Louisiana has a Good Samaritan law that protects anyone who volunteers to give aid when another person’s health and wellbeing are in danger. This law applies in emergency circumstances when waiting for an ambulance and paramedics or other professionals might be too long to protect the victim’s life or safety.
If you have questions about your rights after an incident that included good samaritan aid, you can reach out to a personal injury law firm in Louisiana, including our team at the Morris Bart law firm. We provide free case consultations and can answer your questions if you provided aid or believe you were injured by a negligent party rendering aid.
What Is a “Good Samaritan” Under Louisiana Law?
Louisiana has two statutes that provide protection for those who provide aid to others in an emergency. They include:
- La. Rev. Stat. § 1731, protecting doctors and other medical personnel
- La. Rev. Stat. § 2793, protecting the general public when they provide aid
Together, these laws protect anyone who helps another person in good faith. The law covers any type of emergency and on any scene anywhere in the state. This could range from someone trapped in a burning vehicle on I-10 to a person in your office having a heart attack.
These Laws Help Protect Those Who Offer Aid from Civil Liability
These laws offer protections from civil liability to anyone who acts in good faith to provide emergency care or first aid or attempts a rescue when necessary. In other words, the person who received aid will not win a lawsuit against the good samaritan even if they suffered further injuries because of their efforts, so long as the person acted in good faith.
In addition, the law protects those who might move an injured person without their permission, such as an unconscious person who must be removed from a crashed vehicle or transferred to the hospital for further medical attention.
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How do Good Samaritan Laws Help Accident Victims or Those With Medical Emergencies?
Good Samaritan laws are beneficial to everyone involved in the vast majority of cases. They were initially instituted to prevent malpractice lawsuits against doctors, nurses, and others with medical training who provided aid away from their hospital or clinic. As time went on, they expanded to include other individuals who could help in an emergency but might not accept the potential liability to do so.
In this way, the law encourages others to step in and provide aid or rescue the victim in situations when it is too dangerous to wait for first responders. This act can be life-saving. In many cases, seconds count. A bystander performing CPR, using a defibrillator, helping a victim from a burning vehicle, or taking other action could save a life. Unlike some states, though, Louisiana does not require bystanders to act.
It is important to know that these Good Samaritan laws only protect those acting in good faith. If there is evidence that they acted in an unreasonable or intentionally reckless way, this law may not apply. The victim could build a case and sue them in civil court.
Building a Louisiana Injury Case
Holding a person legally responsible for the aid they rendered in an emergency is rare in Louisiana. However, it may be possible if they were willfully negligent or reckless. While they do not accept civil responsibility when helping because of the state’s Good Samaritan laws, they still have a duty to act reasonably and in good faith.
Most personal injury lawyers—including the Morris Bart law firm—provide free consultations for victims of negligence injuries. We can assess your options for pursuing compensation and identifying anyone who is legally responsible. This person could include a liable party who caused the initial accident and injuries. You may also have a case against a bystander who failed to act in good faith and caused you further harm.
Injury victims in Louisiana generally only have one year to sue under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492. Some circumstances may reduce the deadline, though. Still, this time frame is a very short period to develop a case, negotiate for a settlement, prepare a lawsuit, and file the paperwork. You will need to act quickly after your injuries to determine if you have a case and want to move forward.
Talk to a Lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC for Free Today
You can speak with a Louisiana attorney from the Morris Bart law firm for free today. We provide complimentary legal case reviews for injured victims across the state. We have eight locations in Louisiana alone, and the areas we serve include all parts of Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We only charge our clients a contingency fee, never anything upfront or out of pocket.
You can connect with an attorney from the Morris Bart law firm now for free. We’re ready to get to work for you.
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