The Texas Good Samaritan Law
If you are ever the first on the scene of a traffic accident – or any serious accident – and you render whatever aid you can (given the situation), you are considered a good Samaritan. In the State of Texas, there is a Good Samaritan law to protect you and other good Samaritans from liability if your good-faith efforts to help lead to unintentional injury. As with most laws, however, there are exceptions and limitations to the Good Samaritan law.
The Good Samaritan law in Texas is explicitly designed to protect people who, in good faith, attempt to help others in emergency situations. If your efforts lead to property damage or personal injury, the injured party will not have a viable claim against you. Good Samaritan laws are in place to encourage the public to come to the aid of those in need – without fear of legal ramifications. Again, however, there are exceptions and limitations to this law.
Considering the Exceptions
The exceptions that apply to the Good Samaritan law include:
The good Samaritan in question was the person who put the victim in harm’s way, to begin with
The good Samaritan in question acted with willful negligence or wanton disregard for the other person’s safety
The good Samaritan in question is a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or emergency service technician
The good Samaritan in question is expected to be paid for administering the care.
The good Samaritan in question was at the scene of the accident for the purpose of soliciting business (as a doctor or attorney, for example).
The most salient and prevalent exception is the rendering of willfully or wantonly negligent aid, which represents a problematic legal bar – and is a much weightier burden than the general negligence that is usually required in personal injury cases.
If a good Samaritan comes across an accident in which a car is bursting into flames, and the driver is inside unconscious, it would be perfectly reasonable for the good Samaritan to use whatever means were at his or her disposal to get the driver out of the car as quickly as possible. If the good Samaritan causes a spinal injury in the process, it is very likely that he or she would not be held liable. If, on the other hand, the car was damaged, but there was no indication that it was a fire hazard, the good Samaritan would be expected to exercise more caution if he or she needed to remove the victim from the car.
A Dedicated Killeen Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you have been injured by a negligent driver or by a wantonly negligent would-be good Samaritan, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a personal injury attorney with the experience, drive, and resources to help guide your case toward its most beneficial outcome. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.