Is paying for medical expenses after an accident an admission of guilt?

It was a dark and stormy night. There was a road accident. Two cars collided on the wet concrete.

The driver of the first car stepped out. Seeing that the woman inside the other car was badly hurt, he immediately called for help.

Emergency services came to take the woman to the nearest hospital. The man followed to check on her.

At the hospital, he found out that she needed an operation. He immediately wanted to offer to pay for the medical bills. But then he paused.

Could his offer to pay for her hospital costs be used against him at the police investigation or in Court? If he offers to pay for her medical, hospital or other expenses from her injuries, wouldn’t that be an admission of fault by him?

No. An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury. Offering to pay for these expenses cannot be used against you.

This principle is plainly stated in the Rules of Court.[1] It’s known as the Good Samaritan Rule of evidence. The reason for this Rule is to promote and encourage humanitarian acts or charitable responses rather than discourage or penalize them. Otherwise, someone who may just want to help might hold back for fear that doing so will be taken as a sign of guilt.

So, if you’re ever involved in an accident, if you want to be a good neighbor to someone fallen by the roadside, do not be afraid. Go and do likewise.

Atty. Francesco C. Britanico

 

[1] Section 27, Rule 130 …

An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury.

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