The following is a video transcript.
It’s that special time of year again to gather with family and friends, take some much needed time away from your daily grind, relax, and enjoy the holidays. Unfortunately, the holidays aren’t always as peaceful as we want them to be. This time of year, many law-abiding Texans find themselves the victims of criminal activity or a violent accident, creating the possibility that a wounded friend, loved one, or stranger needs you to provide them emergency help. What if your brother badly injures himself by carving the Thanksgiving turkey? What if on the way to your Thanksgiving celebration, you encounter a stranger who is wounded and needs your help? What are the criminal and civil law implications for helping or failing to help someone who is hurt?
If you come upon a wounded person and choose not to help them, you aren’t subject to any criminal liability. Assuming you didn’t cause the emergency, and you have no other legal duty to help the person, there’s also no civil liability for failing to render aid. Many people worry that if they try to render aid and something goes wrong, the wounded person or their loved ones may sue them for trying to do the right thing.
Luckily, Texas has a Good Samaritan Law that will help protect you from being held civilly liable in this situation. This Good Samaritan Law is contained in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 74.151. Under this law, a person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency, unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent. This includes someone who administers aid using an automated external defibrillator and someone who administers emergency care as a volunteer who is a first responder. The protection of this law does not apply to care that is given in expectation for payment or other remuneration and does not apply if your negligent act or omission was a producing cause of the emergency you are responding to.
In Texas, you can be sued for any reason at any time—by anyone. You have to respond to such a lawsuit, even if you ultimately won’t have to pay. If you have any additional questions about the Good Samaritan Law or how not to lose this vital protection, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.
So get certified with our online First Aid Course for Gunshot Wounds through U.S. LawShield 2A Institute, and we will teach you the specifics on the application 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.