Skip to comments.Good Samaritan damages car - who is responsible?
Posted on 01/06/2014 4:56:55 AM PST by rickmichaels
A friend of mine saw a man whose car was stuck in a snow bank, stopped and offered to help push him out. He accepted. A few other people stopped and joined in. Someone pushed on the spoiler of the car and it snapped off. The driver was furious and demanded compensation, which has not been forthcoming as of yet.
My friend believes the driver told the person to push on the spoiler, but of course he disputes that now (he would testify to that effect if necessary). Are Good Samaritans who are trying to help responsible for damages? Should I just drive on next time and leave it to CAA to get people unstuck? I am guessing that by accepting help, the driver accepts the risks. If he has a claim, would auto or household insurance be able to step in? Robert in Calgary
(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...
The good guy thanks the helpers and recognizes the damage is the price of help.
I’ve been there. (Cracked sunroof from helpers pushing on the roof line.)
I would say yes!
Lost me at “demanded compensation”. As long as it wasn’t malicious I wouldn’t even talk with this person again let alone pay them for trying to help them.
Throw him back in the snow bank.
From the perspective of the 4 basic temperaments: (funny - I didn’t know the A was in there...)
1. Sanguine - laughs it off
2. Melancholy - cries about it
3. Phlegmatic - oh well, so what, gotta get another, eh, maybe
4. Choleric - YOU &^%%$%^ , you’re gonna have to pay me for that!
I think most ‘normal’ people would consider it a ‘cost’ of getting helped (for free too!) - but you never know...
There are liability issues when you give someone CPR. Lawyers have ruined this country.
That said, I cannot believe someone would be so stupid as to try to push a car from a PLASTIC part. Everyone knows plastic is not strong enough to be used as a push point. Plus it gets brittle as all heck in the cold. Sheesh!
But wait. There's more. This IS 2014. Year six of the Era of Obama. Scratch all of the above. There is no common sense left. Driver will probably sue and win.
Actually all states except Washington and Minnesota have some sort of Good Samaritan law. (Are we still allowed to use that term since in comes from the Bible?)
They should realize one of the best ways to push on a car is the top of the tire. If you can get to it and have gloves or can otherwise get a pretty good grip it is where you get the most leverage. You are pushing on the top of the tire. The “fulcrum” is the bottom of the tire where it touches the road. The car is resisting from the axle - half way up. So you literally double your leverage, doubling your push.
I suppose technically the “Good Samaritan” would be liable for breaking the spoiler but a driver with a magnanimous viewpoint would say, “no problem, thanks for the help.”
But unfortunately, Americans lack magnanimity these days.
that is the reason people ignore others who need help
people who need help can be complete asses and ingrates
>> They should realize one of the best ways to push on a car is the top of the tire.
That rules out letting the car’s drive train help with the pushing. ;-)
Did you ever think visibility was very, very bad? The fog was incredibly thick during this storm and the snow, itself, obscured the view. And how many hands were struggling to find a position on the car? Sheesh, people are such ingrates. He obviously got out of the snow back and avoided hypothermia. But, nooooooooooo, he’s gotta complain and demand payment.
I had to look up “spoiler” on google.
people who need help can be complete asses and ingrates
You forget. This is the United States.
Where help is owed to another, whether you want to or not.
>>> .... furious and demanded compensation
How does the driver decide how much compensation is due him (on the spot)?
I would just bill him double for the work performed, and split the 50% left amongst the good folks who stopped and helped.
Win - win.
if ordered to help by fedgov you mean
Actually, this is Canada. Robert in Calgary
Tell Mr PITA to grow up and get over it. The primary cause of the car decoration being damaged is that he is unable to drive in the snow. Perhaps he should take the bus from now on.
Colorado had a good Samaritan law that someone helping say with first aid could not be sued if something happened. I don’t know if it covers this kind of help. The driver is probably liable for a ticket for careless driving or something so he is not innocent either.
I was helping a lady stuck in the ditch bit north of Calgary there. I had my truck but no chains or tow ropes as I had just picked it up. So I went to an autobody business right near there and asked the owner if I could borrow something. He said sure, but I better make sure I have a safe pull point or she can go after me for damages. I asked him if he was serious, he said yes. So apparently, you can try to help someone but if you damage something, you’re responsible. Well, that didn’t stop me, I went anyways, turned out she had a trailer hitch on her little SUV.
After having to use 4wheel low to get her out, I looked and made sure it was road worthy, and it was fine. She thanked me and asked me for a business card with my company. I said it’s fine, you won’t have need for our services unless you’re a major oil company. I said Jesus says to love your neighbors as yourself, so here I am loving my neighbors. I could tell she wasn’t too happy with my reasons for helping.
LOL! two sides to it all.
It would depend on whether or not they successfully got the car back on the road......
Too many “non Christians” with “non Christian” lawyers on retainer around here where I live (Philly suburb).
There is no good place to push on a modern car.
But the standard of living is up, don’t you know?
The idiot deserved it for having a spoiler on their car in the first place.
Are Good Samaritans who are trying to help responsible for damages?
No. The owner of the car is a complete and utter jerk. He has insurance and can make a claim to fix it. What a complete and utter repulsive individual.
If he doesn’t sue, his insurance company will.
What a royal pain. The helpers should have shoved the car back into the snow and left him. Or better yet, they make him pay for their imagined back and neck injuries.
Dear Robert in Calgary, agree to pay for the spoiler. Then send him a bill for that amount plus additional money for getting his vehicle unstuck.
You might consider this one thing, though. Repairing a spoiler is about $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the car. The guy who's car is damaged could easily spend that much on attorney's fees at $150 to $300 per hour, depending on where the suit is to take place. Your buddy could just call his bluff, note the legal costs as I mentioned above, walk away and see what happens. Most people are just bluster and bluff anyway.