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slonezp

Medical, Legal, Moral???

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So tonight I see a guy on a Harley T-bone a car. Light turned yellow and he sped up along with the car that made a left turn in front of him at the intersection. Anyway he lands on his back and is not moving. A guy gets out of his vehicle and is standing in the intersection with his arms raised "taking control of the situation". I block the fallen biker with my truck so no other cars can get by. There are now a bunch of onlookers including a lady who is taking pics of this guy laying on the ground(I don't understand). Biker guy starts to choke on his blood and I watch his face turn purple. I get in an arguement with Mr. "take control" because I want to turn him over to prevent him from choking. I was ready to clock the guy. He's still standing there with his arms raised up yelling "If your not a trained professional then shut the F up" Other people are agreeing with me. The paramedics show up right away and haul him off immediatly. I can only imagine if they showed up a couple minutes later, without being turned over, this guy surely would have asphixiated and died.

I don't believe I could have caused any additional damage to this guy by turning him over and I would want a good samaritan to do the same for me.

My ??? Could I have caused things to be worse by turning him over? Could I have been held legaly responsibile for anything if I did flip him, even though I was being a good samaritan? My concience says I was in the right and Mr' "take control" was an idiot.

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The ABC's of life saving as taught by the Army.

1. Airway - Open Airway, restore breathing and heartbeat

2. Bleeding - Stop the bleeding if possible

3. Control - Control and or treat for shock

4. Dress - Dress and bandage wounds

If he was choking on blood, it definitely would have been wise to attempt to clear the airway. Other concerns must be taken into account as well though. In a situation like that, I would be very concerned with the potential for a spinal injury. Before turning him any, you would have had to make sure his head and neck were immobilized in some way. Whether it is from somebody holding him, or fashioning some way to keep everything in line.

Could you have been held legally responsible? I'd like to say no, but honestly I couldn't tell you. I'm no lawyer. I'm sure that in this day and age though, somebody somewhere could find a reason to file suit against you for it if you caused additional damage. At the same time, standing there and doing nothing could probably get you in some kind of trouble as well. It could really end up being one of those situations where you're screwed no matter what depending on how you look at it.

If it were me in that situation, I'd do my damnedest to try and help the guy out.

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I saw a story not long ago,some lady drove through a flooded road and got drifted away.A good Samaritan grabbed her and saved her from being drowned.In the process she got slightly hurt.She sued him....

While your conscience was thinking the right thing "helping him","Mr. Control" was also doing the right thing....if you don't know what you are doing,that could have made the situation worst.

You can be responsible if something happened,but you guys could also be responsible if you guys did nothing.

Honestly,the only person in the wrong is the dumb *** lady taking pictures...now that's just straight messed up...

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It's not over yet. You were a witness. Expect to be harassed by insurance agencies, lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and the state department of transportation - and you might be sued yourself.

I know. I was a witness to a head-on collision a little over a year ago.

What ensued was an endless barrage of phone calls, affidavits, recorded testimonies, forms, and the multiple "oh we lost the recording of your previous interview, can we do it again" phone calls (designed to see if you changed your story), that amounted to nothing more than full-on harassment. I was even warned I might be named in one of the several pending lawsuits (I never was). I finally refused to cooperate any further; at which point the calls, emails, and snail mail finally stopped.

I felt really bad for the victims, but I also became a victim myself. Lesson learned. I won't be making the same mistake again.

Just thought I'd warn you for what's about to happen.

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Most states have good Samaritan laws which will protect you in this case, obviously they can try to get something from you but won't be able to.

In that situation SoFlaBassAddict is correct, you could have rolled him over to clear his airway but know if you didn't stabilize his head and neck additional injuries could have taken place. But the training for for EMT repeatedly said "life over limb".

It was rather sad to respond to an accident scene, start treating the patient and an eyewitness is there. When things have settled a little the witnesses are all gone. To many instances like what Glenn went thru, people are afraid to get involved.

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I'd do it provided I had the know how.

All the courts and money in the world are not equal to saving a human life.

