Good Samaritan Laws

Good Samaritan laws are laws which protect from blame those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. These laws are intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist others due to fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.

Because the first aid cannot be in exchange for any reward or financial compensation, medically professionals are typically not protected by Good Samaritan laws when performing first aid in connection with their job. It seems reasonable though to make the conclusion that a doctor in a restaurant that performs the Heimlich maneuver or CPR on another patron of the restaurant, he or she would not be held liable.

Once a person begins giving aid, that person cannot leave until the need to call for medical assistance arises; someone with equal or higher medical abilities can take over; or when continuing to provide aid is unsafe for the rescuer. An aid giver can never be forced to put his or her self in danger to aid another person.

A responder is not legally liable for the death, disfigurement, or disability of the victim as long as the responder acted rationally, in good faith, and in accordance with their level of training. An important thing to note is that a person must receive consent before touching the victim. An unconscious person is said to have given implied consent.

These laws generally only extend to individuals who have received first aid training and are certified by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, the American Safety and Health Institute, or some other health organization.

If you have been injured in an accident, please contact the Wausau personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800-242-2874 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.