The Risk of Acting as a Good Samaritan
One news outlet has reported that a Florida woman recently got help from a celebrity Good Samaritan after a car accident in Alachua County. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal apparently stopped to help the woman after she crashed along Interstate 75. He was reportedly already on scene helping when deputies arrived and told authorities that he was driving through the area when he witnessed the crash and stopped to help.
We don’t all have the assistance of a former professional basketball superstar when we find ourselves involved in a collision. However, anyone who chooses to assist the victims of a car accident is exercising a unique kind of selflessness that should be applauded. But unfortunately, the admirable aspect of undertaking this kind of behavior doesn’t negate the possible risks to Good Samaritans.
Why Are Good Samaritans Vulnerable to Becoming Victims Themselves?
The simple act of choosing to step into the role of being a Good Samaritan means that he or she is not necessarily thinking of his or her own safety and is instead focused on helping another person in need. For that reason, that person may inadvertently place themselves in a position that is not a safe location to be assisting from. In addition, accident victims obviously don’t choose where collisions occur. That means that if the person a Good Samaritan is trying to assist is in an unsafe or vulnerable area, the Good Samaritan is likely to end up there as well.
Can a Good Samaritan Face Civil Liability?
Understandably, some people who would otherwise want to help a person in need may be hesitant because they are unsure of any potential liability. The good news is that this is not a possibility that most people in this situation will have to worry about because of Florida’s Good Samaritan Act which is intended to help encourage people to assist others in emergency situations. Under this Act, anyone who helps another person by administering emergency care or treatment in good faith will not be liable for civil damages resulting from such care where the person acts reasonably assuming the victim of the accident does not object.
In addition, while stopping to assist someone else is always a positive thing to attempt, you should know that the law only requires a motorist to stop at the scene of an accident if they are somehow involved in it.
Have You Been Injured While Acting as a Good Samaritan?
Sadly, you can still tragically be injured as the result of a negligent driver even when you have the best of intentions and are only trying to help someone else. When you find yourself in this kind of tragic situation, you deserve to have the assistance of dedicated attorneys with a true passion for helping the injured and disabled receive the compensation they are entitled to. As the personal injury attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez, with offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, we are skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers who represent clients every day in personal injury claims. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation that you are entitled to as soon as you reach out to us for assistance.