You might get sued and harassed but at the end of the day you can go to sleep at night knowing you didn't let a fellow human being die when you had a chance to help.

That's just my opinion but in your circumstance I don't know what else you could do with Mr. Take-Charge being a A-hole

Capt.O

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Just like BrianinMD said, most states have good Samaritan laws to protect those who lend a helping hand in time of need/disaster. Doesn't mean that they can't try to sue you and cause all sorts of headaches, but none the less you will be protected. I am with you on this situaton. I would have tried to roll him as well to clear his airway. Sounds to me that the guy who was "running the show" was probably in shock as to what had just happened and was more than likely untrained to do anything helpful. There are people who should help at the scene and those who should go get help. Sounds like he was one of those who should have gone for help. Hope it works out for you.

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Watching someone choke to death on his own blood to avoid possible collateral damage does not make sense. Without oxygen to the brain the condition of the spinal column becomes moot very quickly. You were right in your assessment of the situation, and would have been right opening his airway if professional help had not arrived. Could there be legal or civil consequences? Maybe, but watching someone die to avoid getting involved is not something I would be willing to do.

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I can't answer for anyone else, but since I have first responder training, I would be morally obligated to do something. Clearing his air passage would be the 1st obvious choice, as mentioned above.

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My law professor talked about this. It may be morally wrong, but it would be legally smart to do nothing but call 911. In Tennessee the law only protects licensed professionals. (at least I think so) I could get sue if I tried to help someone and he dies. It is what it is.

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Usually its the opposite of that, the trained professionals are not protected under the good Samaritan laws because they are trained and should know what they are doing. The average citizen is not traded but trying to help.

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Years ago, I had a similar situation to Glenn's. I was a witness to an accident but somehow things got messed up and I was listed as being involved. Then my insurance company got involved and I had to straighten that out. It didn't get as bad as it could have,

but was unnerving and inconvenient. Given the litigious nature of society today, I unfortunately would probably not do anything. I might try to control some bleeding but as far as moving anyone, I would not do that. Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished.

I'm not sure how not doing anything could get you in trouble, but I suppose it could.

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Usually its the opposite of that, the trained professionals are not protected under the good Samaritan laws because they are trained and should know what they are doing. The average citizen is not traded but trying to help.

Wrongful death. Sometimes the good citizen could unintentionally do something that killed someone when a professional would not have done that. In the case of a professional, they could have breach their professional duty or done something that cause the person to die. It all situational and depends on what happens. I'm not sure how protected the responders are under Tennessee law, but I'm sure if a breach of duty happened the family of the victim would have a case. Who knows? I'll never forget what my law professor told us "The law is not always concern with what is morally wrong or right."

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I can't answer for anyone else, but since I have first responder training, I would be morally obligated to do something. Clearing his air passage would be the 1st obvious choice, as mentioned above.

Same here. In MO we have a good samaritan law that protects a trained person if they follow a certain procedure.

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It's not over yet. You were a witness. Expect to be harassed by insurance agencies, lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and the state department of transportation - and you might be sued yourself.

I know. I was a witness to a head-on collision a little over a year ago.

What ensued was an endless barrage of phone calls, affidavits, recorded testimonies, forms, and the multiple "oh we lost the recording of your previous interview, can we do it again" phone calls (designed to see if you changed your story), that amounted to nothing more than full-on harassment. I was even warned I might be named in one of the several pending lawsuits (I never was). I finally refused to cooperate any further; at which point the calls, emails, and snail mail finally stopped.

I felt really bad for the victims, but I also became a victim myself. Lesson learned. I won't be making the same mistake again.

Just thought I'd warn you for what's about to happen.

Dang, luckily that didnt happen to me. I was the Primary (and only) witness to a head on collision that left 4 people hospitalized, and one ultimately losing his leg. I wrote my statement, and that was it.

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What kind of #@^%ed country do we live in where people twiddle their thumbs or take video (in the hope of selling it) when someone is lying on the ground possibly dying.

