Rescue Doctrine

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Rescue Doctrine

The principle that one who has, through her Negligence, endangered the safety of another can be held liable for injuries sustained by a third person who attempts to save the imperiled person from injury.

This doctrine is based on the idea that danger invites rescue. It also provides that one who sees a person in imminent and serious peril as the result of the negligence of another cannot be charged with contributory negligence, as a Matter of Law, in risking his own life or serious injury in attempting a rescue, provided the attempt is not recklessly made.

Cross-references

Good Samaritan Doctrine.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

rescue doctrine

n. the rule of law that if a rescuer of a person hurt or put in peril due to the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another (the tortfeasor) is injured in the process of the rescue, the original wrongdoer is responsible in damages for the rescuer's injury. Sydney Sparetire speeds on a mountain highway, and skids in front of Victor Victim, running Victim's car off the bank, trapping Victim in the vehicle. Raymond Rightguy stops, ties a rope to the grill of his car, slides down and extricates Victim, but on the way up slips and breaks his arm, and then finds the grill is badly bent. The negligent Sparetire is liable to Rightguy for his broken arm (including medical expenses, loss of wages and general damages for pain and suffering) as well as the property damage to the car grill. (See: damages)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.