What Is the Georgia Good Samaritan Law?
Georgia’s Good Samaritan law references the biblical parable of a Samaritan who rescues a traveler after bandits rob and beat him, leaving him for dead along the side of the road. Good Samaritans in modern vernacular are simply people who attempt to assist others in dire circumstances with no ulterior motives. The Good Samaritan law in Georgia exists to protect people from unjust lawsuits from the people they attempt to help. This law is an effort to encourage Georgia citizens to help others in times of need without fear of legal repercussions.
Why Is the Good Samaritan Law Necessary?
Imagine a person falls down a flight of stairs and onto the sidewalk outside of a store on a public street. A passerby rushes to help and notices the victim isn’t breathing, so the passerby attempts CPR and begins chest compressions, cracking one of the victim’s ribs by mistake. This is a common injury for CPR recipients, so it’s a relatively reasonable incident given the circumstances. The passerby revives the victim and waits for paramedics to arrive. Later, the passerby receives notice that the person he or she helped is suing because of the fractured ribs.
The passerby acted out of a desire to help and did so using appropriate CPR techniques, so why should he or she face legal liability for trying to help? The Good Samaritan law prevents such incidents and protects people who genuinely try to offer assistance for no reason other than the goodness of their hearts.
To qualify for protection from liability under the Good Samaritan law, the Samaritan in question must have acted reasonably for the given situation and had no ulterior motive at the time. That is, the helper cannot ask for compensation or reward for helping. It must be a genuinely altruistic act, and the helper must be cautious while rendering aid. Following the previous example, if the passerby attempted to pick up and move the unconscious victim and dropped him or her, this would not be a reasonable attempt at offering aid and the passerby would likely face liability.
How the Good Samaritan Law Helps Georgia Citizens
In the heat of the moment, the average person may hesitate to help another person in distress for fear they will be held liable for the incident. The Good Samaritan law prevents this as long as the helper acts in good faith. Prior to the Good Samaritan laws, an injured person could attempt to sue someone who offered assistance as a means of securing compensation if there is no one else to face liability.
The Good Samaritan law also helps prevent accidental drug overdose deaths. People who abuse drugs such as heroin and prescription opioid painkillers are at significant risk of death during an overdose. Prior to the existence of Good Samaritan laws, a person who witnessed a drug overdose would often refrain from calling 911 for fear of facing drug crime charges. Now, a person who witnesses a drug overdose can help get medical assistance without fear of legal repercussions. The Good Samaritan law in Georgia also expanded the availability of Naloxone, a life-saving medication capable of reversing the symptoms of an opioid overdose.
It’s vital for Georgia residents to understand how the state’s Good Samaritan law works. The law encourages average people to act in emergency situations when seconds count; potentially saving lives when emergency personnel may take minutes to arrive. If you or a loved one has recently encountered such a situation and are now facing legal action from the victim, your attorney will help you prove that the state’s Good Samaritan law protects your actions.
- Can You Sue for a Hit-and-Run in Georgia?
- Driver Distraction Is a Serious Threat
- Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident in Georgia?
- Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Georgia?
- Understanding the Legal Process: What to Do If Another Driver Sues You for a Car Accident in Georgia
- The Clock is Ticking: Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Georgia
- Can I Seek Legal Recourse for a Dog Bite Injury in Georgia?
- Loss of Earning Capacity is Not the Same as Loss of Income
- What To Do If Your Doctor Prescribes The Wrong Medication
- Kaufman Secures $975,035 Settlement for Client in Lyft Car Wreck Case