Good Samaritan Laws

A person is sitting outside of a café on a Sunday afternoon while reading a newspaper and enjoying a coffee when, all of a sudden, a car screeches through a red light, hits a pedestrian, and speeds off into the distance. The once relaxed coffee drinker springs to her feet and races towards the struck individual in order to offer aid. The reaction seems like the noble thing to do, right? The helping hand was not asked for, nor was it a duty that was owed. Instead, the person provided assistance on a voluntary basis. While the act is nice, and potentially life-saving, it is possible that the volunteer may have exposed themselves to potential litigation. Fortunately, lawmakers across the country have enacted laws, known as Good Samaritan laws, to help protect the people who assist those in need.

What is a Good Samaritan?

A good Samaritan is defined as being a person who unselfishly helps others, especially strangers. In terms of the legal definition of the phrase, a Good Samaritan is considered to be a person who renders aid in an emergency to an injured person or persons on a voluntary basis.

Usually, once a person makes the decision to voluntarily offer aid to an injured or sick person who is a stranger, they owe the stranger a duty of being reasonably careful. It is important to note that in most states a person is not obligated by law to provide assistance to an injured or sick person if it is not in their job description (firefighter, EMT, doctor, etc.), though there are exceptions to that rule that will be discussed below.

What is the Good Samaritan Doctrine?

The Good Samaritan doctrine is used by those who voluntarily choose to help others in need to avoid civil liability for injuries they may have caused while attempting to provide potentially life-saving assistance.

The three elements of the Good Samaritan doctrine are:

  • The care rendered was performed as the result of the emergency;
  • The initial emergency or injury was not caused by the volunteer; and
  • The emergency care was not given by the volunteer in a grossly negligent or reckless manner

The purpose of the doctrine is to encourage emergency assistance by removing the threat of liability for damage done by the assistance. Imagine if people stopped to think about if they will be sued prior to offering potentially life-saving assistance. Valuable seconds, even minutes, could be lost. Therefore, as long as the provided assistance was provided in an emergency setting; the emergency setting was not caused by the volunteer, and the volunteer's actions were not negligent or reckless in nature; the volunteer should be protected from civil liability should an injury occur.

What is a "Medical Emergency"?

Protections offered by Good Samaritan laws require assistance to have been rendered during a true medical emergency. However, the term is somewhat ambiguous and can be difficult to define. One topic that is up for debate is whether a true medical emergency absolutely involves an accident. For example, in New York, a physician was stopped by the wife of one of the building's managers. The wife frantically asked that he look at her husband. After taking her husband's pulse he decided to call an ambulance. However, her husband died at the hospital. The wife ended up suing the doctor, who was minding his own business at the time he was asked to assist. The court ruled that no gross negligence occurred and that the assistance was offered during a non-accident emergency.

case in Indiana saw it differently. There, a doctor was asked to make a house call by a neighbor who was experiencing pain in his chest. After the initial examination was complete, the doctor diagnosed the neighbor as having pleurisy and prescribed medication that he thought would take care of the issue. However, the neighbor ended up going into cardiac arrest hours later which resulted in her death. A lawsuit was brought against the doctor and the court found that the Good Samaritan law in the state was not applicable due to the fact that protections are only offered in situations where an accident had occurred.

Contrasting this with the New York case, it is possible that the outcome would have been different had Indiana aligned with New York's thinking on non-accident emergencies and their application to the Good Samaritan laws.

What is Gross Negligence?

Good Samaritan laws afford protection to those who voluntarily provide assistance to a person in need as long as the volunteer did not provide aid in a grossly negligent or reckless manner. The term “negligence” is generally thought to be actions that do not rise to the standard of reasonable behavior. For example, negligence would exist in a Good Samaritan situation where it could be shown that the Good Samaritan knew, or should have known, that their intervention would injure the person they were trying to help. The term “Gross negligence” takes negligence one step further by applying to situations where a Good Samaritan know that they could endanger the person they are trying to help but willfully disregard that knowledge and intervene anyway. A very thin line exists between ordinary and gross negligence.

