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You Should Only Help Accident Victims If You Are Trained

Almost every aspect of our lives has a positive and negative side to it. Living and working in cities is more convenient, but also means more crime and alienation. Enjoying more movies and television is entertaining, but can take up a lot of time and money. And living in a society where people who feel wronged can seek financial compensation in court can bring justice, but it can also limit how much you can do without legally endangering yourself.

Unfortunately, this also applies to the ability of Florida residents to help those that are in dangerous situations, such as accidents.

Negligence in a personal injury case is usually defined as a person being directly responsible for a victim’s injury as a result of not exercising a basic responsibility to ensure safety. Normally, this means driving safely, or, in the case of home or places of work and business, ensuring that the environment is safe for others.

In the case of accidents, it means ensuring that any injuries people have already sustained do not become worse, or, more tragically, incur new ones.

This is why if, in your attempts to help someone at an accident, if you take any action that actually worsens the victim’s condition, they can, if they choose, take you to court for negligence, even though you were just trying to help.

In Florida, no person is under any legal obligation to help anyone else in an accident, and if they do, they risk opening themselves up to a personal injury suit should their efforts make the situation worse.

This is a form of legal protection known as the “Florida Good Samaritan Act,” and it is designed to act as a “shield” for medically trained professionals who would otherwise let people continue to suffer in emergency situations for fear of being sued in a personal injury lawsuit.

In other words, if you witness a traffic accident, and see that people are in need of help, but don’t know how to properly handle victims, if your efforts to extricate someone from a vehicle result in the victim breaking their arm, you are vulnerable to a lawsuit. If, however, you witness an accident, and a doctor or nurse is on the scene, assesses the situation and realizes that a victim must be removed from a vehicle in a specific way in order to prevent further injury, that medical practitioner is protected under the Good Samaritan Act for acting in a medically knowledgeable and responsible way, even if the victim didn’t specifically ask for help.

Ultimately, it is up to you as an individual to decide how you want to behave when you witness an accident and see people in need of help. The safest course of action is to do nothing and wait for the professionals to arrive so they can professionally handle the situation. If you feel that you cannot stand by, and must render aid, you must accept the possibility that you may make the situation worse and, if you do, someone may choose to sue you for personal injury afterwards.