What You Need to Know about the Good Samaritan Law in NJ
If you are an emergency responder of any kind, you’ve most likely heard of NJ’s Good Samaritan law. The same is certainly true if you are a physician or nurse. Are you exposed to liability if you are hurt because you helped when you came across an accident scene? Additionally, there’s a big concern that you could put yourself in jeopardy.
The Good Samaritan Act starts at NJSA 2A:62A-1 and sets forth civil immunity for emergency care. The act is intended to assure medical providers that they should not be reluctant to provide medical care for liability reasons. Also, emergency responders of all types are immune from negligence from civil damages as a result of this law. This could include both volunteer and professional firefighters, police officers and first aid squads.
There is an exception to this rule. Under NJSA 2A:62A-9, there are times that a so-called Good Samaritan can be held liable for monetary damages for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
When a Good Samaritan Gets Injured
Unfortunately, it’s not an unusual situation. You come across an accident scene and decide to be a Good Samaritan and help the injured parties. After all, you consider it your professional and/or ethical responsibility.
You may not even be thinking of your duty to rescue. More than likely, you’re hoping to save a life. In some cases, you might not even fall under Good Samaritan laws. You may just be a well-intentioned person.
There are plenty of stories that tell this tale. A 2015 news report documents one. A driver came across an accident scene and decided to lend help to the victims. As he exited his vehicle, he was struck and killed by a pick-up truck.
Good Samaritans have been credited with saving the lives of many accident victims. Notwithstanding, all individuals need to exhibit caution for their own safety. Obviously, exiting a car on any roadway represents danger. Good Samaritans have even been injured when they helped those in vehicles moved to the shoulder of the road.
Bottom line? Your well-being is just as important as anyone else’s life. You can easily suffer catastrophic injuries while you are busy helping others.