A lawsuit based upon gross negligence and how it was applied to Good Samaritan laws arose up in Montana where a doctor was asked to go to the home of a woman who had fallen into an eight-foot deep excavation pit. The pit had contained rebar set in concrete which helped to impale the woman's leg during the fall. The doctor agreed to the meeting and helped the woman clean the wound. The doctor then told the woman that the injury was not an emergency, but that she should seek medical care soon. The woman did not take the doctor's advice and instead did not seek medical attention for over a week. During that week, the wounded leg became infected and ultimately required surgery. The woman then filed a lawsuit against the doctor based upon claims that the doctor was grossly negligent in his treatment of the wound.

The court found for the doctor after stating that he had only rendered temporary first-aid and warned the woman that it was necessary to obtain further medical care. Due to the fact that there was not any proof of gross negligence on the part of the doctor, the court stated that all of the elements of the Good Samaritan Statute had been met and that the doctor could, therefore, receive its protections from liability.

What is Good Faith?

The term “good faith,” as it relates to Good Samaritan laws, usually includes, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed until the person in danger is hospitalized.

What are Good Samaritan Defenses?

Good Samaritan laws give legal protection to those who attempt to help people that are injured or in danger. The idea is that in some cases, people may think twice about assisting others if potentially threatened with a lawsuit. These laws are found around the world, however, some countries have caveats concerning the situations in which the protections apply. For example, certain regions of Canada do not have Good Samaritan laws while other regions actually have a “duty to rescue” requirement. “Duty to rescue” differs from Good Samaritan laws in that the duty requires a person near a harmful situation to step in and help, or call proper authorities. Duty to Rescue laws can be found in Germany, Israel, and in parts of the United States like Minnesota and Vermont.

What is Immunity?

The term “immunity,” as it relates to Good Samaritan laws, is usually used to refer to absolute protection from civil liability. Depending upon the applicable statute, regular citizens to full-fledged surgeons could receive absolute protection from civil liability if they appropriately administer assistance during an emergency situation.

Do Good Samaritan Laws Apply to Health Care Providers?

Good Samaritan laws are meant to protect those that do not usually administer emergency assistance in the event they encounter an individual who is in need of help. However, what about those that do provide emergency and/or medical assistance on a regular basis?

During their employment, physicians treating patients are under a duty to provide care that meets certain standards of care. This is due to the fact that physicians have a fiduciary relationship to their patients. But what about physicians who are treating people with whom they have no relationship at all outside of their employment hours? For example, a physician is on her way to work when she sees a car that appears to have run into a tree on the side of the road. Upon pulling over, the physician notices that a small fire has started to blaze near the car's engine. The physician then parks her car and attempts to pull the unconscious driver from the flames. Can that physician then be sued if the injured the person they help ends up dying? The correct answer is that it depends upon the state and their applicable statute, however, Good Samaritan laws usually transfer to medical professionals if they are outside of their scope of employment.

Good Samaritan Laws by State

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have some type of Good Samaritan law. Who is protected under these laws (physicians, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders) and how these laws are implemented vary from state to state.

Additionally, some states apply the concept of “Imminent Peril” which means that a person may not be protected under a Good Samaritan law unless the person they are trying to help is immediately facing significant danger, injury, or death. An example of this would be a person who suffers a car accident and is forcibly removed from the vehicle by a volunteer. If there was nothing demanding immediate attention (ex. car being on fire), then the volunteer would not be protected by the statute.

Below is a guide to Good Samaritan laws across the United States.

Alabama: § 6-5-332 states that (e) A person or entity, who in good faith and without compensation renders emergency care or treatment to a person suffering or appearing to suffer from cardiac arrest, which may include the use of an automated external defibrillator, shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury as a result of care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinarily prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances, except damages that may result from the gross negligence of the person rendering emergency care. This immunity shall extend to the licensed physician or medical authority who is involved in automated external defibrillator site placement, the person who provides training in CPR and the use of the automated external defibrillator, and the person or entity responsible for the site where the automated external defibrillator is located. This subsection specifically excludes from the provision of immunity any designers, manufacturers, or sellers of automated external defibrillators for any claims that may be brought against such entities based upon current Alabama law.

