Visitor Question

Negligence and Failure to Render Aid…

Submitted By: Cherry (Kentucky)

I got hurt and was bleeding. I kept asking my boyfriend to please help me or call for medical assistance but he never did. Could I file a complaint against him or sue him for negligence? When is a person required to help? I heard about a “good samaritan” law but don’t know what it requires people to do?

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 Cherry,

Well, first and foremost, you need to think very carefully about suing someone you know. Secondly, you should know that there are only a few narrow situations where a person is required to assist:

1. If a person actually creates the peril, they are under an affirmative duty to rescue or get help. For example, if X pushes Y into the lake and Y cannot swim, X has created this peril and is now under a duty to assist.

2. On duty medical personnel. If a medical provider is on duty and is faced with a scenario where he/she must render aid, he has an affirmative duty (and often an oath) to render aid.

These are really the only two limited scenarios where this applies. The Good Samaritan laws have been outlawed in most states because they created scenarios where people felt duty bound to assist and they either made the scenario worse or they faced law suits themselves for simply trying to help.

So, in your case, unless your boyfriend created the peril that caused you to bleed, he is under no affirmative duty to rescue, render aid or call for help.

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: October 10, 2010

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