What Is The Good Samaritan Law In Texas?
A “good Samaritan,” in legal terms, refers to a regular citizen or person who provides another person with assistance during an emergency. An example of this would be rushing in to offer help when witnessing a car crash. That might involve trying to help get a person out of their car, if they cannot do it themselves, or just using your cell phone to contact emergency services. There are laws in many states that dictate the specifics regarding good Samaritans as well as whether or not they should legally offer aid, and whether or not they should be protected against negligence after they provide assistance.
The state of Texas makes the latter consideration. The Good Samaritan Act in the state of Texas says that if a person administers emergency care in good faith in a hospital or at an emergency scene that the person will not be liable for civil damage for any act that is performed in an emergency unless this act was wantonly or willfully negligent.
What that means is layman’s terms is that if a person offers aid in any kind of emergency situation, the individual cannot be sued unless they were blatantly negligent.
It also should be noted that this law does have special exclusions to it:
– A person was at the emergency scene because they were soliciting a form of service or business
– Expected remuneration for their assistance
– A person who administers care regularly, such as a person who works in a hospital or emergency room
– A treating physician or admitting physicians of a patient with a health-care liability claim
Briefly put, the above exclusions indicate that those who are not exempt from the Good Samaritan Act in Texas are basically medical professionals, those who expect some form of payment, or people who work in medical facilities or hospitals.
Examples of the Good Samaritan Law in Texas
A person passing by see a man collapse in the very hot Texas sun. The passerby immediately rushes over and offers this man assistance. First, CPR is required to get the man back to breathing properly and then includes giving the person a bottle of water, taking a wet cloth out of a water cooler full of ice, and then helping the person get to a street with shade. The man says thank you to the passerby and then continues on his way. However, later the man sues the person claiming that his chest was compressed by the CPR which damaged him. Under the Good Samaritan Act in Texas, the passerby cannot be sued for the assistance he has provided.
After a car accident is witnessed, one of the drivers pays a tow truck service to transport his car from the scene of the accident to an auto body shop. However, the tow truck company and driver are sued later due to the fact that the car was further damaged while it was being transported. Under the Good Samaritan Act in Texas, this type of relationship is excluded, which means the lawsuit can move forward.
Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law in Texas
Like with most laws, this one has exceptions to it, which has been revised numerous times since it was originally written. Those exceptions mean that Good Samaritans who provide assistance in an emergency situation are not exempt from liability in the following situations:
– The person excepts payment or remuneration for their assistance
– They were at the scene of the emergency to offer a service or solicit business
– They are a person who normally performs emergency care, like an emergency room worker or a nurse
– They are an admitting or treated physician who is associated with the doctor of the physician who has made a medical care liability claim.
– The person is responsible for causing the injury to begin with, like a bad driver offering emergency assistance to the victim of a car crash
In general, these exceptions to the Good Samaritan law in Teas are people seeking payment or compensation for aid they provide in an emergency or are medical professionals. If you are not such an individual but are instead a citizen who is offering assistance out of compassion, then you might be protected by the Good Samaritan law in Texas and be exempt from legal liability.
The Good Samaritan Act in Texas, therefore, protects people who are just providing assistance out of generosity and compassion when someone needs help during an emergency.
Additional Protections of the Good Samaritan Act in Texas
Other protections include the following:
– Protections for unlicensed medical staff who are not licensed or certified in the healing arts but are acting in good faith to assist during an emergency situation
– Protections for individuals who use an automated portable external defibrillator during an emergency situation to check the heart rhythm of the victim, and then provide an electric shock to their heart to restore their normal rhythm during a cardiac arrest or other life-threatening situation.
Contact a Houston Texas Car Accident Attorney at McDonald Worley
Notify the Texas injury law firm at McDonald Worley in Houston if you need additional information about the Good Samaritan law in Texas as it pertains to auto accidents and other emergencies.
Perhaps you have been injured in an auto accident and were further injured by an individual who rendered assistance with willful or wanton negligence. If so, then you might have an injury claim under the Good Samaritan law in Texas. Consult with a car accident lawyer at McDonald Worley, to get the legal assistance you need.