Witnessing a motorcycle collision can be an extremely disturbing event. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to accrue severe injuries in a traffic collision than four-wheeled vehicle passengers. As a result, it’s easy to see why witnessing a motorcycle crash can be horrific. However, just because the victim’s injuries may be severe, doesn’t mean that you can’t help him.
If you’re worried about potential legal ramifications…don’t. The Good Samaritan Act protects individuals who administer care in emergency situations from civil liabilities. The law states that as long as the individual acts as a reasonably prudent person would act under the same circumstances, acts in good faith to help the injured, and is not asked by the victim to stop, then he can not be held responsible for permanent damages that his treatment may have caused.
Furthermore, in some situations refusing to provide help (especially when you are medically trained) could be considered negligence. Therefore, if you witness an accident, you should always pull over and volunteer your assistance.
While You Wait
One of the most common injuries a motorcyclist sustains is road rash. When offering help in instances where road rash has occurred, you can help ease the victim’s pain by taking steps to care for the injuries while you await emergency personnel. These steps include:
- Calling an ambulance. It doesn’t matter how minor or severe the collision is, emergency personnel should be notified if there are any injuries. If the victims are unable to call or haven’t called by the time you arrive at the scene, make the call yourself.
- Assessing other possible injuries. Before you address the road rash, make sure the victim doesn’t have any other injuries. Pay particular attention to areas around the spine and head. Refrain from moving him too much as jostling can cause further damage.
- Assessing the road rash. Try to determine the severity of the injury in order to determine how to proceed. If clothing is obstructing the wound, cut or remove it for easier access.
First aid for minor cases
- Clean the wound. Clean the area the best you can with clean, warm water. Dirt and debris that is covering the wound can lead to infection, so try to wash away as much as possible. If you have access to tweezers, you can attempt to remove the embedded debris that the water has left behind.
- Provide support. Sometimes just having a friendly face to talk to can ease pain a great deal. If nothing else, wait with the victim until emergency personnel arrive.
First aid for severe cases
- Apply pressure to stop bleeding. If the wounds are bleeding excessively, apply pressure to the areas to slow down blood loss until the ambulance arrives.
- Clean the wound. If the bleeding stops and the ambulance has yet to arrive, try cleaning the wound as best you can by removing any debris (try not to touch the open wounds as your hands aren’t sterile) and flushing the area with clean water. Avoid wrapping the wound until the ambulance arrives so the emergency personnel can have a look at it.
Share Your Experience
If you’ve benefited from a good Samaritan helping you after a motorcycle accident , or you have been a good Samaritan, we want to hear your story. Leave a few short sentences in the comment section provided and let us know how on-site treatment helped you.
For more information about road rashes and motorcycle injuries, contact our Ormond Beach office today to speak to one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys.