Do Bystanders Help in a Motorcycle Crash
Legally, bystanders do not have to help motorcycle crash victims before first responders arrive. However, if you were involved in the collision, you must render first aid while the paramedics come to the scene. Otherwise, you could face legal penalties.
Bystanders Do Not Have To Help Motorcycle Accident Victims
Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting at an intersection when a car crashes into a motorcyclist. Here are some things to consider:
- Your safety comes first. If it’s not safe for you to render first aid, stay in your car.
- You can call 911. Helping motorcycle accident victims doesn’t have to be an overly heroic event. Simply calling 911 can mean the difference between life and death for some collision victims.
- You won’t get in trouble for helping. Florida’s Good Samaritan Act notes that if you render reasonable aid after an incident, you’re not liable for any damages. So, suppose you broke a motorcycle victim’s ribs while giving CPR. Under this law, they couldn’t sue you.
Once first responders arrive, you’re not obligated to stay or do anything else. After law enforcement asks you for details about what happened, they’ll likely ask you to leave the accident scene.
How To Help as a Bystander After a Motorcycle Crash
If you want to help a motorcycle accident victim, you can:
Call for emergency services immediately after the accident. Even if the accident seems minor, request that emergency medical services come to the scene. Some injuries may not seem severe at first but worsen over time. Once medical professionals arrive, move out of the way and let them help.
Secure the Scene
If the motorcyclist is on the road, ensure your surroundings are safe before entering the street. If needed, try to find a way to slow or stop traffic flow to protect you and the motorcyclist.
Assess the Rider’s Injuries
Knowing where the motorcyclist is injured can help emergency medical personnel when they arrive. If the victim is conscious, try to keep them awake and note if they start losing consciousness.
Stop Any Bleeding
If the motorcyclist is bleeding profusely, here are some things to consider:
- You don’t want to contract a Bloodborne illness. Avoid touching the wound or their blood directly. Place a cloth between you and the wound.
- Apply pressure to the wound. If you have a piece of cloth (like a t-shirt), hold it to the wound to stop the bleeding.
Florida Has a Course to Teach Bystanders How To Help During Emergencies
The Florida Department of Health has a course titled “Skills For Bystanders During Emergencies.” It provides information on how bystanders can help in certain situations, such as traffic accidents. The course teaches potential bystanders the following:
- Simple skills to save lives
- How to communicate with 911 operators
- How to stay safe while helping an injured person
- How to stop a wound from bleeding
- How to position the injured person
- How to provide emotional support
These steps could be lifesaving to someone who was in a motorcycle crash.
You Must Help an Injured Motorcyclist if You Were Involved in the Collision
You’re not a bystander if you were directly involved in a motorcycle accident. Florida Statutes § 316.027 notes that you must stay at the accident scene until law enforcement officials arrive. If you don’t, you could face a felony or misdemeanor.
Furthermore, if you leave the accident scene without waiting for first responders, you could be accused of causing a hit-and-run accident. Not only would this come with criminal penalties, but it could open you up to civil liability––making you financially responsible for the injured person’s damages.
Bystanders Can Help After a Motorcycle Crash Before First Responders Arrive
Not only can bystanders help a motorcycle crash victim before first responders arrive, but they can help them if the motorcycle rider wants to take legal action against the liable party. A bystander can take pictures of the scene and make a witness statement describing what happened.
Call us at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato advocates for motorcycle accident victims in Florida. If you were involved in a collision and suffered harm, Our motorcycle accident attorney Fort Lauderdale can guide you through the claims process. To explore your options, Call (954) 633-8270.