The Florida Good Samaritan Act
Under Florida law, if someone is injured due to accident or intentional harm, there is no duty for any bystander to help them – it is not required by any law. Thankfully, some people will simply choose to do so out of compassion, and it is because of this that Florida passed a law known as the Good Samaritan Act. The Act gives some protection for any damage that might be caused by someone trying to assist a victim in good faith, but there are limits on just how much one is protected.
A Reasonable Level Of Care
The Good Samaritan Act states that anyone who “gratuitously and in good faith” renders aid to an accident victim or any other injured person in an emergency situation will not be civilly liable for any damages they may cause. This is designed to make sure that would-be rescuers are not deterred from taking action by fear of litigation – sometimes, situations occur where medical personnel are simply not available, or may take a long time to arrive; in these situations an average person may be the only one available to help.
One other situation where Florida’s Good Samaritan laws extend is in the instance of possible drug overdose. Sometimes referred to as the 911 Good Samaritan Act, Florida law holds that anyone who acts in good faith to obtain medical help for a potential overdose victim may not be arrested, charged, or otherwise penalized for possession of the drugs that led to the overdose. The law prioritizes helping victims more than arresting offenders.
Some Have A Duty To Act
Generally, as long as the ‘Good Samaritan’ acts in the same way any reasonable person would act, they are immune from liability. The “reasonable person” standard is crucial – while it is true that one is not required to help anyone in an accident or violent situation, they do owe a certain standard of care if they do choose to help. The rationale is that if they had not chosen to try and assist, someone else might have. If a person does not perform to the appropriate standard, you can file suit because then they are not protected from liability.
It is worth noting that while most of the time, no duty to help an injured person exists, there are some situations where one’s relationship to the victim does require that they act. For example, parents must assist their children, doctors must assist their patients, and shopkeepers must assist their customers. If you have this type of relationship with a ‘Good Samaritan,’ and they do not assist you or they do so in a reckless way, it may be actionable if you suffered tangible harm.
Contact A Winter Park Personal Injury Lawyer
Life-and-death situations can happen anywhere, and sometimes medical professionals are not on hand to help save those affected. However, those who try to help have to perform at a certain standard of care, or they risk making matters worse. If you have been injured by a Good Samaritan, calling a Winter Park personal injury lawyer from the Hornsby Law Group may be the first step toward seeking compensation for your injuries. Call our offices today for a free consultation.