Good Samaritan laws are state statutes intended to protect individuals from legal liability for providing medical assistance to injured persons in emergency situations. Most good Samaritan laws offer protection only when the person providing medical assistance does so in good faith and without any expectation of receiving compensation for their assistance. The nature of the protection offered varies from state to state – educate yourself on your state’s law.
California’s “Good Samaritan Law” – Health and Safety Code 1799.102. This law states that:
- a person will not be liable for any civil damages – include both compensatory damages and punitive damages
- when those damages result from the person providing emergency, medical, or nonmedical care,
- at the scene of an emergency
Example of “good Samaritan” related acts include:
- Mark sees a car crash into a tree while walking home from work and helps the injured driver out of the car.
- Robert drags a drowning swimmer out of the lake and performs CPR.
- Martha provides “light” medical care to a person after she watches him fall off a stadium seat at the football game.