Good Samaritan Laws: What You Need to Know

When accidents occur, sometimes the help of a Good Samaritan can end up saving the day. The law has taken the stance that Good Samaritans should generally be protected when they are trying to help another. The purpose of Good Samaritan laws in the United States is to protect individuals who provide help to people in emergencies, though it is important to note that there is not a legal duty to provide assistance to someone during an emergency.

What is the Good Samaritan Law?

New Jersey is one of several states that have passed Good Samaritan laws addressing the degree of care to be provided during emergencies. These laws state that a person who acts in good faith to render emergency care is immune from facing legal action in a civil court of law as the result of an act or omission in providing care. 

Courts in New Jersey have routinely held that good faith is anything that is not deliberate harm or gross negligence. Unfortunately, each year, a number of people are harmed as a result of substandard care from Good Samaritans in emergency situations. 

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a Good Samaritan whose care fell below the good faith level, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. 

The New Jersey Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act

Under the terms of N.J.S.A. 2A:62-A1, New Jersey’s Good Samaritan law states that medical professionals and bystanders are permitted to provide assistance at the scene of an emergency without facing legal liability. This means that emergency workers are frequently viewed as immune from lawsuits if an accident occurs while they are administering care. 

The 911 Good Samaritan Fatal Overdose Statute

It is shocking for many people to learn that drug deaths in the United States are one of the most common types of fatalities. One of the reasons behind the high rate of drug deaths is that people who overdose are often not provided with adequate emergency care. The Overdose Prevention Act was signed into law in 2013 to encourage people to contact emergency workers when illegal drug overdoses occur. The law protects individuals who in good faith attempt to obtain medical help after an overdose by providing these people with immunity from prosecution for drug use. The law does not protect individuals from being arrested for other criminal offenses like selling or trafficking drugs, however. 

Speak with an Experienced New Jersey Good Samaritan Lawyer

Good Samaritan laws help protect bystanders who provide care in some cases, but not all. If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of negligence caused by another person, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer at Ferrara & Gable today. From start to finish, we will remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve.