I Was Just a Witness to a Car Accident, Do I Have to Stop? Should I Stop?
If you just saw a car accident, you are under no obligation to stop. In California, even if you saw that people were seriously injured from the crash, you have no obligation to stop and render aid to the people who were injured. You can just continue driving, leave the scene of the crash, and go about your way.
The question of whether you should stop or not is up to you. Witnesses to car accidents do often stop to help render aid or even offer themselves as witnesses to testify who is at fault. Unfortunately, most car accidents occur without anybody stepping forward as a witness. When people do not make themselves available as a witness, it can make it difficult for the innocent party to prove that the other party is liable.
For example, was driving straight and was sideswiped by another driver, the at-fault party could simply argue that it was the other driver that changed lanes into him. In this situation, it is one party’s one against another party’s word. How do you know who is at fault in this situation? If there aren’t any cameras around, who would be able to help determine who is at fault? A witness. If there was a witness to the crash, it would be exceedingly helpful to the innocent party if the witness provided testimony as to who was at fault for the crash.
Unfortunately, too many car accidents end up this way. We have even seen cases where the party that was rear-ended was blamed to have caused the collision because he was in reverse at a very high speed. If there was a witness to prove that the party that was rear-ended was not at fault, it would help him out to prove that he was not at fault.
Witnesses to car accidents are very important to help prove who is at fault. Someone’s case may very well rely on it. Please keep this in mind if you are a witness to a crash. Car accidents are very dangerous and the injured party deserves to be made whole from the other party’s car insurance. If the injured victim does not have enough evidence to prove the other party is at fault, then the injured victim will not be able to recover anything.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lem Garcia
West Covina car accident law office, Lem Garcia Law, was opened to give people who were injured in a car accident a place to turn when they need help the most. I am a lifelong resident of West Covina and my goal is to help the area as much as I can. I am the youngest of three boys and the son of an engineer and hairstylist. I went to public schools in West Covina and went to college at Cal Poly Pomona. I went to law school in Western State University College of Law. I believe that by helping injured victims, I am making a difference in their lives.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.