What does the Good Samaritan Law Mean?
Meaning of ‘Good Samaritan’
In legal terms, a “good Samaritan” refers to a person who provides another person with assistance during an emergency situation. For example, offering help after witnessing a car accident. This could involve trying to help the person out of the car, contacting emergency services, or putting up a barrier so cars not involved know to move around.
Good Samaritan Law in Texas
Many states have laws dictating whether or not good Samaritans should or should not offer aid, and whether or not they should be protected against negligence claims after they provide assistance. In Texas, The Good Samaritan Act 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.
Exceptions to the Texas Good Samaritan Act
In layman’s terms, this means that if a person offers aid in any kind of emergency situation, the individual cannot be sued unless they were blatantly negligent. It should be noted that this law does hold some exceptions:
- The “good Samaritan” was at the emergency scene because they were attempting to solicit business or services,
- The “good Samaritan” expected remuneration (pay) for their assistance,
- The “good Samaritan” is someone who administers care regularly, such as a hospital or emergency room worker,
- The “good Samaritan” is someone who is a treating physician or admitting physician of a patient with a health-care liability claim
- The “good Samaritan” is 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
Thus, the exceptions in Texas are for people who are seeking payment or compensation for doing a good deed by providing assistance, or if they are medical professionals. If you are not within that category of people and instead are simply a compassionate citizen attempting to do the right thing, then it is possible the Good Samaritan Act exempts you from liability.