Protections for Good Samaritans
In today’s litigious society, many people find themselves unwilling or hesitant to assist those who require first aid or some other form of help due to a fear of being hit with a lawsuit if something in the rescue or help effort should go wrong. While this fear is well-founded, it is also true that the majority of locales have protections for individuals who stop to help in the event of an emergency or situation requiring assistance.
Good Samaritans are individuals who stop to help a person who is in need. This need can be due to a fallen tree, a car accident, or any other situation that has injured or trapped a person. These people need not have any professional experience with the rescue they are attempting but do need to have the best interests of the needy person in mind.
The protections given to Good Samaritans are broad. In the majority of situations a Good Samaritan cannot be sued for an injury that is the result of a rescue effort. This means that if a person’s ribs are cracked or broken after receiving CPR following a heart attack, the person who broke the ribs cannot be sued.
Despite the breadth of the protections, not everyone is protected. Individuals who have specific training in the medical field or another professional area and offer aid that results in injuries can be sued. So a doctor who stops to help at a car accident and severely injures the individual due to a medical error may be open to a lawsuit.