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California Drivers Have A Duty To Render Aid In An Accident

California does not impose a duty on any member of the public to render aid to another person in an emergency. Thus, if you choose not to get involved, California law does not impose any criminal or civil liability for your inaction. However, there are circumstances when the law does make you responsible for failing to act. California motorists have a duty to render aid whenever someone is hurt in an accident.

The following California “good Samaritan” law encourages citizens to help each other in an emergency by protecting them from potential civil liability. California Health and Safety Code § 1799.102 HSC states:

“No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission.”

So, while there is no duty to get involved in an emergency, you are protected from liability if you choose to get involved. It is a different story if you are personally involved in a motor vehicle accident. California Vehicle Code § 20001 VC makes it a crime for a person to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident that results in an injury or death.

If you are involved in an accident where an injury or death results, as a driver, you must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and give the following information to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle with which you collided. You must also give the following information, as well as show your driver’s license, to any law enforcement officer at the scene of the accident. You must also show your driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle with which you collided.

  • your name and current residence address,
  • the names and current residence addresses of any occupant of the driver’s vehicle injured in the accident,
  • the registration number of the vehicle you are driving, and
  • the name and current residence address of the owner of the vehicle.

As a driver involved in an accident where someone is injured, you must render “reasonable assistance” to any person injured in the accident. “Reasonable assistance” means the driver must determine what assistance if any, the injured person requires. Then, the driver must make a reasonable effort to see that such assistance is provided, either by the driver or another person. 

“Reasonable assistance” also includes transporting or making arrangements for transporting an injured person to a doctor or medical facility for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if it is requested by any injured person.

If there is no law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident that results in death, as a driver of a vehicle involved in the accident, without delay, you must report the accident to the nearest office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or office of a duly authorized police authority.

Maison law’s years of representing clients in all types of personal injury cases, give the firm extensive knowledge and experience litigating and settling personal injury matters. Maison Law passionately provides skilled representation and effective advocacy on behalf of all our clients. If you have any questions about any type of personal injury matter, call Maison Law and Martin Gasparian today. The experience of Maison Law helps us provide skilled, zealous representation on behalf of every client. Call Maison Law 24/7 at (559) 203-3333.



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