Alaska: Sec. 09.65.090 states (a) A person at a hospital or any other location who renders emergency care or emergency counseling to an injured, ill, or emotionally distraught person who reasonably appears to the person rendering the aid to be in immediate need of emergency aid in order to avoid serious harm or death is not liable for civil damages as a result of an act or omission in rendering emergency aid.

Arizona: § 32-1471 states Any health care provider licensed or certified to practice as such in this state or elsewhere, or a licensed ambulance attendant, driver or pilot as defined in section 41-1831, or any other person who renders emergency care at a public gathering or at the scene of an emergency occurrence gratuitously and in good faith shall not be liable for any civil or other damages as the result of any act or omission by such person rendering the emergency care, or as the result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured persons, unless such person, while rendering such emergency care, is guilty of gross negligence.

Arkansas: 17-95-101 states (a) Any health care professional under the laws of the State of Arkansas who in good faith lends emergency care or assistance without compensation at the place of an emergency or accident shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions performed in good faith so long as any act or omission resulting from the rendering of emergency assistance or services was not grossly negligent or willful misconduct.

California: § 1799.102 states (a) No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission. The scene of an emergency shall not include emergency departments and other places where medical care is usually offered. This subdivision applies only to the medical, law enforcement, and emergency personnel specified in this chapter. (b) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage other individuals to volunteer, without compensation, to assist others in need during an emergency, while ensuring that those volunteers who provide care or assistance act responsibly.

Colorado: 13-21-108 states (1) Any person licensed as a physician and surgeon under the laws of the state of Colorado, or any other person, who in good faith renders emergency care or emergency assistance to a person not presently his patient without compensation at the place of an emergency or accident, including a health care institution as defined in section 13-64-202 (3), shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions made in good faith as a result of the rendering of such emergency care or emergency assistance during the emergency, unless the acts or omissions were grossly negligent or willful and wanton. This section shall not apply to any person who renders such emergency care or emergency assistance to a patient he is otherwise obligated to cover.

Connecticut: § 52-557b covers medical personnel that attempt to assist outside of the scope of their employment by stating (a) A person licensed to practice medicine and surgery under the provisions of chapter 370 or dentistry under the provisions of section 20-106 or members of the same professions licensed to practice in any other state of the United States, a person licensed as a registered nurse under section 20-93 or 20-94 or certified as a licensed practical nurse under section 20-96 or 20-97, a medical technician or any person operating a cardiopulmonary resuscitator or an automatic external defibrillator, or a person trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or in the use of an automatic external defibrillator in accordance with the standards set forth by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association, who, voluntarily and gratuitously and other than in the ordinary course of such person's employment or practice, renders emergency medical or professional assistance to a person in need thereof, shall not be liable to such person assisted for civil damages for any personal injuries which result from acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care, which may constitute ordinary negligence. The immunity provided in this subsection does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, wilful or wanton negligence.

Delaware: § 6801 states (a) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of any public or private and special law, any person who voluntarily, without the expectation of monetary or other compensation from the person aided or treated, renders first aid, emergency treatment or rescue assistance to a person who is unconscious, ill, injured or in need of rescue assistance, or any person in obvious physical distress or discomfort shall not be liable for damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by such person or for damages for the death of such person alleged to have occurred by reason of an act or omission in the rendering of such first aid, emergency treatment or rescue assistance, unless it is established that such injuries or such death were caused wilfully, wantonly or recklessly or by gross negligence on the part of such person.

