Many people say that they would like to volunteer to help with the
elderly, disabled, or with many other organizations, but cite the chance
of being sued as the reason that they do not. Is that a valid reason or
an excuse to avoid civic responsibility?
We do live in a era when the lawsuit is a valid moneymaking venture
for many people. To help protect volunteers the politicos in Washington
passed the Volunteer Protection Act. This act protects a volunteer in
certain situations like when they:
- Acted within the guidelines of his or her job description.
- Had the proper license or certificate, if applicable, for the job
- Were not negligent. Negligence is broadly defined as the failure to
exercise reasonable care. For example, someone breaking a law or under
the influence of drugs or alcohol wouldn’t be covered.
- Were not operating a vehicle at the time.
That leaves a huge loophole that works against volunteer drivers.
Georgia and Oregon plugged that hole on their own. Unfortunately, very
few non-profit organizations are able to add volunteers to their
worker’s compensation coverage. Also, while laws do offer some
protection for volunteers, they do not prevent lawsuits from being
filed. You do not have to be in the wrong to be sued.
The best advice that a volunteer can take is to get a car insurance quote
for an umbrella package. These policies cover limits above and beyond
what your other policies will cover and can keep you from being
bankrupted by a lawsuit. In some cases you can have the best of
intentions and your good deeds can be punished, so protect yourself at