%$@^ the lawyers and insurance companies. If I was the guy on the ground dying I'd sure as hell want someone to do SOMETHING for Chrisakes :angry:

Your heart was in the right place slonezp. You should have followed your gut and knocked Mr. Control Freak out of the way and did your thing. But I'm armchair quarterbacking here, I wasn't there in your shoes so take it for what it's worth, which is about $.02

Let 'em sue me. For what ? They'll spend more money coming after me than they'll ever get.

One last thing. To anyone out there who would even consider taking pictures or video when you come up on a situation like this that you weren't involved in, you're a vulture.

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From what I've read, the good samaritan laws in IL. protect trained professionals and say nothing about the average joe.

I hope I am never put in a situation like that again. It happened so fast yet it seemed like slow motion. Another man and a woman were going to help me roll this guy when I got in the screaming match with Mr. Control. The paramedics showed up during our arguement.

That lady taking pics was a real piece of work. When the police came over to take statements, she was the first one to run up, like she was someone special. There are cameras mounted to the traffic lights which may make things "legaly" better for the parties involved, but that's about it. I couldn't find any info online but my ol' lady called the local PD and they said as of noon today he was in critical condition.

I used to ride and lost more than 1 friend(although I was never there when it happened)in motorcycle accidents. That plus a couple close calls myself is why I no longer own a bike. Last night I got the lecture titled "Don't you ever think about buying another bike again". As long as I live in the Chicago area with all the traffic I won't.

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What kind of #@^%ed country do we live in where people twiddle their thumbs or take video (in the hope of selling it) when someone is lying on the ground possibly dying.

%$@^ the lawyers and insurance companies. If I was the guy on the ground dying I'd sure as hell want someone to do SOMETHING for Chrisakes :angry:

Your heart was in the right place slonezp. You should have followed your gut and knocked Mr. Control Freak out of the way and did your thing. But I'm armchair quarterbacking here, I wasn't there in your shoes so take it for what it's worth, which is about $.02

Let 'em sue me. For what ? They'll spend more money coming after me than they'll ever get.

One last thing. To anyone out there who would even consider taking pictures or video when you come up on a situation like this that you weren't involved in, you're a vulture.

Well said.

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Maybe the person taking pictures might be turning it over for evidence for court settlement. Just in case....

I really mean this - I don't wish bad things on anyone, but what if, God Forbid, you got nailed while on your mountain bike and were in pretty bad shape and seconds mean everything. Do you want some yahoo snapping pictures or do you want someone to try and save your arse ? Forget for a minute what your professors would want to happen, what would YOU want to happen ?

If you view everything from a financial perspective, that's sad.

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I really mean this - I don't wish bad things on anyone, but what if, God Forbid, you got nailed while on your mountain bike and were in pretty bad shape and seconds mean everything. Do you want some yahoo snapping pictures or do you want someone to try and save your arse ? Forget for a minute what your professors would want to happen, what would YOU want to happen ?

If you view everything from a financial perspective, that's sad.

I'd want someone to or get help. Just to clarify, I wasn't really defending the lady for taking picture, but what if she was taking them investigative purpose? Oh well.

I wouldn't say I view everything from financial perspective. I prefer rational manner. :D

I was curious what is the exact law Tennessee has and here it is: http://www.tntlaw.net/articles?id=61937 Looks like ordinary citizens are protected after all. I guess I was wrong. Oh and to clarify what my professor said, he only told us we wouldn't be held liable if someone was drowning or needed immediate attention and we didn't try to help, he didn't go into too much details he was only trying to prove a point about the law being either morally wrong or right. This was a business law class by the way, spent more time in contracts, bankruptcies, etc than general civil laws.

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The biker passed away Tuesday night. My mind is a little more at ease. There was probably nothing I or anyone else could have done for the guy.

Edit: I just read the obit. 6 years in the Army. He was an Iraqi War vet. Kinda really sucks. The guy had no problem putting his life on the line for Americans he never met and I gotta argue with someone because I want to try and save his.

Thanks for listening.

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