Florida: § 768.13 states (2) (a) Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment either in direct response to emergency situations related to and arising out of a public health emergency declared pursuant to s. 381.00315, a state of emergency which has been declared pursuant to s. 252.36 or at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor's office, or other place having proper medical equipment, without objection of the injured victim or victims thereof, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

Georgia: § 51-1-29 states Any person, including any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 and including any person licensed to render services ancillary thereto, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim or victims thereof without making any charge therefor shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering emergency care or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person.

Hawaii: § 663-1.5 states a) Any person who in good faith renders emergency care, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, at the scene of an accident or emergency to a victim of the accident or emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from the person's acts or omissions, except for such damages as may result from the person's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.

The statute also covers those licensed to practice medicine who attempt to help an individual outside the scope of their employment by stating, any physician licensed to practice under the laws of this State or any other state who in good faith renders emergency medical care in a hospital to a person, who is in immediate danger of loss of life, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, shall not be liable for any civil damages, if the physician exercises that standard of care expected of similar physicians under similar circumstances.

Idaho: § 5-330 states That no action shall lie or be maintained for civil damages in any court of this state against any person or persons, or group of persons, who in good faith, being at, or stopping at the scene of an accident, offers and administers first aid or medical attention to any person or persons injured in such accident unless it can be shown that the person or persons offering or administering first aid, is guilty of gross negligence in the care or treatment of said injured person or persons or has treated them in a grossly negligent manner. The immunity described herein shall cease upon delivery of the injured person to either a generally recognized hospital for treatment of ill or injured persons, or upon assumption of treatment in the office or facility of any person undertaking to treat said injured person or persons, or upon delivery of said injured person or persons into custody of an ambulance attendant.

Illinois: § 745 ILCS 49/67 talks specifically about first aid providers, stating that any person who is currently certified in first aid by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or the National Safety Council and who in good faith provides first aid without fee to any person shall not, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except willful and wanton misconduct on the part of the person in providing the aid, be liable to a person to whom such aid is provided for civil damages.

Indiana: 34-30-12-1 states (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person who comes upon the scene of an emergency or accident or is summoned to the scene of an emergency or accident and, in good faith, gratuitously renders emergency care at the scene of the emergency or accident is immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from: (1) any act or omission by the person in rendering the emergency care; or (2) any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person; except for acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

Iowa: 613.17 states A person, who in good faith renders emergency care or assistance without compensation, shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions occurring at the place of an emergency or accident or while the person is in transit to or from the emergency or accident or while the person is at or being moved to or from an emergency shelter unless such acts or omissions constitute recklessness. For purposes of this section, if a volunteer fire fighter, a volunteer operator or attendant of an ambulance or rescue squad service, a volunteer paramedic, a volunteer emergency medical technician, or a volunteer registered member of the national ski patrol system receives nominal compensation not based upon the value of the services performed, that person shall be considered to be receiving no compensation. The operation of a motor vehicle in compliance with section 321.231 by a volunteer fire fighter, volunteer operator, or attendant of an ambulance or rescue squad service, a volunteer paramedic, or volunteer emergency medical technician shall be considered rendering emergency care or assistance for purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, a person rendering emergency care or assistance includes a person involved in a workplace rescue arising out of an emergency or accident.

Kansas: 65-2891 covers health care providers providing assistance outside the scope of their employment by stating, (a) Any health care provider who in good faith renders emergency care or assistance at the scene of an emergency or accident including treatment of a minor without first obtaining the consent of the parent or guardian of such minor shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions other than damages occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such person in rendering such emergency care. (b) Any health care provider may render in good faith emergency care or assistance, without compensation, to any minor requiring such care or assistance as a result of having engaged in competitive sports, without first obtaining the consent of the parent or guardian of such minor. Such health care provider shall not be liable for any civil damages other than damages occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such person in rendering such emergency care.(c) Any health care provider may in good faith render emergency care or assistance during an emergency which occurs within a hospital or elsewhere, with or without compensation, until such time as the physician employed by the patient or by the patient's family or by guardian assumes responsibility for such patient's professional care. The health care provider rendering such emergency care shall not be held liable for any civil damages other than damages occasioned by negligence.

