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Personal Injury Lawyer

Can You Be Held Liable for Not Helping an Injured Person?

Accidents happen every day. Car wrecks, choking, drowning and other types of accidents happen in private homes as well as in public. If you witness an accident, you may wonder: Could I be sued for not stopping to help? Depending on the situation, you could end up in front of a judge.

In most situations, a witness has no duty to rescue a person in distress. Some may call this cruel, but you could become liable if your action worsens the situation. Some states including Kansas have “Good Samaritan laws” that protect a witness that tries to help from civil liability.


Despite witnesses not being liable in a vast majority of accidents, there are a few exceptions. Although a witness has no duty to rescue, if you played a part in creating the dangerous situation, you generally have a duty to rescue the person in distress. In other words, your negligence can lead to a lawsuit. Having a special relationship with the distressed person, such as a parent-child relationship, also gives you an obligation to help rescue.

Certain states require witnesses to rescue distressed persons or to report the accident, but only if they can do so “without danger or peril.” Failing to act in a state that requires action could also result in a negligence lawsuit.

How You Can Help

Kansas does not have a duty to rescue law, but the guilt of leaving a person in distress may be as bad as a lawsuit. There are steps you can take to help someone in distress without putting yourself in danger. If you’re on the road, pull a safe distance off the road and turn on your hazard lights alerts other drivers and help the emergency vehicles spot the accident. Next, don’t assume someone else has called 911. When calling for help, be prepared to answer questions such as your location and how many people are injured. Lastly, if the victim is injured, you shouldn’t move them, but you can still help comfort them. Providing a blanket to keep them warm or shading them from the sun can help while waiting for the ambulance.

At Ray Hodge & Associates, we believe in personal injury handled personally. At our office you see a lawyer from the very first meeting because we believe your case deserves an experienced personal injury attorney right from the start.

If you have had a Kansas car wreck injury that was not your fault and need medical treatment, you need an experienced professional who can help you get back on the road to recovery. Call us today at 316-269-1414 or visit our contact page here. Our Kansas personal injury attorneys will provide you a free initial consultation and if we take your case you don’t pay a dime unless we recover money for you. Even then we only take a percentage of the total amount of your recovery.

If you have questions on what you should be looking for when you are making a decision to hire a Kansas personal injury lawyer, read our article located here.

Make sure you download our free car accident app for iPhone or Droid to protect yourself in event of an auto accident.

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Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.