It is human nature to help those in need.
However, many are afraid to help in fear that they could be liable for any injuries they cause during that aid. While a person could inadvertently injure another while helping, failing to help constitutes negligence in some situations.
Every state, including Arizona, has a Good Samaritan Law.
Knowing the fundamentals of this law can help a victim determine if it plays a role in their Tempe personal injury claim.
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
The most common form of Good Samaritan Laws provides protection to those who render aid. The person helping the other person becomes immune from civil liability for their good efforts. Some laws provide protection even if the assistance was negligent.
These laws encourage people to help when others need it. The laws put to rest fears about being sued for accidentally injuring someone. For example, what if one pulls a victim from a burning vehicle to save his or her life, but causes irreversible spinal damage in the process?
Would it be fair for the victim to sue the person who saved his or her life because they are now paralyzed?
Good Samaritan Laws protect individuals in these very instances.
Exploring the Good Samaritan Laws in Arizona
Arizona uses a Good Samaritan Law.
In Arizona Revised Statutes Section 32-1471 and Section 36-2263, a person rendering aid, whether medical professional, trained or not, in an emergency situation is not liable for damages.
However, restrictions in that statute prevent someone from recklessly causing additional injuries when helping others.
If injuries occur, the person helping is only immune if:
- He or she does so in good faith;
- Gross negligence did not happen;
- The person helping did not do so for money or other considerations.
When Medical Providers Render or Fail to Render Aid
Physicians receive protections, as do first responders, when helping an accident victim. If a medical provider happens to be at the scene of an accident and assists the victim, he or she is immune from injuries they might cause.
However, the reverse also applies. A physician that sees a person in need of aid and fails to act might be liable.
While there are no criminal penalties for failure to aid, civil penalties apply.
Furthermore, if the physician billed the victim for his or her services and caused an injury, medical malpractice might apply.
Injured? Speak with a Tempe Personal Injury Claim Advocate
The statutes regarding Good Samaritan Laws, medical professionals, and first responders exist – but they are complicated.
After an injury in an accident, or when the victim suffers catastrophic injuries due to the gross negligence of emergency personnel, they may have a case for compensation.
To explore your options, speak with a Tempe personal injury claim attorney at Tobler Law. Schedule your appointment now at 480-898-9700 or request a consult online.