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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 09-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - The Good Samaritan

Virtually every crash scene that I attended during my policing career featured at least one good samaritan. These were people who stopped to help another in a time of need, often at some risk to themselves. This kind of selflessness is encouraged with protection granted by law in British Columbia.

The Good Samaritan Act protects a lay person who is providing emergency aid to injured people at an accident scene. The protection applies unless the rescuer is grossly negligent in their actions. Gross negligence is any action or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or property of another.

However, before you jump in to help at the next collision, remember that unless you have first aid training and know what to do it is best to do the least necessary to preserve life and prevent worsening of the injury. Paramedics are quick to caution that it is very easy to do significant damage instead applying treatment.

If you have access to a cell phone, a 911 call will provide expert guidance from paramedical personnel if you are willing to remain connected and provide accurate information. Following this guidance will produce the best outcome for the injured. Should communication not be available, be cautious so that you won't make a bad situation worse and need the protection of the Good Samaritan Act.

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Old 09-03-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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Excellent post!

The Good Samaritan Act is a GREAT protector to those that wish to help but the instant you have training in First Aid, no matter the level of training....DON'T rely on this "act". Every first aid course has a "rider" or "becareful" clause with it. Basically they mean to say "Do ONLY what you are trained to do". This little statement NOW means you will be liable IF you do something beyond your training and/or if you do something wrong according to your training. It does become a grey area....and something the courts get involved in many times! We've been taught in first aid for instance..to not move someone if a back injury is involved or even suspected. But, anyone with smarts will yank a person out of a burning car (IF you can't get the fire out) REGARDLESS of what it may do to the persons injury! Better being paralyzed than burned alive, right? Life over limb....but you can see how the lawyers would LOVE to get involved....... To put it in one statement, you can "get away" with a lot more IF you're not trained....as compared to if you've had training".

But if you're a compassionate type of person, as Skidmark has stated...you WILL help...you SHOULD help....some help regardless of the danger they are putting themselves in! After all, we are helping a living being...regardless of what they are....whom they are....and what color they are. But only do what is required to save a persons life....as in the scenario above. Sometimes the best thing you can do is lay, or sit beside the injured person and let them know they are not alone......talk to them...even hold their hand. Yes guys...it's okay to hold another guys hand in this case!!!!! Calming someone down can be a MAJOR part of helping that person out...and you can't get sued for it...and EVERYONE can do it!

Every been genuinely thanked by someone for something you did for them? It's the best feeling in the world...and in the MasterCard language....PRICELESS!

Last edited by Simnut; 09-03-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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If one has had first aid training but it's expired, is one protected? I took Industrial level one more than half a decade ago, but I've forgotten just about everything beyond "wash your hands and the cut before bandaging". How SOL would I be if I tried to help someone at the roadside?
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simnut View Post
Every been genuinely thanked by someone for something you did for them? It's the best feeling in the world...and in the MasterCard language....PRICELESS!

It is a great feeling. Too bad PTSD kicked in after and kept me from appreciating any good feelings for about a week after.



I didn't notice that I was laying on blackberry thorns while pulling the guy out of this car. Thankfully, PTSD and shock help keep the pain from hitting the brain.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:24 PM   #5
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Is it true that if you're a trained medical professional, you're not covered by the good Samaritan act?

Personally - the first things I would ever do is to get help. That's what most first aid places train you to do first. Access the scene, make sure you take them away from big danger (ie, them lying face down in a pool of water), put them in a safe position, then call for help before administering first aid.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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Is it true that if you're a trained medical professional, you're not covered by the good Samaritan act?
Please, save my typing fingers and click on the Reference Links at the end of my original post....
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:47 PM   #7
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Please, save my typing fingers and click on the Reference Links at the end of my original post....
sorry......
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:29 PM   #8
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There is a section in the second link that Skidmark provided
Negligence Definition

If you look at the first paragraph beside the photo of the accident scene...it reads as follows:

For experts selling or offering their services to others on that basis, their standard will be elevated to a similar and qualified expert.

This is the part the lawyers have fun with. Experts.....when you are trained in something, you become an "expert" in that something. If you get training in First Aid, you become an "expert" in that field. Now, you may not be the top "expert", but you have received training and as such.....your standard will be elevated to a similar and qualified expert.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:49 AM   #9
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My question regards how much of an expert you are. I got trained 10 years ago, which means my license has been expired for 8 years, and I only received the training once.

I would love to help at the scene, because I would feel like a total asshat if I drove by saying "shit, I got trained once, I can't touch him".
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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Ditto, I know I have some sort of training, but it's pretty basic.
I remember some things like not moving somebody for fear of paralysis, but aside from that, almost all of it is gone.

Just curious how it would play out if I ever needed protection from this Act.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simnut View Post
There is a section in the second link that Skidmark provided
Negligence Definition

If you look at the first paragraph beside the photo of the accident scene...it reads as follows:

For experts selling or offering their services to others on that basis, their standard will be elevated to a similar and qualified expert.

This is the part the lawyers have fun with. Experts.....when you are trained in something, you become an "expert" in that something. If you get training in First Aid, you become an "expert" in that field. Now, you may not be the top "expert", but you have received training and as such.....your standard will be elevated to a similar and qualified expert.
As an "expert" I think you are mistaken here. An "expert" has to be deemed so by the courts. You need your training standards to be such that they decide that your "Opinion" is admissable as fact. Just because you received a training course of some level from some institute does not make you an "expert" in the courts. Because of my past training from court accepted sources, my on the job delivery of those skills over an extended period of time and my demonstrated ability, the Supreme Court decided I was an expert. Others who may have taken some part of the training I took, but with less on the job delivery, over a shorter period of time, would be very unlikely to be accepted as an "expert" in the legal meaning of the word. First aiders can take all levels of training, from a 2 hour CPR course, a 2 day First Responder course, thru all the way up to Paramedic or even a MD. I would believe that the courts would only consider a Paramedic or MD to be an "expert" and then only in specific areas of expertise where they have demonstrated their ability. A GP is not a brain surgeon...who would be considered an "expert".
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