Kentucky: KRS § 311.668 provides immunity from civil liability for use of automated external defibrillator by stating (1) Any person or entity who, in good faith and without compensation, renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an AED shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury as a result of the care or treatment, or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment, where the person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances. (2) The immunity from civil liability for any personal injury under subsection (1) of this section includes the licensed physician who is involved with AED site placement, the person or entity who provides the CPR and AED site placement, the person or entity who provides the CPR and AED training, and the person or entity responsible for the site where the AED is located. It is important to note that the section explicitly states (3) The immunity from civil liability under subsection (1) of this section does not apply if the personal injury results from the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person rendering the emergency care.

Louisiana: § 9:2793 states No person who in good faith gratuitously renders emergency care, first aid or rescue at the scene of an emergency, or moves a person receiving such care, first aid or rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission in rendering the care or services or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the person involved in the said emergency; provided, however, such care or services or transportation shall not be considered gratuitous, and this Section shall not apply when rendered incidental to a business relationship, including but not limited to that of employer-employee, existing between the person rendering such care or service or transportation and the person receiving the same, or when incidental to a business relationship existing between the employer or principal of the person rendering such care, service or transportation and the employer or principal of the person receiving such care, service or transportation. This Section shall not exempt from liability those individuals who intentionally or by grossly negligent acts or omissions cause damages to another individual.

Maine: § 164 states Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of any public or private and special law, any person who voluntarily, without the expectation of monetary or other compensation from the person aided or treated, renders first aid, emergency treatment or rescue assistance to a person who is unconscious, ill, injured or in need of rescue assistance, shall not be liable for damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by such person nor for damages for the death of such person alleged to have occurred by reason of an act or omission in the rendering of such first aid, emergency treatment or rescue assistance, unless it is established that such injuries or such death were caused willfully, wantonly or recklessly or by gross negligence on the part of such person. This section shall apply to members or employees of nonprofit volunteer or governmental ambulance, rescue or emergency units, whether or not a user or service fee may be charged by the nonprofit unit or the governmental entity and whether or not the members or employees receive salaries or other compensation from the nonprofit unit or the governmental entity. This section shall not be construed to require a person who is ill or injured to be administered first aid or emergency treatment if such person objects thereto on religious grounds. This section shall not apply if such first aid or emergency treatment or assistance is rendered on the premises of a hospital or clinic.

Maryland: § 5-603 states A person described in subsection (b) of this section is not civilly liable for any act or omission in giving any assistance or medical care, if: (1) The act or omission is not one of gross negligence; (2) The assistance or medical care is provided without fee or other compensation; and (3) The assistance or medical care is provided: (i) At the scene of an emergency; (ii) In transit to a medical facility; or (iii) Through communications with personnel providing emergency assistance. (b) Applicability. — Subsection (a) of this section applies to the following: (1) An individual who is licensed by this State to provide medical care; (2) A member of any State, county, municipal, or volunteer fire department, ambulance and rescue squad or law enforcement agency or of the National Ski Patrol System, or a corporate fire department responding to a call outside of its corporate premises, if the member: (i) Has completed an American Red Cross course in advanced first aid and has a current card showing that status; (ii) Has completed an equivalent of an American Red Cross course in advanced first aid, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene; or (iii) Is certified or licensed by this State as an emergency medical services provider; (3) A volunteer fire department, ambulance and rescue squad whose members have immunity; and (4) A corporation when its fire department personnel are immune under paragraph (2) of this subsection. (c) Immunity for individual not covered by this section. — An individual who is not covered otherwise by this section is not civilly liable for any act or omission in providing assistance or medical aid to a victim at the scene of an emergency, if: (1) The assistance or aid is provided in a reasonably prudent manner; (2) The assistance or aid is provided without fee or other compensation; and (3) The individual relinquishes care of the victim when someone who is licensed or certified by this State to provide medical care or services becomes available to take responsibility.

