The term “good samaritan” originates from a parable from the Bible. The story is about a man which they call a Samaritan (resident of Samaria), who stopped to help a man who had been robbed and injured while even the Priest and the Levite passed by and simply ignored him. It basically tells us a lesson on how we should “love our neighbors as we love ourselves”.
The Texas Good Samaritan law protects good Samaritans from costly claims of negligence in the event that they provided emergency assistance to another individual involved in an emergency situation. This law also promotes an overall helpful disposition for the citizens to care and protect one another from further injury.
Good samaritans have the best intentions when responding to an accident or emergency situation. Unfortunately in some high-stakes and high-pressure situations these individuals may make some mistakes due to confusion, panic and the survival mindset. The Good Samaritan Law protects these individuals when these unfortunate mistakes are made.
The Good Samaritan Law applies to civilians, first responders and unlicensed medical personnel who act in good faith.
The Good Samaritan Law does not protect individuals whose motive was only to help someone with the intention of receiving a reward.
Car accidents are a common example. A bystander at the accident scene may try to help the driver by pulling him out of a totaled vehicle and may injure him in the process of removing him from the vehicle.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to sustain additional injuries during this process. Without the Good Samaritan law, the driver might sue the good samaritan for additional injuries or negligence, even if the person was only trying to help.
Another example could be an injured driver in a single-car accident who will accuse a Good Samaritan of causing their injury. This can happen when he needs someone to blame so he can get compensation for his injury, even if he is fully aware that the accident is his own fault.
Texas Good Samaritan Law ExceptionsWillful or Wanton Conduct
This protection does not apply if the person was negligent or reckless when offering aid in any kind of emergency situation.
Expectation of Remuneration
This protection does not apply if the person or medical professional offered service while expecting to be paid or solicited business at the scene of the emergency.
This protection does not apply to a person who works in the care industry, the hospital or the emergency room.
Including, a treating physician or admitting physician of a patient with a health-care liability claim.
Cause of Harm
This protection does not extend to a person who was responsible for causing an emergency situation. For example, if a driver crashed with another vehicle and then rendered aid to the other driver, he or she could still be held liable for damages that resulted from lending aid.
Good Samaritan 911 call
A fraudulent or misleading call to the police can potentially lead a person to civil liability.
Good Samaritan Law for CPR
A person can face liability if he or she performed unnecessary emergency CPR on the victim.