Personal Injury and the Good Samaritan Law
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you witnessed someone get injured in a car accident or watched a pedestrian get struck by a vehicle? Or perhaps you have already been in that situation. Imagine you were in this situation, and you did everything you could to help, and the person you were aiding turned around and sued you, claiming that you exacerbated their injuries while attempting to assist them during the emergency. How would you prove that you were simply trying to help? Could you provide evidence that you did nothing with malicious intent and therefore should not be blamed for any harm that happened?
What is the Good Samaritan Law?
Luckily, Nevada has a “Good Samaritan” law for situations just like these. This law provides a certain about of liability insurance to bystanders of an emergency situation who attempt to help those involved. The Good Samaritan law is in place to attempt to encourage bystanders of an accident to assist if they can. Lawmakers realize that those present may be less likely to provide aid if there is a chance they may be sued, so this law helps to put those fears to bed.
The intention of this law is fairly simple: “a person should not be held liable for an honest mistake made in a truly difficult situation.” Under the Nevada Good Samaritan Law (NRS 41.500), any person who makes a good faith effort to help will not be held liable for their actions if:
- There was an actual emergency;
- They made active attempts to offer assistance;
- They were not paid for their efforts; and
- They did not act in a grossly negligent manner.
Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law
There are certain restrictions in place for this law to be effective, however. For instance, it only offers protection to those bystanders who provide aid in emergency situations only. Those persons being helpful or nice in situations that are merely inconveniences are not provided protection under this law.
In addition, if the person in question clearly acted maliciously or with harmful intent, the Good Samaritan Law does not protect them from liability. The person who caused the accident is likewise exempt from this protection, as well as those who have a “duty” to aid those who are injured, such as first responders or those in charge of care for those affected.
In general, the Good Samaritan Law aims to increase the likelihood that those present at the scene of an accident will help out if they can, without the fear that they will be sued. If you have questions about this law, or if you have been involved in an accident, contact Eric Blank Injury Attorneys.
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