Massachusetts: § 12V states Any person, whose usual and regular duties do not include the provision of emergency medical care, and who, in good faith, attempts to render emergency care including, but not limited to, cardiopulmonary resuscitation or defibrillation, and does so without compensation, shall not be liable for acts or omissions, other than gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, resulting from the attempt to render such emergency care.

Michigan: § 691.1502 covers those who actual hospital duty does not require a response to the emergency situation, a physician, physician's assistant, dentist, podiatrist, intern, resident, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, registered physical therapist, clinical laboratory technologist, inhalation therapist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, x-ray technician, or paramedic, who in good faith responds to a life threatening emergency or responds to a request for emergency assistance in a life threatening emergency within a hospital or other licensed medical care facility, is not liable for civil damages as a result of an act or omission in the rendering of emergency care, except an act or omission amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.

Minnesota: 604A.01 covers the aforementioned duty to assist, stating A person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person is exposed to or has suffered grave physical harm shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person. Reasonable assistance may include obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from law enforcement or medical personnel. A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

Additionally, Subd. 2. General immunity from liability states that A person who, without compensation or the expectation of compensation, renders emergency care, advice, or assistance at the scene of an emergency or during transit to a location where professional medical care can be rendered, is not liable for any civil damages as a result of acts or omissions by that person in rendering the emergency care, advice, or assistance, unless the person acts in a willful and wanton or reckless manner in providing the care, advice, or assistance. This subdivision does not apply to a person rendering emergency care, advice, or assistance during the course of regular employment, and receiving compensation or expecting to receive compensation for rendering the care, advice, or assistance.

Mississippi: § 73-25-37 states No duly licensed, practicing physician, physician assistant, dentist, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified registered emergency medical technician, or any other person who, in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care, renders emergency care to any injured person at the scene of an emergency, or in transporting the injured person to a point where medical assistance can be reasonably expected, shall be liable for any civil damages to the injured person as a result of any acts committed in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care or omissions in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care by such persons in rendering the emergency care to the injured person.

Missouri: § 537.037 states Any other person who has been trained to provide first aid in a standard recognized training program may, without compensation, render emergency care or assistance to the level for which he or she has been trained, at the scene of an emergency or accident, and shall not be liable for civil damages for acts or omissions other than damages occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such person in rendering such emergency care.

Montana: 27-1-714 states Any person licensed as a physician and surgeon under the laws of the state of Montana, any volunteer firefighter or officer of any nonprofit volunteer fire companyor any other person who in good faith renders emergency care or assistance without compensation except as provided in subsection (2) at the scene of an emergency or accident is not liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions other than damages occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such person in rendering such emergency care or assistance.

Nebraska: 25-21,186 states No person who renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or other emergency gratuitously, shall be held liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering the emergency care or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for medical treatment or care for the injured person.

Nevada: 41.500 states any person in this state who renders emergency care or assistance in an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission, not amounting to gross negligence, by him in rendering the emergency care or assistance or as a result of any act or failure to act, not amounting to gross negligence, to provide or arrange for further medical treatment for the injured person.

New Hampshire: 508:12 states If any person in good faith renders emergency care at the place of the happening of an emergency or to a victim of a crime or delinquent act or while in transit in an ambulance or rescue vehicle, to a person who is in urgent need of care as a result of the emergency or crime or a delinquent act, and if the acts of care are made in good faith and without willful or wanton negligence, the person who renders the care is not liable in civil damages for his acts or omissions in rendering the care, as long as he receives no direct compensation for the care from or on behalf of the person cared for. Any person rendering emergency care shall have the duty to place the injured person under the care of a physician, nurse, or another person qualified to care for such person as soon as possible and to obey the instructions of such qualified person.

New Jersey: § 2A:62A-1 states Any individual, including a person licensed to practice any method of treatment of human ailments, disease, pain, injury, deformity, mental or physical condition, or licensed to render services ancillary thereto, or any person who is a volunteer member of a duly incorporated first aid and emergency or volunteer ambulance or rescue squad association, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim or victims thereof, or while transporting the victim or victims thereof to a hospital or other facility where treatment or care is to be rendered, shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care.

