How Texas Protects Individuals Who Render Aid During an Emergency
In an effort to encourage individuals to offer aid in an emergency situation or after an accident, Texas codified a “good samaritan.” Under most circumstances, the Good Samaritan law shields individuals who administer emergency care in good faith from civil liability.
If you rendered aid during an emergency and are now being sued, the experienced legal team at Maverick Ray & Associates may be able to help. We know the law and will fight to protect your rights. Contact our office at (281) 947-2007 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to discuss your case.
What Is Texas’ Good Samaritan Law?
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 74.151, a person “who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency.” The legislation is designed to promote and protect individuals who offer assistance during times of crisis.
Individuals who may be protected from liability under the Good Samaritan Law include those who were:
- Acting in good faith;
- Not the cause of the initial harm;
- Not expecting payment or soliciting business;
- Did not perform an act that is wilfully or wantonly negligent; and
- Not paid for their services (such as health care providers or paramedics).
A person is not protected under the law if they acted with disregard for the safety of others, resulting in a person’s injuries. Additionally, individuals who caused the emergency situation, those who rendered the aid in expectation of payment, or were soliciting business are not exempt from liability.
Can Someone Be Held Criminally Liable for Rendering Aid?
The Good Samaritan Law protects individuals who render assistance during an emergency from civil liability. This means that a person who pulls an injured party from a burning car cannot be sued by that person if they break their arm while trying to free them from the vehicle. Texas and other states have passed Good Samaritan laws in an attempt to encourage a passerby to help an injured party.
Generally, a person would not face criminal or civil liability for giving emergency aid. The law, however, does provide a few exceptions, including if the person rendering assistance was acting in a wilfully negligent or wanton manner. Furthermore, a person may face criminal charges and a civil lawsuit if they caused the initial harm.
What to Do in an Emergency
If you do witness an accident or other emergency, you are encouraged to give aid to injured parties. The law protects you from liability under most circumstances. In the event that you are sued by the victim, an attorney can help prove that you were acting in good faith.
Contact Our Office for More Information
If you have been involved in an emergency that falls under the Good Samaritan law, contact our office at (281) 947-2007. At Maverick Ray & Associates, we fight for our clients. We know what it takes to protect the rights of Texans. Call our office for a free, no-obligation consultation today.