Good Samaritan Law NJ
You can offer assistance during emergency situations in New Jersey with the full knowledge that you are protected by the Good Samaritan law. These laws allow bystanders to give first aid or medical assistance or call 911. What this means is that in most situations you cannot be sued for making mistakes while providing assistance to an injured person. However, there are circumstances where a person can be sued for offering assistance. You should contact a lawyer if you were injured by a bystander that is giving you assistance.
Protection For Bystanders Offering Emergency Aid
The Good Samaritan law offers protection for bystanders that provide emergency aid in accidents. It recognizes the fact that it is desirable to encourage bystanders to help accident victims. In some cases aid must be given a few seconds after the injury happens to prevent death. For example, a person who performs CPR in the first few second after a heart attack can greatly increase the chance of the victim to survive. You are protected by the Good Samaritan if:
- You have no medical training
- You are a medical professional that is off duty and offers help in an accident you witness
- Volunteer organizations that provide medical assistance or first aid
However, doctors, nurses or other medical professionals that are being paid for their services are not protected by the Good Samaritan laws. In addition, bystanders can be sued for willful, gross, or wanton negligence when providing assistance for accident victims.
Suing A Good Samaritan For Personal Injury
People who do not act in good faith or are negligent when providing aid to injured accident victims are highly likely to cause more injury to the victim. However “good faith” lacks a firm definition and is generally just interpreted as the opposite of bad faith. People who act in bad faith are considered as people who intentionally cause harm or are careless when providing assistance.
That means that a passerby that has no intention to cause harm but ends up harming an accident victim because of carelessness may be sued. For example, only a careless person moves someone who may have gotten internal injuries or broken their bones. However, in dire emergencies such where a car catches fire, moving the injured person is a risk worth taking.
What To Do When Someone Overdoses
The Overdose Prevention Act encourages people to call 911 immediately when someone overdoses. The law actually provides immunity from people who call 911 or seek aid for an overdose victim. You cannot be arrested, charged or prosecuted, or convicted for drug possession or possessing drug paraphernalia when you call 911. This helps prevent deaths from drug overdoses in New Jersey.
What If A Bystander Fails to Help
Bystanders are not required by law to provide aid to people who are injured or are in danger. The Good Samaritan law is only there to encourage bystanders to provide aid. People only have a responsibility to avoid acting in ways that can cause harm to other people. However, if you are a parent, child, employer, employee or guardian of the injured victim or the person in danger, you have a duty to rescue or defend that victim.