Put yourself in this situation:
You’re walking down the sidewalk when you suddenly witness a terrible car accident just ahead. You rush to the scene to find a driver who requires CPR. You understand the basics of CPR, so you jump in until emergency services can arrive to the scene.
In all the commotion, you probably aren’t thinking about your liability in this accident. You’re just trying to save a human life.
However, if the person you’re administering CPR too dies, could you be held partly liable for their death under Florida personal injury law?
This is where Good Samaritan laws come into play.
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
At their core, Good Samaritan laws exist to protect helping hands from liability as a personal injury case moves forward.
For example, let’s say you administered CPR incorrectly and caused further injuries to the driver you were trying to help. Under Florida’s Good Samaritan laws, you cannot be sued by the driver for the injuries you may have accidentally caused while trying to help.
The only party who can be charged with negligence is the other driver or whoever’s negligence caused the accident in the first place.
Are There Exceptions in Florida?
There are a few exceptions to the Good Samaritan laws enacted by the state of Florida.
Firstly, once you decide to administer care to an injured individual, you have a duty to exercise reasonable care. This means you must act in a way that any reasonable person would in such a situation. If you act recklessly or even intentionally cause additional harm, you can certainly be held partially liable.
Secondly, there are a few individuals who the Good Samaritan law does not cover. These individuals include off-duty nurses or healthcare providers as well as law enforcement officers and EMTs.
Finally, an individual cannot be protected by Florida Good Samaritan laws if he or she is relied upon by the injured to receive care in the first place. For example, if you are injured and your primary care physician causes additional injury while treating you, he or she can be held liable under this law.
If you or someone you know is involved in a personal injury case, protect their rights by contacting an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo understand the ins and outs of accident cases, and we’re fully prepared to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.