Visitor Question

Good Samaritan Causes Permanent Injuries?

Submitted By: Joann (Cincinnati, OH)

I have a question about an auto accident injury scenario…

A car accident occurs and a fire immediately starts. The driver of the vehicle is pulled out by a pedestrian bystander in the area. The driver receives permanent injuries as a result.

Is it possible to sue the pedestrian for the driver’s resulting permanent injuries? What is the law regarding a Good Samaritan helping someone and then causing more injuries? Thanks in advance for you answer.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Joann,

The applicable Ohio “Good Samaritan” statute in this type of a case is listed in the Ohio Revised Code, Section 2305.23. The statute clearly protects those who “volunteer” their assistance to those who are injured and unable to receive immediate professional medical attention.

However, there are exceptions…

The first is if the Good Samaritan requested compensation, or was paid in any way for his or her services. In that case the Good Samaritan Law will not offer protection.

The second is more rare. It occurs when the Good Samaritan willfully or maliciously caused injury to the person they are attempting to provide assistance to. The statute will also will not protect any person attempting to render assistance if that person engaged in an “inappropriate sexual touching” of the injured party.

In the case you present it would appear your Good Samaritan’s actions, even though they may have resulted in injuries to the person he or she was attempting to assist, are protected under Ohio’s Revised Code, Section 2305.23

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 3, 2012

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