Good Samaritan Laws in Nevada
Have you ever walked away from helping someone who was in dire need of help like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or severe bleeding? Were you more concerned about your own health or about potential liability from making a mistake in the course of helping someone?
The next time that happens, do not walk away; provide the person in need with help. You can save a life! If that ever happens, that memory will live with you for ever.
The good news is that if you are concerned about liability issues, Good Samaritan Laws will protect you. These laws have been enacted in all 50 states in the US. In general, the Good Samaritan Laws protect ordinary citizens who act in a reasonable and prudent way, in the course of giving first aid to someone in an emergency or life-threatening situation.
Someone who acts in a reasonable way, exercises care and the following-
- Moves a person in danger only if that person ‘s life was in danger, for instance when there are falling objects or rising flood waters,
- Get permission or consent from a conscious person before attempting to give care during an emergency,
- Check the person for other life-threatening conditions like bleeding before attempting to provide care,
- Call for urgent medical care from professionals like the 911 or enhanced 911
- Give care until medical professionals arrive to take over
In the State of Nevada, the Good Samaritan law (Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.506 – 2000- Gen. Stat) states, “Any person who, in good faith, renders emergency medical care or assistance to an injured person at the scene of an accident or other emergency without the expectation of receiving or intending to receive compensation from such injured person for service ‘ shall not be liable in civil damages for any act or omission; not constituting gross negligence’ in the course of such or assistance.”
In essence, a Good Samaritan Law protects rescuers or lay people who voluntarily help others in distress from being sued in tort or for wrongdoing. Given that these laws differ from state to state, I encourage you to check the provisions of the Good Samaritan Law in you state.
Armed with the knowledge from the law in your state, next time some collapses at work or in the subway, you should be able to help without being worried that you may be sued for making a mistake.
Gideon F. For-mukwai, CEM, MA