It’s common to hear stories and see media coverage of individuals accomplishing heroic feats to rescue those in danger. And although these feel-good stories are entertaining and inspiring, those who attempt to help in emergency situations can sometimes be held liable for damages if something goes wrong.
Fortunately, every state has some form of what’s known as the Good Samaritan Law. The Good Samaritan Law protects you from lawsuits if you attempt to help someone in an emergency.
In this blog, you’ll learn all about the Kentucky Good Samaritan Law and situations in which you have a duty to rescue.
What is the Good Samaritan Law?
The Good Samaritan Law is also often referred to as the “duty to rescue” or “volunteer protection” law. These laws typically protect those who provide emergency medical assistance from being held criminally or civilly liable. For example, an off-duty doctor or nurse assisting an injured person would likely be protected by Kentucky’s Good Samaritan Law. The law prevents the injured individual or their family from recovering damages from the person who tried to help.
In addition to doctors and nurses, this protection extends to EMTs, school employees certified in first aid, those certified in CPR, and anyone attempting to provide assistance with an automated external defibrillator.
Any other individual attempting to help someone in danger is also protected by Kentucky’s Good Samaritan Law.
Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law
Although the Good Samaritan Law protects those who attempt to help others in emergency situations, there are circumstances in which someone may still be held civilly or criminally liable.
Someone attempting to assist another person can be found liable if they made the injured person’s condition worse or if they engaged in reckless or negligent behavior at the time. For example, if a person uses a defibrillator recklessly and causes further harm to an injured individual as a result, they could be held civilly or criminally liable for damages.
Additionally, the Good Samaritan Law doesn’t protect someone who assists another person for money or inside a hospital. For example, the law won’t protect a doctor from medical malpractice damages if they engaged in negligent behavior when treating a patient.
Your Duty to Rescue in Kentucky
The Kentucky Good Samaritan Law doesn’t require citizens to help those in need except for in certain situations. These situations are:
- You Caused the Danger: If you put someone else in jeopardy through your negligent actions or deliberate wrongdoing, you have a responsibility to help the person in need.
- You’re Responsible for the Person Who’s in Danger: You have a duty to help the person in danger if they’re under your care. This may be the case if you’re their teacher, parent, guardian, or caretaker.
- You Initiated the Rescue: If you start helping someone who’s in danger, you have a responsibility to continue offering assistance unless the rescue effort is no longer reasonable.
How to Help an Injured Victim After a Car Accident
Good Samaritan laws protect those who help at an accident unless they make the situation worse or engage in negligent behavior. If you witness or are involved in a car accident in Kentucky that puts someone in danger, the best thing you can do to help is call 9-1-1 immediately. The 9-1-1 operator will likely ask for details regarding the accident, so stay on the line and answer to the best of your abilities.
If the person requires immediate assistance and you have the skill set to help them, you should first consider your own safety. You should also be aware that making a mistake that leads to the victim suffering further harm could cause you to be liable for damages.
Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Attorney
If you’re involved in an auto accident in Kentucky, you need to hold the negligent driver accountable for any damages you may have suffered, which could include property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
Unfortunately, when filing a claim, the other driver’s insurance company will likely attempt to reduce the amount of damages you can recover, or they may even try to argue that you were actually at fault for the wreck. For that reason, you need experienced and reliable legal guidance for your case — contact the Kentucky car accident lawyers at McCoy & Sparks Attorneys at Law. We’ll work tirelessly to prove your case, and we’ll ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Call our Bardstown office today at 844-459-9467, or you can request a free case consultation online here.