When Does The Good Samaritan Law Apply To Malpractice Cases?
Normally, when a medical professional performs an action that is considered negligent, that individual would be held responsible under medical malpractice laws. However, there are circumstances where this is not the case. For example, some states have "Good Samaritan" laws that can be used as defenses against accusations of medical malpractice. Therefore, you'll need to speak to a personal injury lawyer about how these laws might affect your personal injury case.
Good Samaritan Laws in Your State
Good Samaritan laws apply to medical professionals who are providing treatment under emergency situations. The professional may not be held liable if the injuries were related to the attempts by the medical professional to render aid. However, this doesn't mean that you cannot recover with the help of a great personal injury lawyer.
There Must Be an Emergency
If your life was not in danger, the Good Samaritan law might not apply. For example, if you were conscious and stated that you did not need medical treatment, and an expert witness argues that a reasonable EMT would not treat the situation as an emergency, the EMT may still be held liable for her actions.
Another example is when a patient is in a stable condition and an EMT runs a red light and slams into another vehicle. The accident injures the patient in the ambulance and a personal injury lawyer might argue that the act of driving through a red light was unnecessary.
The Medical Professional Must Not Be Reckless
If the aid was rendered in a manner that was reckless or was intended to harm you, the Good Samaritan law would not apply. The individual must merely be negligent to be protected from liability.
Free Medical Services
In some states, the Good Samaritan law only applies if the medical services are offered for free. For example, if an individual is choking and a random passerby assists in saving the patient, this would fall under Good Samaritan laws. However, a medical professional who is being paid to provide emergency aid could still be responsible.
Speak with your personal injury attorney about whether the law applies in your case. Some states allow for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue workers to provide aid and receive protection under this law. Improper medical care can lead to serious injuries and can be debilitating. Therefore, it's important to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.