New Mexico: § 24-10-3 states No person who comes to the aid or rescue of another person by providing care or assistance in good faith at or near the scene of an emergency, as defined in Section 24-10-4 NMSA 1978, shall be held liable for any civil damages as a result of any action or omission by that person in providing that care or assistance, except when liable for an act of gross negligence; but nothing in this section applies to the provision of emergency care or assistance when it is rendered for remuneration or with the expectation of remuneration or is rendered by a person or agent of a principal who was at the scene of the accident or emergency because he or his principal was soliciting business or performing or seeking to perform some services for remuneration.

New York: § 6547 states Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any general, special or local law, any physician assistant properly registered in this state who voluntarily and without the expectation of monetary compensation renders first aid or emergency treatment at the scene of an accident or other emergency, outside a hospital, doctor's office or any other place having proper and necessary medical equipment, to a person who is unconscious, ill or injured, shall not be liable for damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by such person or for damages for the death of such person alleged to have occurred by reason of an act or omission in the rendering of such first aid or emergency treatment unless it is established that such injuries were or such death was caused by gross negligence on the part of such physician assistant. Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to relieve a licensed physician assistant from liability for damages for injuries or death caused by an act or omission on the part of a physician assistant while rendering professional services in the normal and ordinary course of his practice.

North Carolina: § 20-166 states Any person who renders first aid or emergency assistance at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on any street or highway to any person injured as a result of the accident, shall not be liable in civil damages for any acts or omissions relating to the services rendered, unless the acts or omissions amount to wanton conduct or intentional wrongdoing.

North Dakota: 32-03.1-02 states No person, or the person's employer, subject to the exceptions in sections 32-03.1-03, 32-03.1-04, and 32-03.1-08, who renders aid or assistance necessary or helpful in the circumstances to other persons who have been injured or are ill as the result of an accident or illness, or any mechanical, external or organic trauma, may be named as a defendant or held liable in any personal injury civil action by any party in this state for acts or omissions arising out of a situation in which emergency aid or assistance is rendered, unless it is plainly alleged in the complaint and later proven that such person's acts or omissions constituted intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Ohio: § 2305.23 states No person shall be liable in civil damages for administering emergency care or treatment at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor's office, or other place having proper medical equipment, for acts performed at the scene of such emergency, unless such acts constitute willful or wanton misconduct.

Oklahoma: § 765 states Where no prior contractual relationship exists, any person licensed to practice any method of treatment of human ailments, disease, pain, injury, deformity, mental or physical condition, or licensed to render services ancillary thereto, including licensed registered and practical nurses, who, under emergency circumstances that suggest the giving of aid is the only alternative to probable death or serious bodily injury, in good faith, voluntarily and without compensation, renders or attempts to render emergency care to an injured person or any person who is in need of immediate medical aid, wherever required, shall not be liable for damages as a result of any acts or omissions except for committing gross negligence or willful or wanton wrongs in rendering the emergency care.

Oregon: 30.800 states No person may maintain an action for damages for injury, death or loss that results from acts or omissions of a person while rendering emergency medical assistance unless it is alleged and proved by the complaining party that the person was grossly negligent in rendering the emergency medical assistance.

Pennsylvania: § 8332 states Any person who renders emergency care, first aid or rescue at the scene of an emergency, or moves the person receiving such care, first aid and rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care, shall not be liable to such person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering the emergency care, first aid or rescue, or moving the person receiving the same to a hospital or other place of medical care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the person receiving the emergency care, first aid or rescue or being moved to a hospital or other place of medical care.

Rhode Island: § 9-1-27.1 states No person who voluntarily and gratuitously renders emergency assistance to a person in need thereof including the administration of life-saving treatment to those persons suffering from anaphylactic shock shall be liable for civil damages which result from acts or omissions by such persons rendering the emergency care, which may constitute ordinary negligence. This immunity does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct.

