good Samaritan law

What would you do if you witnessed an accident, where a pedestrian was hit by a car? Like a true human, your immediate response would be to offer help. What if you tried to help, only to realize that you have been sued by the victim for exacerbating their injuries? In Nevada, the state lawmakers do not want people to feel scared or worry about a lawsuit for helping someone in an emergency situation. That’s precisely where the good Samaritan law comes in the picture. The law states that a good Samaritan, who makes an effort to help cannot be held liable for a mistake, if

  1. They acted in an emergency situation and tries to help
  2. They were not paid for their effort
  3. They were not grossly negligent. 

Understanding the simple things

First things first, note that the Good Samaritan law only applies to emergency situations and protects bystanders and witnesses, who took action to help. This doesn’t mean that you can expect protection if you were just trying to help or were being nice. There are three exceptions to Nevada’s Good Samaritan law. 

  1. If the person caused intentional harm or acted in a manner that can be considered grossly negligent with regards to safety and health standards. When the term gross negligence is used, it means that the person acted in a manner that’s not reasonable. 
  2. If the person is responsible for causing the accident. For instance, when a driver tries to help the victim he has injured in an accident, they will be held fully responsible and cannot seek protection under Good Samaritan law.
  3. Good Samaritan law is not applicable to those who have the duty help. For instance, paramedics, police, and emergency personnel do not qualify as bystanders and cannot expect protection under the Good Samaritan law. 

Facing a lawsuit

If you helped someone in an emergency and took action, only to face a lawsuit later, you can consider seeking protection under Good Samaritan law in Nevada. The first step in this regard is to talk to an attorney in depth, who will help you understand if you can be held liable for your action. They will investigate the matter and take steps to gather evidence, to show that you didn’t act in a grossly negligent manner. Check for a lawyer who has defended bystanders and witnesses in such cases.