Call 911, then try to record any important information you can. Only approach the scene and try to assist the victim if it is safe for you to do so. Use caution in attempting to render any kind of first aid if you are medically untrained.
if you witness a collision between a bicyclist and a vehicle, you may be an important eyewitness for the cyclist’s case against the driver of the vehicle that hurt them, so try to contact the police and report what you saw. You may be able to corroborate the bicyclist’s account and help them receive compensation for their injuries. If the accident appears to be serious, call 911 so an ambulance can be dispatched. If possible, try to write down vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers, and anything else you observed about the accident.
Safety Tips for Encountering a Bicycle Accident
If you come across a bike accident or any other vehicular accident, it’s important to maintain your own health and safety before attempting to help the injured victims. First, drive a safe distance past the scene so you’re away from any immediate danger. Also, this will ensure you don't block or get hit by arriving emergency vehicles. Then call 911 to get help to the scene. After that, carefully approach the victims to see if they need help but don't administer medical treatment unless you're a qualified medical professional. Finally, if there is any danger like smoke or fire, stay a safe distance until the fire department has arrived on the scene.
Can I be Sued if I try to Help Someone After an Accident?
Most states, including Illinois, have passed “Good Samaritan” laws which provide immunity from civil liability to well-intentioned people who try to help but end up inadvertently harming an injured victim during an emergency. The language of the Illinois statute provides, “…without limitation the provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed to encourage persons to volunteer their time and talents” (745 ILCS 49/2). The statute appears to generally apply to medical professionals rendering aid for free during an emergency, or persons certified in CPR or other first-aid techniques. However, Illinois courts have extended protection to unlicensed individuals performing “voluntary undertakings” as long as the undertaking was not provided for commercial gain, but purely as a Good Samaritan (Redmon v. Stone, 281 Ill. App. 3d 517 (Ill. App. Ct. 1996)).
This would seem to indicate that you don’t have to be a trained or licensed professional to try to assist someone injured in a bicycle or other accident, as long as you act in good faith and without “willful or wanton” negligence. At the same time, Illinois’ Good Samaritan law does not require a bystander to render assistance at an accident scene.
Did You Witness a Bicycle Accident in Illinois?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC helps bicycle accident victims get the help and compensation they deserve. Injured plaintiffs have a limited amount of time to file a claim. To help someone whom you witness getting injured in a bike accident, call our offices and speak with an experienced bicycle accident injury attorney.