Originally published June 21, 2021.
Emergencies happen, and sometimes the paramedics or police are too far away. If you see an accident where a victim needs assistance immediately, you might be able to help. However, before you jump in to assist, it is essential to know what Louisiana’s Good Samaritan Law is and what that means for you.
Many potential helpers worry about the liability they could incur if something goes wrong when they try to help. Most states have a Good Samaritan Law protecting those who aid another in an emergency, and Louisiana is no different.
What is the Good Samaritan Law in Louisiana?
Louisiana’s Good Samaritan Law protects medical personnel, such as physicians, surgeons, physician’s assistants, and all other individuals who render aid in good faith to someone in need. This aid may be rendered at any emergency scene in the state.
The law clearly states that no individual who in good faith gratuitously provides emergency care, rescue, or first aid to an injured person will be liable for civil damages. The protection also extends to those moving an injured person to a location for medical care, such as a hospital.
Physicians providing emergency care outside a hospital or other medical facility have protection under the law. But the law goes even further, stating that physicians and other medical personnel not licensed in the state of Louisiana but who hold a valid license in another state will not be charged with a violation of Louisiana’s Medical Malpractice Act.
The primary exception to legal protection under the law is if the physician or individual causes additional injury or damage during the emergency care due to willful misconduct or gross negligence. This is where the Good Samaritan Law can quickly become more complicated and the burden of proof potentially challenging to ascertain.
What if Additional Injuries are the Result of a Good Samaritan?
If you were injured in an accident and the actions of a Good Samaritan left you with additional injuries or damages, you will need to prove that their actions were negligent. Because the Good Samaritan Law in Louisiana has extensive protections for helpers, if you’re injured by someone assisting you in an emergency, you’ll need to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney who understands the law and how to prove your case.
The experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys with Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help. Our team conducts a thorough review of your case, followed by legal advice on your options. Whether the one assisting you was a physician or simply a witness to the accident, we can help determine whether you have a case and what compensation may be available for the additional harm they caused you.
Should You Help Someone Needing Emergency Assistance?
With the Good Samaritan Law, Louisiana encourages its citizens to help those in need of emergency assistance without the worry of being sued. In the eyes of the law, everyone is considered a Good Samaritan. When a Good Samaritan gives aid in good faith, the law protects them.
If you feel comfortable in your abilities, you can assist someone with emergency care without worry. If the injured person comes back to claim you were negligent or your willful misconduct resulted in additional injuries or damages, speak with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
However, if you do not have any medical training, such as CPR training or first aid knowledge, it may be better to wait for the EMTs to arrive and render aid themselves rather than risk accidental harm. There are still other ways you can help.
For example, if you are uncomfortable helping or do not have the skills needed to help responsibly, you can still assist the injured persons by calling 911. Often, onlookers assume someone else has called 911 and fail to do so, delaying the notification of the emergency responders. Taking charge and calling could save someone’s life. You can also offer comfort to the victim until medical help arrives.
Stay at the scene until emergency personnel arrive. You may need to give a statement to the responding police officers if you witnessed the accident.
Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Today
Whether you encounter a person needing medical care or you need care and are hurt worse by someone’s help, the legal ramifications require expert guidance. However your injury occurred, Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers for help. Your initial consultation is always free. We want to make sure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible, and you get the compensation you need so that your life can go back to normal following your accident.
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