Law for protection of Good Samaritans who help road accident victims

February 16th, 20181:08 am @    


With increase in vehicles on the road, there is definite rise in number of accidents taking place. Sometimes accidents are severe and people get injured.  Drivers, Passengers, pedestrians etc tend to get hurt and may require immediate medical assistance.

But its a common notion among the people that if you take the victim/s to the hospital then there is a strong probability of getting entangled into police procedures. In order to encourage people to take road accidents victims to the hospital, official guidelines have been issued by the Central Government (on orders of the Supreme Court in the PIL by Savelife Foundation)/ order to protect good Samaritans from harassment when they help road accident victims:

  1. A bystander or good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident may take an injured person to the nearest hospital, and the bystander or good Samaritan will be allowed to leave immediately with no questions asked.
  2. If a bystander or good Samaritan voluntarily informs the authorities in the hospital that he saw the accident taking place and offers to be an eye witness then he/she may be asked to asked to provide the address.
  3. The bystander or good Samaritan shall be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward to help the road accident victims by the authorities/State Governments.
  4. The bystander or Good Samaritan is not liable for any civil and criminal liability.
  5. A bystander or good Samaritan, who makes a phone call to inform the police or emergency services for the person lying injured on the road, cannot be compelled to reveal his name and personal details on the phone or in person.
  6. The disclosure of personal information in the admission forms in the hospital, such as name and contact details of the good Samaritan is voluntary and optional. The person may choose not to provide the same.
  7. The disciplinary or departmental action can initiated by the Government concerned against public officials who coerce or intimidate a bystander or good Samaritan for revealing his name or personal details.
  8. The bystander or good Samaritan, who has voluntarily stated that he is also an eye-witness to the accident and is required to be examined for the purposes of investigation by the police or during the trial, such bystander or good Samaritan can only be examined on a single occasion.
  9. Video conferencing may be used extensively during examination of the eye witness to avoid harassment and inconvenience to good Samaritans.
  10. All registered public and private hospitals cannot detain a bystander or good Samaritan after he/she delivers the injured person to the hospital. They cannot demand payment for registration and admission costs, unless the good Samaritan is a family member or relative of the injured.
  11. The injured person is to be treated immediately in pursuance of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pt. Parmanand Katara Vs Union of India & Ors [1989] 4 sec 286. Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, where he is expected to provide care, amounts to “Professional Misconduct”, under Chapter 7 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 and disciplinary action can be taken against such doctor under Chapter 8 of the said Regulations.
  12.  In case a bystander or good Samaritan so desires, the hospital shall provide an acknowledgement to such good Samaritan, confirming that an injured person was brought to the hospital and the time and place of such occurrence.

Article by

Nikita is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of MightyLaws.in. She is a lawyer/author residing in Delhi. She believes that increasing legal awareness is the key to ensure social justice and simplification of law is the means to achieve it. She writes articles on social and political issues for various platforms in English and Hindi.

Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Enter your Email Address to Get Similar Articles in your Inbox Free!

  

MightyLaws is not responsible or liable for the views expressed by the authors. The articles are general information and should not be treated as legal advice. Please read the Disclaimer for further clarifications.