Accident Scenes: Do You Always Offer Assistance? - page 8

by JW2011 11,241 Views | 82 Comments

Ok, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or more away, obvious head injury,... Read More


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    We'll never know, and that is what really hurts. In my grief group there are parents with children that lived long enough on life support that their parents and friends at least got to touch them and say goodbye; and some were able to donate organs. I thought about the lost opportunity not only to try to save my son, and a chance to say goodbye, but also a lost opportunity for him to donate his organs. He would for sure have wanted to have done that. My husband and I are both organ donors.

    Quote from brick195969
    All RNs have knowledge of basic life support, cpr, and first aid. Simple pressure to a wound would have stopped or at least slowed the blood flow, no excuse for this at all. I understand shock might be a factor but if you caused the accident, and your an RN and you have no reason to feel guilty (liquor / drugs) then you have to respond to the scene in some fashion. I hope this young man did not die simply from lack of basic first aid, that just compounds the RNs behavior
  2. 2
    If I had caused or been involved in the accident, of course I would be there assisting to the best of my abilities and within the scope of my practice. It would be unethical--as well as a crime--to leave the scene of an accident that I caused.

    If I was not involved in any way whatsoever with the accident, my rendering assistance would be determined based on 1. who was already there; 2. what assistance I could offer; and 3. if stopping to render assistance would in any way jeopardize my own safety.

    To explain #3 better: I was once driving home alone at 2am when I saw a guy lying face down in the grass on the side of the road. I stopped the car but stayed inside, kept the motor running and the doors locked: a female going up to a man on the side of the road at 2am is NOT safe by any stretch of the imagination. I tried to see if he was breathing, if there were obvious injuries...couldn't really tell. When I was calling the police, he got up and walked off. Appeared fine though somewhat under the influence. But even if he appeared worse off than he actually was, there was no way I would approach him without other help present, as doing so alone could have put me in danger. I would have waited until that other help arrived.

    At the very least, I would call 911 no matter what the situation is. And depending on the situation, that's all I may be able to do.

    I'm sorry for your loss.
    CountyRat and JW2011 like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from JW2011
    Thank you! I am so glad you wrote in. FINALLY, someone who completely gets it. My son was also hit from behind, and we believe her phone distracted her and she crossed the center and hit him as he was traveling in the other lane, against traffic. So much good evidence that should have been acted on and wasn't.
    We get it....we really do. All of us understand your pain but we also know that we cannot possibly speculate exactly what happened and why. What the police did or did not do....we really have no way of making an opinion other than to support you and give you hugs as you try to make sense out of a situation that makes no sense at all.

    You cannot affect the past but you can change the future. Use that energy like I said to afect the laws now. I know of a family that did this, I cared for these injured/deceased teens.......several families lost their teens in a tragic accident that had everything to do with that they had just gotten their license. The fought to change the laws.....and won. The state of MA now has some pretty stiff laws concerning new drivers and they have a Jr.Operator license until they are 18. Accidents involving new drivers have dropped dramatically.

    This energy you have.....use it in a positive manner. Talk to high school kids how the dangers of txting and driving. Get involved in legislation to change laws. You can't change what happened or what this person did........but you can still make a positive impact on the future. Does the rad need better lighting? Could there be a side walk if there is none? Something......for continuing to allow this to eat at you....will eat you alive. Write Dr. Phil anyhow........maybe this person will want 15 min of fame more than her skeletons.

    I wish you peace.
    JW2011 likes this.
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    We are doing all we can in contacting people in the positions to help address the laws that need revising as well as addressing the speed limit on our rural road. It's not easy taking on DOT, as they seem very set in their ways.

    Tonight there was another child hit while riding a bike in a nearby town. Don't know the circumstances yet, but it sounded bad. Some of the posts on the blog about it were unreal, people already assuming it just had to be the fault of the biker, and others wanting to know what kind of a parent would allow their child to ride a bike, as it reportedly was near dusk. Not one person asked what the driver was doing/notdoing. Don't people and drivers know that a biker, pedestrian, etc., in most states are considered "vunerable users" of a roadway, and whether or not people agree that they should be there, they do have rights!

    Do you know that through my research after my son's death, I have found that 90% of the time, if a driver remains on scene they are NOT charged. What kind of a message does that send? As long as you don't run away when you have had or have caused an accident involving a "vunerable user", you won't be charged with anything??
  5. 0
    I know when I was a kid my foster sister's sibling was killed while riding bike and being hit by a car. Bicycles here are considered vehicles and as such must follow the rules of the road. The girl was riding through a corn field and decided right tat the moment a teen driver looked down to change the radio station, to jump out onto the road. Both were at fault. She died on scene. He didn't drive again for a while, he was that shaken up. It was a sad situation all the way around, however, according to our laws, he did not leave the lane of traffic. She however entered traffic without signaling and would have been fined had she been hit.
  6. 0
    The moral response is of course do anything possible to help. The reality my be different depending on the laws in the state the accident occurred. If there is not a "good Samaritan" law in place and by helping the nurse causes harm there could be legal and civil court liabilities. Especially since this nurse caused the accident if helping does cause harm and the nurse is at fault in the accident there is probably potential for additional legal charges.
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    I responded before reading all the posts so was unaware of your tragic loss. Just wanted to say how very sorry I am.
    JW2011 likes this.
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    Not every accident is the motor vehicle driver's fault, bikes and pediatricians are more vulnerable but they due make errors or take actions that put them at risk for harm. Every accident site needs to be looked at individually.
    JW2011 likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from JW2011
    We are doing all we can in contacting people in the positions to help address the laws that need revising as well as addressing the speed limit on our rural road. It's not easy taking on DOT, as they seem very set in their ways.

    Tonight there was another child hit while riding a bike in a nearby town. Don't know the circumstances yet, but it sounded bad. Some of the posts on the blog about it were unreal, people already assuming it just had to be the fault of the biker, and others wanting to know what kind of a parent would allow their child to ride a bike, as it reportedly was near dusk. Not one person asked what the driver was doing/notdoing. Don't people and drivers know that a biker, pedestrian, etc., in most states are considered "vunerable users" of a roadway, and whether or not people agree that they should be there, they do have rights!

    Do you know that through my research after my son's death, I have found that 90% of the time, if a driver remains on scene they are NOT charged. What kind of a message does that send? As long as you don't run away when you have had or have caused an accident involving a "vunerable user", you won't be charged with anything??
    We can only offer you moral and emotional support......as per the Terms of Service ....
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    Meriwhen likes this.
  10. 0
    Sorry, Esme! I thought I was just stating facts, I wasn't trying to ask legal advise, just wondered what others thought of the human circumstance in cars/drivers vs. vunerable users. I appreciate all the answers that have been given, as I think it has helped me to be more "rounded" in my thinking of how people, particularly in the medical field, might react to the scenario that was/is my life experience.

    Thank you!
    Last edit by JW2011 on Oct 20, '12


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