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Written by: Steven R. Clawson
| Read Time: 3 minutes

Car accidents happen daily. In 2022, there were 3,558 fatal auto accidents in California. If you were a witness to a car accident, you might wonder what you should do.

The steps you take in the moments after a reckless driving accident could make a big difference in people’s lives. So today, we’ll discuss what to do if you witness a car accident. 

In this article, the California car accident lawyers at Wells Call Injury Lawyers go over the details about what you should do if you witness a car crash in southern California. If you have any questions, please contact us today.

What to Do If You Witness a Car Accident 

Your priority should be providing assistance without harming yourself or those involved in the crash.

According to California law, witnessing a car accident doesn’t legally require you to stop and offer aid. While there’s no legal requirement, offering assistance or providing your account of the events could be invaluable for the parties involved and authorities. It’s a moral decision that can greatly assist those affected.

Let’s look at some other actions you will want to take at the scene and beyond.

Stay Out of Harm’s Way 

Despite wanting to help those affected by a reckless driving accident, you must ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

If you are on the road, pull over to a safe space and put your hazard lights on. If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, keep a safe distance from the crash site to protect yourself from dangerous conditions. 

Call 9-1-1 

A car accident witness should call 9-1-1 immediately if it looks like there might be injuries. You may not be the only person who calls 9-1-1, or you could be. Making the call to ensure emergency responders know the situation is best. 

Check on Victims 

If you have no medical or first aid training, you may not feel comfortable checking on the health and well-being of the victims. That’s understandable.

You may use your best judgment to decide if aid is necessary or wise, as you do not want to cause further injury. Let emergency responders assess the condition of any victims and treat them with their medical know-how. 

Talk to Authorities 

You should speak to reporting officers about what you witnessed. Give your name and contact information to police officers so they can include it in the accident report.

Any statements or information you provide can assist lawyers, judges, and insurance agents in establishing who was at fault for the accident. 


If you were a witness to a car accident, you might be asked to offer your testimony in a potential lawsuit. A deposition is an interview, taken under oath, where you provide answers to questions asked by both parties to a case. Don’t be shy about stating what you saw, as that could help injured victims get the help they need to recover.

It’s rare for personal injury cases to go to trial. But if it does, an attorney may call you as a witness to provide your testimony in court. While these situations may feel stressful, one car accident witness responsibility is to answer all questions truthfully.

Again, your testimony can be critical for getting an injured victim the financial support they desperately need. 

Get in Contact with a Southern California Car Personal Injury Lawyer Today

At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience achieving justice in even the most unique and challenging personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Although we never guarantee a particular outcome, our legal team holds a strong track record of success, with hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for past clients. Let us put our extensive experience to work for you.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free case review. 

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