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When a Rescue Goes Bad

Posted on in Personal Injury
rescue goes bad, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerFor some people, jumping into an emergency situation to provide assistance is a natural reaction taken without a moment's hesitation. However, for other people who are more risk averse, taking action in an emergency is something that requires some thought. It may seem ungrateful for an injured person who was rescued in an emergency situation to sue his or her rescuer; however, in some cases, the rescuer does make a bad situation worse.

In the adrenaline packed moments following an accident, rescuing someone while at the same time taking care not to inflict further injury is not always an immediate concern. For example, if a person is trying to pull an accident victim from a wreck, he or she may be concerned with just pulling the person from the car before the person gets injured further. However, if by pulling the injured person from the car causes the person injuries to become more aggravated, the injured person may seek compensation from his or her rescuer.

Illinois' Good Samaritan law provides some protection for certain groups of people who provide medical care in emergency situations by limiting situations in which they can later be sued for their actions. Medically-trained professionals such as doctors, nurses, or even people who are trained in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, who provide first aid in an emergency are immune from civil liability if they act in good faith and without compensation. Doctors who are paid to provide emergency care do not receive protection from liability.

Generally, the law does not provide protection for untrained people who attempt to render first aid in an emergency situation. One situation in which a non-medical professional or an untrained person receives some protection under this law is in an emergency requiring the evacuation of people from a burning building. By covering largely only medical professionals, the law seems to encourage assistance from a group of people who would not be more likely to cause additional injuries in providing assistance.

The protections offered under the law only apply in cases where the rescuer does not do something that is considered willful or wanton misconduct. If the rescuer commits willful and wanton misconduct, any protection offered can be overcome.

If a person is injured as a result of another person attempting a rescue, he or she may have overwhelming medical costs that may have been avoided if some actions had been taken or not taken by the rescuer. Seeking compensation does not necessarily mean that the injured person is ungrateful or greedy; he or she could simply be trying to seek help with the costs that are not covered by insurance.

Contact Us for Assistance

If you are have suffered an injury as a result of another person's negligence, please contact the experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a free consultation. We are eager to assist you with your case.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2076

http://www.isba.org/ibj/2014/05/lawpulse/goodsamaritanactdoesntshieldondutye

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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