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Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? | Pennsylvania

The following is a video transcript.

We want to talk a little bit about the Good Samaritan Laws in Pennsylvania, as they’re collectively known. So, let’s talk a little bit about civil and criminal cases. “Civil” is when they try and take your money or your property. “Criminal” is when they try and lock you up.

You have absolute immunity from both civil and criminal action under the law if you volunteer to render aid, give first aid, or even go beyond that, unless what you do or you don’t do is intended to cause harm. For example, if a person cuts his thumb and you say, “Don’t worry, I’ll give you first aid,” and you cut him again, that would be intentional, and you wouldn’t be covered for that. In addition, it would be a criminal act under the circumstances.

Also, you have complete immunity (both civil and criminal) when you’re acting as that Good Samaritan, unless your act or omission rises to the level of gross negligence. “Gross negligence” is something that is just so negligent that you’re like, “I can’t believe that happened.” So, it’s a pretty high bar. Or, also if it’s willful, wanton, or totally reckless conduct.

In most scenarios, when you–a good person–are going to be trying to help someone, you’re good to go from a Good Samaritan point of view. You have absolutely no duty to render aid unless you’re in one of several different relationships listed in the law. The most prevalent ones where you have a duty to act are if you’re a common carrier. If you’re a school bus driver and one of the kids becomes injured or ill, you have to act on that. The action could be as little as calling 911 or rendering aid. An innkeeper (meaning you’re at a bed and breakfast), people that live there full-time, would have a duty to act if you’re there.

A possessor of land that’s open to the public, like a Christmas lot where the person has set up the Christmas trees, is responsible if a big gust of wind comes, knocks it over, and it falls on top of a kid. They would have a duty to begin the first aid process. And of course, parents have a duty to help their children.

So, that’s what you need to know in a nutshell about Good Samaritan Laws as far as rendering aid or being a good person.

So get certified with our online First Aid Course for Gunshot Wounds through the U.S. LawShield 2A Institute, and we will teach you the specifics on applications of a tourniquet, and other critical life-saving techniques.

It’s up to you. So take the initiative, pursue the knowledge, and learn those critical skills that are necessary to keep yourself and those around you alive until help arrives.

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