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First Responders And Good Samaritans Prevent Tragedy


Three people, including two Good Samaritans, were injured after a two-car crash forced a vehicle into a pond of water, but the accident could have been a lot worse.

The wreck happened in front of Port St. Lucie’s city hall, near the intersection of Port St. Lucie and Airoso Boulevards. According to witnesses and authorities, a southbound vehicle on Airoso turned directly into the path of a westbound vehicle, forcing it into the reflecting pool. Two witnesses immediately went into the water to try and free the driver from the submerging vehicle, but they started sinking as well. First responders arrived shortly thereafter and rescued all three people.

Although the Good Samaritans did not rescue the driver, they were able to keep the victim from drowning.

What Causes Car Crashes?

Less than 5 percent of vehicle collisions are “accidents” in the sense that driver error had nothing to do with the wreck. These rare incidents usually involve tire blow-outs and other product defects. Human error is either directly or indirectly responsible for the other 95 percent, mostly because tortfeasors (negligent drivers) either ignore the rules of the road or refuse to adjust for adverse environmental conditions by slowing down on wet roads and so on. According to the National Institutes of Health, three types of impairment are responsible for most of these crashes.

In spite of a decades-long crackdown against “drunk driving,” alcohol and/or drugs still cause a great many car crashes on Florida streets and highways, mostly because impairment begins with just one drink, making the drinking-and-driving laws very difficult to adequately enforce for collision prevention purposes. Similarly, difficult-to-regulate prescription medication, and even some powerful over-the-counter substances, cause most “drugged driving” collisions.

Distracted driving causes many wrecks as well. Hand-held cellphones are arguably the most distracting items, because people who use these devices while driving are distracted in all three recognized ways:

  • Manual (taking at least one hand off the wheel),
  • Visual (taking their eyes off the road), and
  • Cognitive (taking their minds off driving).

Hands-free cellphones offer little improvement, because according to the three-part test, drivers who use them are still distracted. The same thing applies to drivers who eat while driving, talk to other passengers, apply makeup, and do anything else to “multitask.”

Finally, fatigued drivers are impaired similar to drunk or drugged drivers, because alcohol, narcotics, and fatigue all affect the brain in essentially the same way. Fatigued driving crashes are difficult to quantify because many law enforcement agencies do not even have accident codes from “drowsy driving.” Scientifically, people who drive after being awake for eighteen consecutive hours have the same level of impairment as people who consumer two or three drinks before sliding behind the wheel.

Nonprofessional Victim Assistance

Florida has a very broad Good Samaritan law that provides immunity to almost anyone, even if they are not doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals, who in good faith tries to help accident victims. Most Good Samaritans are liable for the victims’ damages only if:

  • The helper does not exercise due care, or
  • The victim relies on the helper and suffers additional injury.

Medical professional Good Samaritans are liable for damages only if they behaved recklessly by consciously disregarding established medical protocols.

Partner with Assertive Attorneys

A negligent person is either directly or indirectly responsible in almost all car crashes. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We normally do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.





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