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good samaratan? - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
estherchaya
estherchaya
good samaratan?
So I'm driving to work this morning and I'm only a few minutes from my office when I'm behind a van that smacks into a Grand Cherokee. I could keep driving, except no one else stopped and no one was getting out of either car, so I pulled over to see if they needed help. One of the drivers asked me to call the police (though later I realized he actually HAD a cell phone, so I'm not sure why I had to call...not sure that English was his first language, so that might have been why). So... having called the police I was stuck there. I called in to work to let them know that I would be late and I hung out.

No one was seriously hurt, and no police report got filed, which meant that I was free to go. An hour late. Sigh. I gave both men my card and went on my merry way.

So the real question is whether I had any obligation to stop. I did see what happened. And I was concerned that someone might be hurt. But aside from the obvious moral answer, what is the legal answer? Am I legally obligated to stop if I witness an accident? What if it's only a fender bender?

Anyway, I'm not sorry I stopped, but I'm curious anyway.

Current Mood: good good

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Comments
nomadboi From: nomadboi Date: August 23rd, 2004 10:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Legally I believe you are supposed to stop, but when it's just a fender bender, and/or when there are other witnesses already there, etc... like most things in life, it's just a judgement call on your part. And hey, if it gets you out of work for a while, and the weather is nice, why not?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 23rd, 2004 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
well, it was slightly more than a fender bender, and the other cars that were there to see the accident all drove off, which is why I stopped.

As for getting me out of work for a while, that'd be fine if I still got to leave on time! ;)
xiphias From: xiphias Date: August 23rd, 2004 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It is my understanding that you are not obligated to stop, but, once you DO stop and offer help, then you are required to CONTINUE to do so, if people's lives are in danger.

You can legally step right over the body of someone dying on the sidewalk. But if you stop and start of perform CPR, you can't just walk away afterwards. And I think that's a general legal principle.
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