbeing.
Worried about a police officer failing to follow these rules or treat you fairly after a car accident? You may need to call for help. You don’t have to put up with bad behavior, so reach out for your local police watchdog groups to ensure your rights are respected and health is being put first after a car accident.