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Mass. bill would protect first responders from lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits in Massachusetts could face some changes if a proposed bill is passed and signed into law. The Massachusetts Senate has already passed the "Good Samaritan Bill" to protect off-duty first responders from potential lawsuits. 

The "Good Samaritan Bill" would give off-duty first responders and emergency medical technicians legal protection in the event of an injury or death due to the care they provided during an emergency situation such as a car accident or disaster like the Boston Marathon bombings. 

The bill was proposed by lawmakers who want to make sure that first responders and emergency medical professionals cannot face a lawsuit for trying to help someone during an emergency. Lawmakers who support the bill said that current "Good Samaritan" laws in Massachusetts do not apply to off-duty first responders who provide medical care professionally.

While off-duty first responders or emergency medical technicians have the best intentions when providing help during a car accident or other type of accident, sometimes their actions result in further harm to the victim.

There have been many personal injury lawsuits that stem from when someone tried removing a car accident victim from the vehicle without properly restraining them or taking safety precautions, and the victim suffered further damage such as a neck or spinal cord injury due to being moved in an unsafe manner.

Because of the negligence or unsafe actions made by another person, the car accident victim suffered further damage and harm that could result in more medical expenses and treatment now and in the future.

While a majority of the subsequent injuries resulted from a good samaritan trying to help, the victim may end up facing huge medical bills and expenses for the rest of their life due to the actions taken after their accident.

The bill heads to the House of Representatives to be voted on. If the bill is passed and signed into law, victims injured in accidents may have a harder time filing a lawsuit against the individuals responsible for their injuries.

Source: Boston Globe, "Mass. Senate bill would protect first responders," May 23, 2013

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