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What Are Good Samaritan Laws?

Some individuals may choose to seek legal action against others who voluntarily help them during moments of distress or emergency. However, it is possible that the intention of other individuals may be to help and in no way cause any kind of harm. Good Samaritan laws are those that protect such individuals from any kind of litigation instigated by those whom they have helped. The purpose of the Good Samaritan laws, or Good Samaritan doctrine, is to lessen the fear of being sued for wrongful death or injury in an attempt to help one who is injured or sick.

It is most common nowadays for strangers or bystanders to be reluctant to help another who is obviously suffering from pain. This reluctance stems from the possibility that the bystander or stranger, in an attempt to alleviate any pain suffered by the individual, may actually be guilty of wrongdoing. The Good Samaritan laws provide protection for those who provide help but may injure the individual in the process of providing help.

However, the Good Samaritan Laws have certain difficulty in defining key terms or incidents. One such area that is difficult to define is unreasonable rescue or help that is unnecessary. This includes injuring or causing more harm to the individual while treating injuries that are not life threatening. Another area that is questionable is if the rescuer acts unreasonably in providing help. In the process of providing help, the rescuer should not stop unless he or she has been relieved by a trained individual, the victim recovers, or he or she can no longer continue due to fatigue.

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