What Are Your Rights and Obligations When Encountering an Atlanta Car Accident?


November 02, 2013

What happens if you come across a car accident where a is person lying in the road next to a vehicle engulfed in flames?  Insurance companies and certain businesses benefit when the public accepts negative stereotypes about personal injury attorneys and plaintiffs.  Therefore, many people who happen across an injured motorist at the scene of a traffic accident or someone else in need of medical assistance may be hesitant to volunteer help after hearing the widely accepted myth that a layperson or medical professional can be liable for this type of charitable assistance.

The reality is that federal law as well as good Samaritan laws in many states provide statutory protection to those who help someone who is injured in an emergency.  The Georgia good Samaritan law (O.C.G.A. 51-1-29) is designed to protect both ordinary people as well as those with professional medical training in such situations.  The law provides that anyone that provides assistance in an emergency or at the scene of an accident is not liable for “any civil damages as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering emergency care ….”  While some states impose a higher duty on those with specialized medical training, the Georgia good Samaritan law protects both ordinary citizens and those licensed to practice medicine.

The purpose of good Samaritan laws is to encourage people to volunteer aid and care, which can make a critical difference in the medical outcome for a person who suffers injury in an auto collision, fall on a construction site or other serious accident.  If you are in a situation where you are contemplating whether you are at risk of incurring civil liability for providing medical care or emergency assistance, you generally can get protection from liability under the Georgia Good Samaritan Law.

While you may elect to render assistance to an accident victim, you are not legally required to do so if you were not a party involved in causing the accident.  However, anyone that elects not to provide emergency aid should at least call 911 or move out of the way so that an emergency vehicle can get to the scene of the accident or other emergency.  It is important to remember that emergency vehicles racing through traffic with their lights and siren activated may be headed to the scene of a traffic accident where the victim has suffered life-threatening injuries so every second counts.  We urge our friends, neighbors and members of the community to show the same concern they would if it were their loved one facing a medical emergency by moving over for emergency vehicles.

Whether you have been injured in a Georgia auto collision or just have questions about liability in personal injury claims, our Atlanta car crash attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.  No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.