Is the Good Samaritan Law Real?
The concept of the Good Samaritan law is well-known. From popular culture, it is meant to protect those who come to the aid of another from incurring legal liability. For example, if you perform CPR on a person and they suffer an injury like a broken rib (which is very common), you – the Good Samaritan – cannot later be sued for damages. However, this basic understanding tends to be the limit of the public’s understanding of the legal concept. How it applies – if at all – often remains murky at best.
For example, did you know that the Good Samaritan law not only protects you when you do help people, it can also mean you can be held liable for not helping someone? It is a basic rule that the average human is under no legal obligation to provide help to someone in distress. In other words, if you opt to not provide help, even when doing so poses no risk to you, you will not be charged with a crime nor will you be held liable for any injuries caused as a result of your refusal to help.
However, an exception to this general rule is the Good Samaritan law. These laws not only protect you from liability when you do provide help, they can also impose criminal sanctions on those who refuse help. Remember the final episode of Seinfeld? The reason the gang ends up in jail is because of the Good Samaritan law and their refusal to provide help to another person in distress.
Florida’s Good Samaritan law is found in Florida Statute Section 768.13. It was enacted in order to provide immunity from civil liability to those who render aid to another under a variety of circumstances.
Good Samaritan laws and their legal protections and/or duties depend heavily on the circumstances of the case. If you are being sued as a result of injuries caused while helping another individual, or if you are facing criminal charges for not providing help, you should seek the advice of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to analyze your particular case and provide you with a clear understanding of how you may be effected by the Florida Good Samaritan law.
For your free initial consultation, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).
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