When someone stops to help out in an emergency, they often save lives and provide a valuable service to their fellow man. However, what happens if the helper is injured? Who is going to pay for his or her injuries?
This is a difficult question and there is not quick answer. Generally speaking, the Good Samaritan can make a claim against the at-fault driver, but there’s no guarantee that it will work out. Sometimes the person might be able to make a claim on their own insurance policy. Or if they were hit by a car after they got out to help, then they might have a claim against that driver.
What To Consider When Trying To Be a Good Samaritan?
It happens often that a person stopping to help another motorist ends up getting seriously injured or killed. This is especially tragic as the person wouldn’t have been hit if not for their kindness in trying to help others.
The American Auto Association says that if a person is involved in a crash and there is a significant risk of further collisions, then the best thing to do is stay in the car until told to get out by authorities.
However, there are times when you must get out, and if that happens, then experts say there are things to do to reduce risk of further injury or damage:
- Stay calm. Call emergency services first, if possible.
- Don’t rush out of the car, rather look for traffic.
- Keep seatbelt on as long as possible.
- Get out quickly and off to the side as far from the traffic lane as possible.
- If you have them, put out road flares before helping.
- If needed on the scene, then position yourself as safely as you can. Leave yourself room to dodge any oncoming vehicles.
What Do Good Samaritan Laws Mean for Your Liability?
From a liability perspective, don’t be afraid to help, but if you do, do it as safely as possible. Most states have laws called Good Samaritan laws, that protect those who stopped to help from getting sued for assisting. A common scenario is a person gets out to help, and an oncoming car swerves to avoid hitting the helper and then crashes.
In other cases, a person might move an injured person to avoid further collisions and injuries, and by moving them, the person was further injured. These Good Samaritan laws will protect these helpers from being sued.
What To Do if You’re a Good Samaritan Who Got Hit by a Car?
If you stop to help and are injured, don’t fall into the trap thinking that it’s your fault for stopping. If everyone had that attitude, many people today would be dead or more seriously injured. Don’t let the insurance companies imply or say that you are at fault for stopping and thus not entitled to any compensation for your injuries. Get help from someone who knows the law and has experience with insurance companies.
You need an attorney that understands Good Samaritan laws and chain-reaction crashes and has experience dealing with insurance companies. Don’t wait until they start treating you poorly before you contact an attorney. Some mistakes can’t be undone, so the sooner you have someone working for you, the better off you are.
What Happens if a Good Samaritan Dies in Car Accident?
Unfortunately, it’s a real possibility that in trying to help, a well-meaning person might injure someone further or get injured themselves. But in most states, including Pennsylvania, have Good Samaritan laws that protect a person from liability when genuinely trying to help.
A few years ago a good Samaritan was killed while helping a disabled vehicle that had stalled in the road. Police said that there were two separate crashes the contributed to the incident. First, a disabled car that was partially in the roadway prompted the deceased to stop and help. A second car lost control and ran into a cable guardrail. The driver of that vehicle got out and ran over to help push the disabled vehicle out of the road.
Then a third vehicle hit a puddle, hydroplaned, and hit the deceased and the other helpful driver. Both were taken to the hospital where one was declared dead and the other received serious injuries. More people stopped and helped clear the first and third vehicles out of the road so no more crashes would occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a similar accident and are looking for a good samaritan lawyer near you give us a call for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation.
Do You Need a Good Samaritan Attorney if You Are Hit as a Pedestrian?
Many drivers who flee the scene are intoxicated or hiding something. If you were hit by a drunk driver or involved in any type of crash which resulted in a serious injury, it is very important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Insurers will often try to blame you for your own injuries, especially if you were a pedestrian.
If you were injured as a pedestrian in a crash like this, contact us today for a free and friendly consultation and case evaluation. We will only provide you with information that is in your best interest.