What is the Good Samaritan Act in Texas?

In an emergency situation, citizens who were not involved in the accident have no duty to stop and help those injured in the accident. However, it is reasonable for an individual to willingly stop and render aid to someone in distress. In these cases, the person helping is called a Good Samaritan. Problems may arise when the Good Samaritan is sued because they accidentally caused more harm because of their actions.

In Texas, Good Samaritan Laws protect people who may have accidentally made an injury worse, so the fear of potential lawsuits does not discourage citizens from helping one another during a crisis. If you are afraid of being sued in Texas because of rendering aid, you may be able to find protection under this law. Contact our law firm today at 713-766-3733.

What Does a Good Samaritan Law Do?

Good Samaritan laws offer protection from lawsuits in the case that a person rendering aid unwittingly causes more harm to the victim. This is to encourage citizens to freely help one another without fear of legal retribution if their service does not save the person or if it injures them further. Since citizens have no legal duty to stop and help someone in an emergency, these laws are essential to protect those who stop and administer aid.

In some states, the Good Samaritan law dictates when an individual may act as a Good Samaritan. Other states have Good Samaritan laws that protect individuals from negligence claims if they act in good faith. The Texas Good Samaritan Act does both – if a person acts in good faith to administer care at the scene of an accident, they are protected from a negligence claim.

Are There Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law in Texas?

There are some situations in which the Good Samaritan Law would not take effect. For example, if the person rendering aid expects remuneration in any way, they would not be protected under the law. Additionally, someone who was present at the scene because they were soliciting would also not be considered a Good Samaritan.

Finally, if the Good Samaritan was flagrantly reckless in administering aid, this could mean that they were not protected under the law and could be liable for damages caused by their actions. The Good Samaritan Act also does not cover individuals who are responsible for the damages that cause the emergency situation. For instance, if a driver who ran a stop sign crashes into another driver and then renders aid to the injured victim, the negligent driver would not be covered under this act. They would be liable for the damages caused by their negligence plus any damages they caused by administering aid.

Are Medical Professionals Covered Under the Good Samaritan Act?

A physician or other individual who regularly administers medical care, such as ER workers at the hospital, would not be protected under the law. Healthcare professionals are held to a higher standard, meaning they should reasonably understand how to administer aid in a helpful way. If a licensed medical professional attempts to assist a victim but does so in a negligent or damaging way, they would not be covered under the Good Samaritan Act.

Additionally, if a medical professional stops to administer aid, they must remain with the victim until they are stabilized or another medical professional steps in to take over. For instance, a medical professional may do CPR until EMTs come on the scene, at which point they can stop. If a medical professional leaves a victim in an unstable condition, they could be charged with abandonment. Medical professionals must also only provide aid within their skillset or education.

What Are the Most Common Examples of a Good Samaritan?

One of the main ways the Good Samaritan Act comes into play is after a car accident. If a bystander who witnesses the accident attempts to help any of the victims and accidentally injures them while helping them out of a vehicle, the victim may suffer further injuries and accrue more medical costs. Because of the Good Samaritan Act, the helpful bystander cannot be held liable as long as they were acting in good faith.

Similarly, a driver who gets into a one-car accident may blame a Good Samaritan for all of their injuries. Because a single-car accident has no one else to hold liable, the driver may attempt to sue the Good Samaritan because there is no one else to blame for their damages. The Good Samaritan would be protected from legal action by the law.

An example of an individual who is not covered under Good Samaritan laws is a tow truck driver who tows a car after an accident. If the tow truck driver causes additional damage to the vehicle during the tow, the driver and the company may be held liable for those damages. Although the tow truck driver is technically helping a victim after an accident, they are doing so for business purposes and are therefore not covered under the Good Samaritan Act.

Should You Hire Our Personal Injury Attorneys?

If you are being threatened with legal action because of aid rendered in an emergency, you may be able to seek protection under the Texas Good Samaritan Act. One of the most important things you can do is seek out appropriate legal help from experienced attorneys like at our law firm. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to get positive results in your case and will work tirelessly to protect your rights under the Good Samaritan Act.

Please don’t leave these critical matters up to chance. Contact Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today for help by calling 713-766-3733.