South Carolina: § 15-1-310 states Any person, who in good faith gratuitously renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim thereof, shall not be liable for any civil damages for any personal injury as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering the emergency care or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

South Dakota: § 20-9-3 states No physician, surgeon, osteopath, physician assistant, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, licensed under the provisions of chapters 36-4, 36-4A and 36-9, who in good faith renders, in this state, emergency care at the scene of the emergency, shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person rendering the emergency care.

Tennessee: 63-6-218 states Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine and surgery and including any person licensed or certified to render service ancillary thereto, or any member of a volunteer first aid, rescue or emergency squad that provides emergency public first aid and rescue services, who in good faith: (1) Renders emergency care at the scene of an accident, medical emergency and/or disaster, while en route from such scene to a medical facility and while assisting medical personnel at the receiving medical facility, including use of an automated external defibrillator, to the victim or victims thereof without making any direct charge for the emergency care; or (2) Participates or assists in rendering emergency care, including use of an automated external defibrillator, to persons attending or participating in performances, exhibitions, banquets, sporting events, religious or other gatherings open to the general public, with or without an admission charge, whether or not such emergency care is made available as a service, planned in advance by the promoter of the event and/or any other person or association, shall not be liable to such victims or persons receiving emergency care for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission by such person in rendering the emergency care, or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person, except such damages as may result from the gross negligence of the person rendering such emergency care.

Texas: § 74.152 states Persons not licensed or certified in the healing arts who in good faith administer emergency care as emergency medical service personnel are not liable in civil damages for an act performed in administering the care unless the act is wilfully or wantonly negligent. This section applies without regard to whether the care is provided for or in expectation of remuneration.

Utah: § 78-11-22 states A person who renders emergency care at or near the scene of, or during an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages or penalties as a result of any act or omission by the person rendering the emergency care, unless the person is grossly negligent or caused the emergency.

Vermont: 519(a) covers the aforementioned duty to assist which states that a person who knows that another is exposed to grave physical harm shall, to the extent that the same can be rendered without danger or peril to himself or without interference with important duties owed to others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person unless that assistance or care is being provided by others.

Virginia: § 8.01-225 states Any person who I n good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, without compensation, to any ill or injured person at the scene of an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency, or en route therefrom to any hospital, medical clinic or doctor's office, shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such care or assistance.

Washington: § 4.24.300 states Any person, including but not limited to a volunteer provider of emergency or medical services, who without compensation or the expectation of compensation renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency or who participates in transporting, not for compensation, therefrom an injured person or persons for emergency medical treatment shall not be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission in the rendering of such emergency care or in transporting such persons, other than acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. Any person rendering emergency care during the course of regular employment and receiving compensation or expecting to receive compensation for rendering such care is excluded from the protection of this subsection.

West Virginia: § 55-7-15 states No person, including a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or to a victim at the scene of a crime, without remuneration, shall be liable for any civil damages as the result of any act or omission in rendering such emergency care.

Wisconsin: 895.48 states Any person who renders emergency care at the scene of any emergency or accident in good faith shall be immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering such emergency care. This immunity does not extend when employees trained in health care or health care professionals render emergency care for compensation and within the scope of their usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of any emergency or accident, en route to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities or at a physicians office.

Wyoming: § 1-1-120 states Any person licensed as a physician and surgeon under the laws of the state of Wyoming, or any other person, who in good faith renders emergency care or assistance without compensation at the place of an emergency or accident, is not liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions in good faith.

Washington D.C.: § 7-401 states Any person who in good faith renders emergency medical care or assistance to an injured person at the scene of an accident or other emergency in the District of Columbia outside of a hospital, without the expectation of receiving or intending to seek compensation from such injured person for such service, shall not be liable in civil damages for any act or omission, not constituting gross negligence, in the course of rendering such care or assistance.

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If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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