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Good Samaritan Laws

Good Samaritan laws exist to protect those who provide aid to the injured or ill. They were designed to ease a bystander's hesitation to intervene in a given situation. With the protection afforded by Good Samaritan laws, those who attempt to help others generally cannot be sued.


Most states do not require strangers to render first aid to accident victims, unless it's part of their job. However, in some locations, the law does require a call for help to be made.


Consent for help is implied if the victim is unconscious, delusional, intoxicated, or mentally unfit. In addition, if the victim is a minor and a guardian is not available, consent is implied.


Some jurisdictions only protect those who have completed basic first aid training and are certified by health organizations such as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, St. John Ambulance, etc. If the person is not certified to intervene, they may be held liable. However, in other states, any rescuer is protected from all liability so long as they act rationally. It is important to understand your particular state's guidelines regarding intervention.

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