Duty to Render Aid


By Jedidiah McKeehan

In the final episode of Seinfeld, the four main characters are sent to jail for a year for failing to render aid to someone getting mugged (if you have not seen it yet, I am not sorry, it aired 20 years ago).

There is a similar statute in Tennessee that requires that individuals render aid, so listen up to what I am about to tell you!

Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-103 if a driver of a vehicle is involved in an accident and there is any damage to any vehicle or injuries to a person, the driver is required to provide to any other driver’s their name, address, and registration number.

That’s not all though!  The statute goes on to state that drivers shall, “render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of the person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if carrying is requested by the injured person.”

So is there a duty to render aid?  Yes!  However, the good news is that the statute does not state any punishment if you do not give aid, so if do not provide aid, thankfully you will not be facing a year in jail like the characters in Seinfeld.  Having said that, I think we can all agree it’s always a good thing to help those in need who you have the ability to help.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login