LUKE WILSON & GOOD SAMARITAN LAW IN NJ
Actor Luke Wilson, brother of fellow actor Owen Wilson, and pro golfer Bill Haas were involved in a fatal car crash in Los Angeles early last month. Haas was injured and the man driving the Ferrari he was a passenger in was killed. While Wilson’s Toyota SUV was struck, he was left unscathed and a witness from the scene says he and the actor ran to rescue a woman stuck in her SUV.
Sean Heirigs told People he assisted the Wilson in saving the 50-year-old woman, whose leg was pinned in the car, which had flipped over.
“It was stuck between the steering wheel and the dashboard or something,” he said. “At this time, Luke Wilson had jumped out and come up to the woman’s window. She was crying for help, she obviously didn’t know what was going on, she was very distraught.”
The two worked together, as Heirigs says that both he and Wilson were concerned the vehicle would catch fire.
“At one point, [Wilson] was like, ‘Let’s get her out of here, it smells like smoke,'” Heirigs said. “You don’t know if it’s going to blow up or not. So, I reached in through a window to calm her down. Luke went around the back, to the trunk of the car. We pried it open, she was able to unbuckle herself, and Luke started to pull her out from the back. We then both carried her to the curb.”
The witness said Wilson “was definitely in control” of the rescue.
“He was calm. He was definitely a hero, and a super nice guy,” he said. “When it was all done, we hugged each other.”
This witness’s recollection of the events makes it clear that Luke Wilson was truly a Good Samaritan in this terrible situation.
You may wonder what you would do if you found yourself in a similar situation. What law would protect you if you were a Good Samaritan responding to an emergency and you inadvertently injured the victim of the accident through your attempts to assist them?
New Jersey Good Samaritan Law
In an emergency, helping an accident victim may not always go as planned. Sometimes, in attempting to provide care or medical attention to the injured parties before paramedics arrive, individuals who may not have proper medical training, can actually cause more harm than good. In New Jersey, the New Jersey Good Samaritan Law is designed to protect individuals from liability who have voluntarily attempted to give medical assistance to those in need. The law also has application in a drug-use environment, because it allows people to report a possible drug overdose without fear of being arrested themselves.
Liability Under the Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-1)
The New Jersey Good Samaritan statute encourages and protects bystanders, including doctors and paramedics, at an accident scene to render assistance to someone in need without fear of being sued if things go wrong. But what happens if you are injured by a first responder? Generally, anyone who helps in an emergency is generally considered immune to liability claims in case they make a mistake but people may still have claims if the responder’s conduct was negligent, reckless or intentional.
Contact Drinkwater & Goldstein, LLP Today
If you have suffered additional injuries after an accident because of a first responder’s careless behavior; you may be legally eligible to file for compensation. Call the experienced attorneys at Drinkwater & Goldstein, LLP at (856) 753-5131 today to discuss the facts of your case and get a free evaluation over the phone. There is no cost to you unless we are successful in getting you a recovery!
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