Hakim Injury Law: Petty Officer 1st Class Kristin Fitzsimmons, USN, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Good Samaritan Hulk Hogan Pulls Girl from Wrecked Car

April 08, 2024

The retired professional wrestler punctured an airbag with a ballpoint pen so he and another person could pull a teenager out of a wrecked vehicle

The 70-year-old retired wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, helped the girl emerge “unscathed” from the crash, according to his wife. Local police stated that the girl had minor injuries.

Good Samaritans and People

Almost all states protect Good Samaritans, or bystanders who try to help car crash and other accident victims. 

The original Good Samaritan is the main character in a Bible story. This man went out of his way to help an injured traveler. The duty of care is based on this story. But for purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on actions taken to help injured people. 

The original Good Samaritan rescue went exactly as planned, mostly because it was just a story. In real life, Good Samaritan rescues sometimes end badly. Mostly for this reason, some people do nothing in these situations because they fear civil lawsuits.

California lawmakers recently expanded the Good Samaritan law. Anyone, including a medical or other professional, is now a Good Samaritan if s/he provides emergency care to others, in good faith, and without expecting any reward or compensation. Immunity applies unless the would-be Good Samaritan:

  • Intentionally hurt the person s/he was ostensibly trying to help,
  • Was grossly negligent, or
  • Abandoned the rescue before help arrived.

That third bullet point is a puzzler for a Los Angeles Self Driving Car Accident Lawyer. If Tom tried to pull Mary out of a burning car and stopped when she was halfway out, he clearly abandoned the rescue. If he took a few steps toward the car and then though the better of it, he might have abandoned the rescue.

Incidentally, the aforementioned reward or compensation isn’t necessarily money. Many people perform good deeds so they can prove their worth to themselves or others, or to get their names in the paper.

The Good Samaritan law also applies to AED (automated external defibrillator) related injuries, reports of suspected child abuse, and professionals, like ER doctors, administering medical care.

Good Samaritans and Pets

On a 75-degree day, a car’s internal temperature rises to 105 degrees in less than thirty minutes, even if a window is cracked or a sunshade is deployed. Many states don’t extend Good Samaritan immunity to people who break into cars to rescue hot pets. 

California has a limited veterinary Good Samaritan law (a/k/a dog law). It basically applies if the Good Samaritan determined the animal was in imminent danger, called 9-1-1, and used the minimum amount of force necessary to rescue the animal.

So, before you smash open a car window on a hot day, be sure the pet is in distress. Look for symptoms like heavy panting, a bright or dark red tongue, vomiting, and drooling. Rescuers have limited immunity in California.

Consult Our Experienced Car Accident Injury Lawyers

For a free consultation with Car Accident Injury Lawyers, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

Photo by USN, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


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