Accidents happen and most of the time there is not an ambulance or First Aid/CPR certified person right around the corner. However, if someone is choking or bleeding, the people in the area could help prevent death or further injury. In these cases, the law expects “Good Samaritans” to take action and help those in need.
Each state has different Good Samaritan laws, but many have different provisions that either protect good Samaritans or are strict against those people who choose not to help others in immediate peril. The key here is “immediate/imminent peril.” The Good Samaritan laws only protect the rescuer if the victim is in this immediate peril.
For example, if the Good Samaritan sees a person get hit by a bicycle they may be obligated to go over to the person and see if they are okay. If they notice that the victim is unconscious, yet still breathing, and they decide to perform CPR when it is not appropriate, they may not be protected under the Good Samaritan laws. If that person suffers more injuries because of the CPR, they could sue and be awarded damages.
Another important part of the Good Samaritan law is that there is no exchange of money, goods, or services to the rescuer. These laws only protect acts of good will, not services rendered.
If you have been involved in some kind of personal injury accident and need legal representation or advice, contact the Wausau personal injury lawyer of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® Call 800-242-2874 to discuss the details of your case today.