What to Know About California’s Good Samaritan Laws
If you witness a car accident, your first instinct may be to want to help those that may be injured. However, you may wonder if giving aid to an injured party could open you up to liability. In other words, you may worry that you could be sued for helping an accident victim. The good news is that you may be protected under California’s “Good Samaritan” laws, even if your aid did not help the victim.
At Westlake Injury Group, we provide experienced representation for individuals who have been injured in Thousand Oaks and throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Our lawyers know what it takes to fight for injury victims and their families and will help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in a car accident, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
How California Law Protects People Who Render Aid
California’s Good Samaritan laws are codified under Section 1799.102 of the Health and Safety Code. Good Samaritan laws protect individuals who offer medical assistance in emergency situations from liability. The Legislature notes that the reason for enacting this law is to encourage people to offer assistance to others in an emergency situation without the promise of compensation.
According to Section 1799.102, a person who renders “emergency medical or nonmedical care” at an accident cannot be held liable for civil damages that result from their act or omission as long as they were acting in good faith and without being compensated.
Can I Ever Be Sued for Providing Help to an Accident Victim?
There are limited exceptions where you may be held liable for rendering aid in an emergency situation.
You may be open to civil liability if you rendered emergency medical or nonmedical care in an accident if you:
- Received compensation
- Acted in bad faith
- Were grossly negligent
- Displayed wilful or wanton misconduct
The majority of the time that a person stops to assist injury victims after an accident, they may simply be trying to help. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney.
What If a Person’s Negligence Contributes to My Injuries
If you are injured in an accident, and another person attempts to render aid but ends up causing further harm, you should discuss your case directly with a lawyer. Individuals who offer to help in accidents are usually acting in good faith and are shielded from liability under the state’s Good Samaritan laws.
In some cases, however, an act or omission of theirs may constitute gross negligence or a wilful or wanton disregard for your safety. Under these limited circumstances, you might be able to pursue compensation against the person who rendered aid.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Our Office to Speak with a Lawyer.
Were you injured in a car accident? Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights and determine who you can pursue a claim for damages against. There are no fees unless we win.