Most people would agree that helping someone in need is the right thing to do. However, when it comes to being a Good Samaritan, some people may hesitate because they’re not sure if they’re protected from any legal repercussions. Good samaritan laws dictate that individuals who offer medical assistance to an injured person at the scene of an accident are guaranteed immunity in case of injuries or even death. The laws are designed to protect individuals who help others in need from any legal consequences. Here are five benefits of Good Samaritan laws.
1. Protection From Legal Costs
Good Samaritan laws are designed to protect individuals who volunteer their time to help others in need, so there’s no concern about being sued. If you have good intentions when intervening on behalf of another person, Good Samaritan laws can provide you with protection from any legal action that may be taken against you.
The purpose of these laws is to encourage people to help others in need, even if that means exposing themselves to some degree of risk.
2. Protection When Acting Under Duress
You should never volunteer to help someone in need if you’re under duress. For example, helping a criminal escape the scene of a crime by hiding or driving them away is unacceptable even if there are Good Samaritan laws in place. This will only result in the loss of any protection from legal action.
Good Samaritan laws only protect individuals who help someone else because they’re willing and able to do so. If you were forced into a situation where you had to help, you wouldn’t qualify for protection under Good Samaritan laws.
3. Less Stigma with Good Samaritan laws
Good Samaritan laws help reduce the stigma associated with helping others. When people know they can step in without fear of legal consequences, it is easier for them to react and do something.
If you already don’t help someone who needs it, Good Samaritan laws may convince you to be brave even if it takes some courage to do so. This can help to reduce the number of people who might ignore a stranger’s plea for help.
4. Helps the Community
When people are freer to help when needed, it can positively impact the community. If everyone in the community is more likely to step in when someone needs help, it can help reduce crime rates. Some individuals are victimized by criminals who target people they know will not fight back if they are attacked.
5. Continued Good Samaritan Act
Good Samaritan laws give legal protection to people who would otherwise be legally liable for helping a person in need. This helps ensure that the original law, also known as the Good Samaritan Act, continues to be followed throughout many states.
The government created the original law because of a lack of response from medical personnel on highways who were available to provide aid to people who had been in an accident. The original law was meant to encourage people to offer assistance instead of just passing by someone who needed help without a second thought because they didn’t want to get involved.
Final Words on Good Samaritan Laws
Good Samaritan laws are designed to encourage people to step in when someone needs help, so there are no legal consequences. This helps reduce the number of people who might ignore a stranger’s plea for help.
The original law encouraged people to offer aid when someone was in need because they didn’t want to get involved. However, there were questions about its legal interpretation, including whether or not it protected people who didn’t stop at the scene of an accident if they did not provide medical assistance.