Florida Statutes section 768.13 governs Florida’s “Good Samaritan Act,” which provides protection from liability to those acting in good faith while rendering emergency care in an emergency situation. The Good Samaritan Act stems from a public policy view that encourages bystanders to aid in emergencies without the fear of liability. However, the law only applies to those acting in good faith and exercising due care.
While Florida law does not require individuals to help victims, those that undertake that duty must do so with the care of a reasonable person. The law imposes liability in certain circumstances, such as when: the actor’s failure to exercise due care exacerbates the risk of harm to another person, or the other person suffered an injury due to their reasonable reliance on the actor. It is important to note that the Act does not apply in cases where a victim objects to assistance or compensates the volunteer for their help. Moreover, there are exceptions to the general standard in cases involving a health care provider or law enforcement.
Good Samaritans play a significant role in many Florida accidents; however, these volunteers assume a level of risk in undertaking assistance. For instance, a Florida Good Samaritan recently suffered fatal injuries on 1-75. According to reports, a 19-year-old Toyota driver who failed to stay in the center lane set off a series of deadly events. The 19-year-old overturned after slamming into the back of a semi-truck. The semi-truck pulled over to the shoulder, and another sedan slowed down to pull over when a fourth car rear-ended that vehicle. The 28-year old Good Samaritan pulled over to assist the drivers when a series of events ended with a car slamming into the volunteer, killing him upon impact.
In cases where a Good Samaritan suffers injuries or damages, they may pursue a civil claim against the at-fault parties. The liable party in these cases may be the person the volunteer was assisting or another negligent party. In some cases, both the volunteer and victim can pursue claims against the negligent or reckless actor. However, these cases often hinge on a complex analysis of nebulous terms such as “good faith,” “emergency,” and “reasonable person .”An attorney can assist those who have suffered injuries while rendering aid in an emergency.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Accident?
If you or someone you love has been seriously hurt or died in a serious Florida car accident, contact Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada to discuss your rights and potential remedies. Our office’s South Florida injury attorneys have extensive experience successfully advocating for victims and grieving families who suffered because of another’s negligence. The firm handles cases stemming from Florida motorcycle collisions, truck accidents, defective products, premises liability, and nursing home abuse and negligence. We work to obtain maximum compensation for our clients and their families. Our lawyers possess the skills, tools, and experience these cases require. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida car accident attorney on our team.