How to be a safe Good Samaritan this winter

Winter can be a particularly dangerous time for accidents with the additional hazard of snow and ice. More cars are on the road traveling to family gatherings and other holiday celebrations. If you see a vehicle spin out, stuck on the side of the road or a multiple-car crash, you may feel compelled to stop and help them. That’s great!

Being a Good Samaritan in Kentucky comes with protections by law, but it also comes with some inherent risk to yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind when being a Good Samaritan this winter.

You are immune from liability

Any person who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency is not liable for any civil damages as a result of their acts or omissions. If you stop and you are truly trying to help a person involved in an accident, they cannot turn around and sue you if something goes wrong.

When stopping, signal the crash to others

When you stop for an accident, turn on your hazard lights and park at a safe distance from the scene – 100 feet away is a good measure. If you have flares or traffic triangles with you, put those out. This helps other drivers see you and those involved in the accident and give you the space you need.

Be prepared to call 911

Whether or not you’re the first person to stop for an accident, don’t assume anyone has called 911. However, before you call, assess the situation as best you can with as much pertinent detail as possible. This will help 911 operators get you help faster.

If you are injured, you can get help

There is the risk that you could be injured while helping another injured person. If that is the case, be sure that you have strong representation so that you receive proper compensation for your medical costs. A personal injury attorney can assess the damages to you or your vehicle in the accident and make sure your insurer pays out what you deserve.

Being a Good Samaritan shows the best of what humanity has to offer within ourselves, and that charity should not cost you more than your time and the effort it takes to help the person in need.

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