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28 February 2013

Lawyers Defining Morality

A little background. Two years ago my father came upon an accident where a car had collided with a light pole, shearing the light pole off at the base. The pole was lying across the roadway, so my father stopped to try to warn oncoming traffic of the hazard. Before he could get in a safe position a car came speeding around the curve and struck the metal light pole which in turn struck my father, breaking his legs and back and rupturing his stomach.
Months later, in a deposition by the attorney for the insurance company of the driver of the second car that struck the light pole, this conversation took place;

Attorney: Are you a paramedic?
My father: No sir
Attorney: Are you a doctor?
My father: No sir
Attorney: Then you had no business at the scene of the accident. Because your vehicle was not involved, your proper course of action would have been to continue driving and not stop.

What??? I’m not a lawyer (thank goodness) but I was under the impression that there was a crime known as “failure to stop and render aid”. Not to mention helping someone in need is the right and honorable thing to do. But according to this idiot attorney, if you aren’t a doctor or EMT the injured don’t need your help.

Of course, if it were this attorney’s spouse or child injured and in need of help he probably wouldn’t object if you weren’t a doctor. But he is willing to abandon human decency in an attempt to “win” and get his employer (the insurance company) off the hook for my father’s medical bills.

On an even more personal note, years ago I pulled an injured woman from an overturned car in the middle of the night as others stood by watching. I never gave much thought to those that did nothing. After hearing my dad’s story, I wondered for a split-second.. “Am I stupid”? Here is what I’ve decided: If I had it to do over again, I would do it the same way. Others can let corporations and their lawyers define morality for us, but I can’t. So sue me, take what little I have (not much) but I won’t let a soulless lawyer make me choose between keeping my material things or my conscience.
What do you think? Should we mind our own business and protect ourselves and our assets? Or should we help those in need, even if it costs us?