|March 5, 2010|
Previously published by Paul Colley, Jr.
on Spring 2009
Most people know generally what is meant by the term “good Samaritan” but did you know that Texas (and many other states) has a law that is designed to protect individuals who give emergency medical assistance to those in need? Well, we do. *
The basics of the law are as follows: If you voluntarily attempt to help someone who is in an urgent situation as a result of an accident or other emergency, then you are protected from any liability for damages that may result from your care. This law applies to most common situations, such as where someone is injured in a motorcycle or automobile accident. The idea behind the law is really very simple: The State wants to encourage bystanders at an accident scene to render assistance to someone in need, and to do so without fear of being “sued” if things don’t turn out well for the victim.
There are some exceptions to the protection. For example, if you willfully or wantonly act in a negligent manner then you are not protected. Another exception is the situation where you are acting “in expectation” of pay. (Such as a physician in an emergency room). Another important exception to this protection would be for the person whose actions “caused” the injuries in the first place. So, if you were at fault in the accident, you may not be covered by the Good Samaritan protection.
The Texas “Good Samaritan” law: it’s a good one to know.
*Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. Section 74.151
Article is for general informational purposes. For legal advice, consult an attorney of your choice.
Paul Colley, Jr. & Associates
11614 Bee Cave Road, Suite 250
Austin, Texas 78738