Good Samaritans Stop at Scene of Sacramento Accident
I’m Sacramento car accident lawyer Ed Smith. A collision in Sacramento between two vehicles resulted in injuries to the occupants of both. The drivers of three other vehicles pulled over to help, according to a representative of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). No further information has been released about the number or extent of the injuries.
The accident occurred shortly before 11:00 in the morning on April 22 at Power Inn Road and Elsie Avenue when a Toyota Corolla and Jeep, described as white in color, collided. Officers from the CHP quickly arrived at the scene. It was determined that minor injuries in both vehicles had occurred, and emergency medical personnel were called. Personnel with the CHP remained to conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash, and the roadway was cleared within minutes.
Good Samaritan Laws in California
The Good Samaritan Law came into being in California in 1980. It stated that someone offering emergency care at the scene of an accident would not be held liable for civil damages. However, the interpretation of this version was such that emergency care was equivalent to medical care. In that sense, it did not cover the very people it was meant to cover – the average citizen. In 2004, a woman (Torti) pulled her friend from the wreckage of the vehicle they had been traveling in. Her friend (Van Horn) was paralyzed due to Torti’s act and filed a claim for damages against Torti. The court decided that the law at that time did not cover non-medical assistance/rescue and ruled in Van Horn’s favor.
Amendment to the Law
After this case, the legislature amended the Good Samaritan Law. By initially framing the law to be restricted to emergency care, the act of rescue was not covered. Once the amendment was passed, rescuers were included. Today, rescuers in California are able to stop and help people in an accident without fear of a lawsuit against them.
Avoiding Danger at an Accident Scene
If you are the first to pass by an accident scene and wish to stop and help, there are things you can do to stay safe while helping:
- Park on the side of the road, and put your flashers on to warn others. It is better to not park immediately at the crash site, so emergency vehicles will not have difficulty reaching the injured. Remember to lock your vehicle when you leave.
- Walk well off the road, watching to see if a driver who is distracted by the accident is heading in your direction.
- If you have a first aid kit in your vehicle, remove the rubber gloves from it and put them on. If there is blood at the scene, you are protected.
- If there is no indication that someone called 911, call them on your cell phone. Give the dispatcher all the information they need to get help to the accident site. If there are mile markers or off and on ramps nearby, use them as a way to help rescuers locate the accident.
- Since electrical wires are often down at an accident site, be alert for them.
- Check to see if people in the accident are injured.
- Be realistic about your first aid skill, and unless you have some sort of training, do not attempt to give medical care. This is a difficult choice, but in some cases, you may make things worse. If you have taken a first aid course complete with CPR training, and emergency help is needed, you might be called upon to provide it.
- If the injured person is safe where they are, stop and tell them that help has been summoned.
- If a vehicle is on fire or there is another serious reason to move the injured person, do so gently.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Sacramento car accident lawyer Ed Smith. If you have been in an accident and were hurt by another person’s negligence, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I will give you the friendly and free advice you need. I am also available online if that is easier for you.
I’ve helped many people in Sacramento and throughout Northern California when they were faced with wrongful death or traumatic injuries.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/fire-delete-use-traffic-accident-22332/
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