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What if You’re Injured Stopping to Help in an Accident?

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The first responder in an accident is often just another motorist. While they are not typically trained for these emergencies, they often save lives by getting someone out of a burning car, moved off of the lane of traffic or keep someone from bleeding to death.

Unfortunately, sometimes these good Samaritans end up getting injured themselves or even killed.

Good Samaritan Killed Helping Accident Victims

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, one person died and two others were injured when they stopped to help victims of an accident that had just happened. The unfortunate incident happened on Route 309 at Mountain Road in Lynn Township.

A sedan and a Ford F-150 had just been in an accident, and a 49-year-old man stopped his car to help. Another car also stopped and two others got out to help. A Kia Sedona traveling on Route 309 came upon the scene and struck the man and the two other good Samaritans. Unfortunately, the man died and the other two were injured. Both of these along with the victims of the first crash were taken to a local hospital.

A Pennsylvania State Trooper spoke about the incident the next day saying that if someone wants to help out when there has been an accident, there are certain things that should be considered before deciding to lend a hand:

  • Survey the Scene: Take a look around and get a feel for how dangerous it is to get out of your car.
  • Look at Lighting: At night, see if there is enough visibility for oncoming cars to see you on the road.
  • Look for Spot to Pull Over: Is there a safe place to park and access the scene? Parking in the road can put you and others at risk.
  • Is there Something You can Do? Make sure your assistance will help, and if there is nothing you can realistically do, then get somewhere safe and call 911.

 Liability in a Good Samaritan Accident

If someone does get hurt lending a hand, who will pay compensation? This is a complicated question. The bottom line is that anyone that is negligent and causes another person to be injured has to pay them compensation for their injuries.

Ultimately this is decided by a court, and a jury will look at the who was negligent and then determine compensation. Negligence is determined by examining the actions of each person involved and comparing their actions to what a reasonably prudent person would do in the same circumstance.

In a good Samaritan accident, there are certain possibilities of who could be at fault: the one who was negligent in the first accident,  the one who hit the good Samaritan or even the good Samaritan him or herself. The questions the jury would try to determine would be:

  • Was the first driver responsible for everything that happened?
  • Was the driver of the car who hit the good Samaritan speeding or distracted or in some other way negligent?
  • Was the good Samaritan negligent because he or she shouldn’t have gotten out of the car and walked into the roadway?

Comparative Negligence

The answer might be in sharing the blame. In Pennsylvania, the law requires that the jury look at the actions of all involved in an accident and determine who was at fault and at what percentage. Then each person will pay their share based on their percentage of fault.

For example, if the jury felt that the good Samaritan could have helped in a different way and shouldn’t have been in the road when another car approached the scene, they might assign him or her 30 percent of the blame. Then for the good Samaritan’s injuries, the other at fault person or people will pay 70 percent of the damages.

Contact a Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer.

After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.

Contact The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 557-8686 for a free consultation and case evaluation.


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