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What Should a California Driver Do if Someone Is Hurt in a Crash?

Friday, May 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

Drivers are naturally exposed to the possibility of encountering a situation where someone has been injured in a car wreck. It may be that a driver is involved in a crash, or it could be that the driver comes upon a wreck in which people are injured.

A driver who is involved in the crash is required by California law to stop as soon as possible. A driver who simply witnesses a crash is not required to comply with the law’s requirements. However, the law states that a driver’s car need not have actually crashed into another in order to be considered “involved” in the wreck. For example, making an illegal turn that causes another driver to swerve and hit a pole would be considered to be involved in an accident.

In addition to stopping, a driver who is involved in a crash is required to render aid to injured persons. Such aid includes the following actions:

  • determining the assistance that is needed by the injured party;
  • providing assistance, if capable;
  • making a reasonable effort to see that the assistance is provided; and
  • transporting or arranging transport to a medical facility.

If someone else, such as an emergency responder, is rendering the necessary assistance, the driver is relieved of his duty. He is not relieved, however, simply by the fact that there are other persons present who could render the aid. The legal responsibility is on the driver. The driver also has the duty regardless of who caused the crash. In other words, a driver cannot fail to render assistance because he is angry at the injured driver for causing the accident.

In addition to rendering aid to those injured in a crash, drivers should also take precautions to help avoid additional injuries. For example, the driver should take steps to warn oncoming traffic of the wreck, if possible. Flairs may be deployed if available and safe for use, car flashers could be turned on, or the hood of car could be raised to alert drivers of an emergency situation.

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident resulting in serious injury or death, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. You may be entitled to money damages, and we will help you collect every penny you deserve. All calls are free and confidential.

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