The Texas Good Samaritan Law encourages people to help others during emergency medical situations when trained rescue personnel haven’t yet arrived. This legislation protects people from civil liability for injuries when their intention was to help someone in need of medical care – even if they didn’t have knowledge or experience to do so.
How Does the Good Samaritan Law Work?
Good Samaritan laws differ from state to state regarding the consent (whenever possible) of the person receiving assistance, their parental rights, and their right to refuse treatment. Touching a person who has refused assistance may result in assault and battery charges.
With this in mind, there are 4 elements that to consider regarding Good Samaritan laws:
- Consent of the sick/injured person when possible
- Care provided in an appropriate manner (not reckless)
- The person covered by Good Samaritan laws didn’t cause the accident
- Trained personnel hadn’t yet arrived and the person required emergency care
What Does It Mean to Act in Good Faith?
The term “good faith,” as it relates to Good Samaritan laws, means that an individual makes a reasonable judgment that the situation is urgent and that care shouldn’t wait until the injured person is hospitalized.
What Is Immunity?
The term “immunity,” as it relates to Good Samaritan laws, is often used to refer to absolute liability protection. Depending on the applicable statute, everybody from ordinary citizens to full-fledged surgeons can receive absolute liability protection if they properly administer care during an emergency situation.
How does the Good Samaritan Law work in Texas?
The Texas Good Samaritan Law encourages action during emergencies by protecting those who help from liability for damages. Even if someone helping in good faith injures the person they are trying to assist, the good Samaritan won’t have to pay damages.
However, it’s important to note that the Texas Good Samaritan Law has some exceptions, limitations and limits.
Exceptions to the Texas Good Samaritan Law
Lawmakers have revised the Texas Good Samaritan Law many times since it was originally passed. They’ve added several exceptions to the general rule. A good Samaritan in Texas may not be exempt from liability in situations such as:
- He/she acted with willful neglect or deliberate indifference to the safety of others.
- He/she was a licensed nurse, physician, or emergency services technician.
- He/she expected payment or other remuneration for providing care.
- He/she was at the scene of the accident to provide a service.
- He/she was the person responsible for putting the victim in danger in the first place.
Is There a Duty to Rescue Law in Texas?
No, there is no law that requires a “duty to rescue” or render aid in Texas. However, to encourage a public policy of helping wherever possible, Texas has enacted certain protections under the Good Samaritan Law. Who is protected by the Good Samaritan Law? Whoever renders emergency care in good faith, without acting in malice or with wanton negligence in the process.
Example of a Good Samaritan Law Case in Texas
For example, the Good Samaritan Law could apply in the case of a mother, a child, and a well-meaning pedestrian. If the pedestrian witnesses an accident and believes that the mother and child are in grave danger (the car is sinking under water, the car is on fire, etc.), he should act to get the victims out of the car – with full liability protection under the law.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Good Samaritan Law Case in Texas?
If you have recently been in a similar situation and have questions about the legal protections in place for good samaritans in Texas, contact your trusted personal injury attorney for more information.
At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we’ll help you no matter your immigration status. Schedule your free and confidential consultation. Call us now!
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