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What You Need to Know About Good Samaritan Laws in Florida

At Goss Law, we’ve sometimes been asked, “Can I pursue damages from someone who made a mistake when trying to help me and ended up making my injury a whole lot worse?” In today’s blog post, we’re answering that question.

Florida, like many other states, has legal provisions that protect those who make an attempt to help in emergency scenarios. Florida’s Good Samaritan Act states that “Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment… at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor’s office, or other place having proper medical equipment, without objection of the injured victim or victims thereof, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

So what does that mean? Essentially, you cannot sue a good samaritan for damages caused by their intervention UNLESS they acted with extreme imprudence.

You may find yourself wondering, “Is there really no legal recourse? I wish this person had never intervened if they were only going to make my injury this much worse! Someone needs to be held accountable for the pain and suffering I experienced as a result of all this.” If you’re feeling this way, you may take comfort in better understanding why good samaritan laws exist. Without these laws, it would become possible for people to be punished for good intentions. The fear is that everyone would be too afraid to make a costly mistake that they would stand idly by when witnessing an accident. Ultimately, good samaritans help far more than they harm. 

Now let’s consider: What if the person who said they were trying to help you in fact acted so imprudently that they aren’t covered by Florida’s Good Samaritan Act? What if, even, they intended to hurt you under the guise of helping? Admittedly, this is an extremely rare scenario, but if it happens, there is potential for grounds for a personal injury case.

If you have questions about laws related to personal injury or seek representation, contact Goss Law today. We cannot always represent every client who comes to us, but we can listen to your story and determine whether or not your case is a good fit for our firm. To schedule a consultation, contact Goss Law. We look forward to hearing from you!

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