Witnessing a traffic accident, obligations?

If you witness a traffic accident and someone is hurt, are you obliged to stay and wait for the cops to tell them what happened?

In Taiwan?

Moral obligation or Legal?

legal … no
That’s why many drive away

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This is like the driving test questions.

If you witness an accident should you,
A) leave the scene immediately and deny all knowledge?
B) pretend to be a victim and sue someone for compensation?
C) call the emergency services, assist the victims, and provide a full report to the police?


I believe the real test question for being in an accident with another car had an option along the lines of B) argue with the other person and deny responsibility.

Someone dropping hints in there.

As for OP, I’ve done it here in Taiwan and police asked us what we saw. Kind of had to stop considering there was no one around and I saw a guy basically kill himself via scooter. I didn’t even see a CCTV camera around.

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It is an actual driving-test question (or it was when I took mine). They phrased it a bit more colorfully, IIRC. It was something along the lines of “if you see a car overturned and people screaming for help, you should:”.

Unfortunately for the OP, I can’t remember what the correct answer was supposed to be.

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Your contribution is appreciated, since these kind of accidents require closure for the families (or lawsuits).

My good friend was rear-ended in his car (with his family in the car) and has been hit at least twice on his scooter by drunk or distracted drivers. In all cases, locals who were witnesses helped. He didn’t request compensation in the scooter cases, due to limited injury. In the case of the car, his son was in a coma temporarily and the locals did give reports to the cops, but the insurance companies still colluded to give the bare minimum compensation.

My advice, if you clearly observed the incident (like being local to the crash or attentive to the location of the accident) AND there is serious injury, I would definitely stick around to give a report, particularly if your Chinese abilities are sufficient and your witness of the accident was very clear. In the case of being the only witness, I would stick around until the two parties reached an agreement or didn’t need your report.

I recently saw a crash, out of the corner of my eye, but 1) first assessed the situation to be minor in terms of injury, 2) did not clearly see who was at fault, 3) there were several other witnesses with a much better line of sight, and 4) my stopping would have further impeded traffic.

I was driving behind a delivery truck, I think for milk, and he did an illegal u-turn and smashed into a scooter. He got out and called an ambulance and the women wasn’t moving at all.
Ambulance came, helped her and she sat up and looked OK.
I had a very good view of what happened and waited for the cops and told them what happened and the driver agreed that was what happened.

Meanwhile, my GF told her mother why I am late and she said “why doesn’t he just drive away he doesn’t need to be there” and that is why I asked this question from a legal standpoint.

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In that case you didn’t really need to be there, as the truck driver acted responsibly. I doubt the scooter woman would have held it against you much, given how most people just rubberneck and drive away.

If the truck driver had just sped off and chabuduo’ed that scene, and no one else was around, then yeah, you would have needed to stay.

In my case, again, we were the only ones who witnessed what happened as this was on an empty road at night in the inaka, if you will. So I had to stay. Another car with two guys pulled over and hung out and talked to the cops as well, but it wasn’t essential for them to be there. More like for their entertainment.