We are all familiar with the term ‘good samaritan’, which refers to to someone who selflessly helps others. That being said, have you ever heard of the Good Samaritan law? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. A law designed to protect individuals who provide emergency medical assistance to those in need, every state in the nation has some type of Good Samaritan law in place. The fact that all states have some sort of Good Samaritan law means that the legal system is working to encourage medical professionals and common citizens to help those in need of assistance. However, it is important that we all have a better understanding of what we are getting into when we stop to help another person.
Let’s say you come upon a car accident and rush in, offering to help. In some states, it may be in your best interest to call 911 instead of jumping into help. You may be thinking to yourself that this doesn’t sound like the ‘right’ thing to do, especially when someone is in need, but it is important to take into consideration the law. There are laws in place – such as the Good Samaritan law – that dictate the specifics of how good Samaritans should act and, should they offer aid legally, whether or not they will be protected from negligence. As a Texas personal injury law firm, we are committed to ensuring each and every one of our clients understand their legal rights in all different types of situations. If you have questions about Texas’ Good Samaritan law or find yourself in a situation where this law may impact you, please contact Rad Law Firm.
How Does This Law Work?
The Texas Good Samaritan Act reads as follows: “a person who in good faith administers emergency care at the scene of an emergency or in a hospital is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent”. In a nutshell, this means that if someone stops to help in any type of emergency scenario, they cannot be sued unless they act in a manner that is considered blatantly negligent. It is important to note that there are a handful of special exclusions for this law, including the following:
- If the individual expects to be paid back for their assistance
- If the individual was at the scene of an emergency with the intention of soliciting business or a type of business
- If the individual is someone who works in an emergency room or hospital, i.e. regularly administers care
- If an admitting doctor or the treating physician of the patient brings a healthcare liability claim
As you can see, this is a somewhat complicated law that requires a more in-depth understanding of the legal system in order to be properly navigated. Please note that this law applies to many common situations, such as when a person is injured in a car or motorcycle accident. While this law is complex for those who are unfamiliar, the idea behind the law is quite simple – to encourage bystanders at the scene of an accident to offer assistance to those in need, without the fear of being sued because of a certain outcome. To find out more about the Texas Good Samaritan Act or to discuss your particular case with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys, please contact Rad Law Firm today.