Can I Be Sued? – Good Samaritan Laws – Pennsylvania

Sherry Hale: We have all been there. You pass an accident on the side of the road; you want to help, but you’re worried what happens if something goes wrong can you be sued? The short answer is yes. Listen to what your Independent Program Attorney says about Good Samaritan laws in your state.

Justin McShane: It’s, unfortunately, a very violent world that we live in. There’s active shooters and bad guys. The news is just full of it, and one of the frequent questions we get is about Good Samaritan laws in the context of medical care in particular. So we want to just take a couple of minutes to talk about that with you so you know what your rights and responsibilities and duties are under the law.

First off you have, unless you are like a doctor or an EMT, during the course of your regular duties as a normal citizen, as a normal person, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania you have absolutely no affirmative duty under the law to help another person who is injured and in need unless you have a pre-existing special relationship with them. For example, your own child. You can’t just let your, I don’t know anyone who would, but just for the sake of law, we have to talk about that. You can’t just let your kid die or your care-dependent person, like an adult child who has extreme autism. You can’t just let them wither away. Or an adult elderly person that you aren’t providing care for. That’s where there’s some criminal and potential civil liability. But as a general proposition, helping out a stranger who is in need, who has been hurt in some way, you are not going to be obligated to do so. And if you decide to do so and try and be that Good Samaritan generally speaking with very limited exceptions extremely limited weird exceptions you won’t be civilly liable.

So it’s important you know to get your first aid skills up to par in this day and age. You know T triple C as they call it to go out there and be able to handle yourself because if you’re going to carry a gun or also you’re gonna have significant open hand skills you can hurt someone either accidentally, intentionally, or yourself. So that’s why you know a lot of us carry around kits that provide for that. Blowout kits with us wherever we go.

The law in Pennsylvania is very simple you have no obligation to help someone unless you have a special pre-existing relationship with them. If you render aid in good faith you will not be liable for any civil damages that result as a result of rendering aid. Unless you do an act or omission intentionally designed to do harm. If you harm someone on purpose who’s already hurt then yeah that’s going to be against the law, or if you’re grossly negligent in your action or omission, which results in harm you know that’s like those extreme circumstances where you you know go into a tracheotomy on someone who absolutely doesn’t need it. So it’s important this day and age, and especially in this environment, to get up on your self aid and your first aid and also your tactical combat care skills. So that’s something I highly recommend for everyone even if you don’t carry a gun regularly, so where you can help yourself and help others in any sort of circumstance.

Sherry: The law offers you protection but the reality is you can be sued by anyone, anytime, for anything, even for acting as a good Samaritan. Texas LawShield is here to help so you don’t have to hesitate when doing the right thing. Get certified in First Aid for Gunshot Wounds today and receive our exclusive Good Samaritan coverage for free. Good Samaritan coverage is our way of protecting our good-hearted members. Go to and get certified today!

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