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Being a good Samaritan is always a prudent idea. There are times when an onlooker's help can help someone in trouble from experiencing permanent disability for the rest of his or her life. There are good Samaritan laws in Ontario that provide legal protection for volunteers who come to the aid of others in emergencies. 

These laws are meant to encourage people who aren't in health care to help others without being afraid of suffering some legal liability for potentially causing added injury. There are some places where these laws require someone to help, but laws in Canada don't. They encourage those who are hesitant about helping.

Laws are similar in each province. Basically,  they state that those giving emergency medical assistance to anyone who is sick, injured or unconscious can't be sued for any injuries or death caused by the helper's aid. That could include anything the good Samaritan did or did not do. The law expects a helper to use reasonable care when helping someone. Actions should not be grossly negligent.

For instance, anyone performing CPR on an unconscious person couldn't be held liable for breaking a rib. But if a rescuer performs anything radical, like a surgical procedure, he or she may be held accountable should something go wrong. By the same token, failing to help someone can also be seen as being grossly negligent, as could hurting others to try to help an injured party.

If someone should suffer a permanent disability because of the apparent gross negligence of another individual, the injured person may want to speak to a lawyer regarding pursuing compensation. An Ontario lawyer who has personal injury law experience would be able to go over any evidence to help a client weigh the available options for legal recourse. A lawyer could also offer solid advice in terms of the good Samaritan law in the province.


Source: findlaw.ca, "What are Good Samaritan laws?", Accessed on Oct. 7, 2017

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