Personal Injury And The Not-So-Good Samaritan Who Worsens A Ski Injury

Skiing comes with risks and, upon suffering an injurious "spill" on a slope, you are going to need assistance. More accurately, the assistance of a skilled emergency response team is required. While a fellow skier passing by may have very good intentions, the support offered could cause greater harm than good. While it is true Good Samaritan laws protect people who provide assistance with civil immunity, the statutes are not limitless. If injuries are worsened by someone acting more akin to a stubborn know-it-all than a legitimate Good Samaritan, you could file a civil suit.

Help Turns to Negligence

There are a number of ill-advised actions by a person who is trying to help that could be construed as negligent.

  • Refusal to Adhere to Your Wishes

Ultimately, you have the right to accept or refuse medical care. So, if you suffer a leg injury on a bad ski spill and someone comes along to help, the person cannot take charge of the situation unilaterally.

If you ask the person to contact ski patrol for help and receive the response "I know basic first aid. I'll handle the prep work first," the individual could be giving up all protections under Good Samaritan laws. The reason is the person is acting contrary to your stated wishes.

  • Preventing Help from Arriving

Even worse, the person impedes necessary help from arriving.

As people traveling overhead on a ski lift ask if anything is wrong, the person responds something to the effect that the situation is under control. The "Good Samaritan" has know taken deliberative, proactive preventive action to keep you from alerting others. Now, no skilled emergency response team is headed to the location of the accident.

  • Compounding the Injuries

At some point, the fellow skier decided to move you by unceremoniously dragging you off the slopes. Not only does doing so cause more damage to the original injury, your back is severely sprained due to the improper move.

Dealing with Assistance

In any situation in which you are injured, never assume a passive role with someone trying to assist. Be firm in your request regarding what you want the person to do or not to do. Insist on the person calling a professional emergency response team and let the individual know you will take civil action if your directions are ignored. In the aftermath, if you have suffered injuries due to someone else's negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer right away.