Good Samaritan Laws: Can You Be Sued For Saving Someone’s Life?
(Modern Survival.org) – In the modern age, being called upon to help someone in an emergency can be a dilemma. Yes, it could potentially save their life — but what if they get hurt in the process? What if they claim they didn’t even need the help?
Lawsuits arise over petty grievances all the time, it seems. Hesitating to put oneself in a situation where being sued could happen is understandable. Fortunately, there is some protection for those who save the day.
Good Samaritan Laws
A Good Samaritan is anyone who voluntarily gives aid to an injured person in an emergency. If the injured person is unconscious, a Good Samaritan can help them based on implied consent — they obviously require help and cannot verbally communicate their approval. If the victim is awake, the Good Samaritan should always ask permission to render aid.
Good Samaritan laws provide basic protection for “ordinary negligence”, meaning that if the injured person suffers an additional injury while receiving aid (such as broken ribs from CPR), the rescuer will be protected. Good Samaritan laws do not cover gross negligence, however. This means if the rescuer does not proceed with reasonable care for the injured person, they are at risk for a lawsuit.
All 50 states have a Good Samaritan law of some sort, offering protection to those who help others in an emergency. These laws do differ from state to state, however, so it is a good idea to know the details for the state you live in.
One scenario in which a Good Samaritan has unspoken consent to render aid is when a person faints. To see how to help a person in this situation, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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