If someone witnesses a car accident – or any kind of accident – in Texas and rushes in to help an injured party, his or her actions are likely protected by the state’s Good Samaritan law. The converse, however, is also true. If you are an accident victim who is further injured by an erstwhile good samaritan's ministration, you may have recourse within the bounds of the same law.
Texas’s Good Samaritan law, in general, protects those who attempt to come to a victim’s aid – or even offer medical aid – at the scene of an accident. The law tends to protect these so-called good Samaritans from negligence claims that stem from their interventions at accident scenes. For example, because fire can be such an imminent danger after a car accident, a good Samaritan may try to help a victim out of the car post-crash. In Texas, when a person administers emergency care at the scene of an accident (or in the hospital) in good faith, he or she is not liable for any civil damages for the actions performed unless those actions were willfully or wantonly negligent. Good Samaritan laws are designed to encourage us to help others in emergencies – without fear of liability.
Exceptions to the Rule
As with most laws, there are exceptions to Texas’s Good Samaritan law. This means there are instances when the aid offered in an emergency is not exempt from liability, and these include:
- The good Samaritan in question expects payment in return for the aid provided.
- The good Samaritan in question was at the accident scene for the purpose of soliciting business or offering a service.
- The good Samaritan in question is someone who would normally provide such emergency care, such as a doctor, nurse, or emergency room personnel.
- The good Samaritan in question is an admitting or treating physician in the injured party’s healthcare liability claim.
In other words, if you are injured by a medical professional’s care in the ambulance, at the hospital, or by your doctor in post-accident care, the good Samaritan laws do not apply.
Duty to Rescue
The State of Texas implements no duty to rescue or to render aid in an emergency. Its good Samaritan law, however, is intended to encourage would-be good Samaritans to provide emergency help to those in need (whenever possible) by diminishing the fear of legal reprisal.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney Today
If you were further injured by someone providing you with what-should-have-been aid after an accident, there are good Samaritan laws in place that may help you recover on your losses. Personal injury attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has extensive experience helping clients such as you prevail in such cases, and he is committed to advocating on behalf of your rights. We care about your case, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.