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Can I Really Be Sued for Trying to Help an Accident Victim?

Can I Really Be Sued for Trying to Help an Accident Victim?

| Feb 7, 2014

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. There are many lawsuits each year over injuries sustained when someone is trying to do a good deed – either by pushing someone out of the way of a vehicle, administering CPR, or even dragging someone from a car. If the victim is hurt during the process, they could try to hold you responsible for any injuries.

Luckily, the law provides some protection for do-gooders with the Good Samaritan Law. This law states:

“Any person, who in good faith gratuitously renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim thereof, shall not be liable for any civil damages for any personal injury as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering the emergency care or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or wilful or wanton misconduct.”

The Good Samaritan Law is meant to protect individuals who are acting on a completely volunteer basis and not accepting any sort of payment or reward for their actions. This is only in emergency settings – such as being on the scene of a car accident or someone choking. If you find yourself in a position to help a person out of severe harm or death, you may be protected by this law. An example of this is dragging someone from an auto accident when you think the car is going to set on fire or explode – you may injure them to get them out of the car, but they would be exposed to even more severe injuries if the car was on fire. (This is just a theoretical example – each case is unique and laws apply differently in every scenario).

The other part of this law encourages and requires witnesses to think about what they can do. If there is a failure to act, you could be seen as not being a Good Samaritan. This does not force you to be a hero – instead, it could be as easy as making sure that medical attention is being sought or an ambulance is on its way. You should always call for help if you have witnessed an accident.

Of course, every situation is different. Use your good judgment in each case and evaluate the scene of the accident as best you can. Afterwards, you can call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a free consultation regarding the accident. After saving someone else, you should know your rights and how to protect yourself. Whether the incident occurs in Columbia, Greenville, Orangeburg, Walterboro, Charleston, or anywhere else in South Carolina, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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