Posted in Personal Injury on March 23, 2020
Many people have heard of Good Samaritan laws, but they may not understand what they are and who they protect. Georgia has had versions of Good Samaritan laws in place since the early 1960s, and they have been dramatically changed and improved ever since.
There are two primary purposes for Good Samaritan laws in Georgia:
These laws have been put into place around the US because so many people have been afraid to render life-saving aid to others in emergencies because they fear the legal consequences of doing so. They are afraid they will further harm someone, even though they are trying to help them. Under these laws, those with no particular training can help someone in an emergency and not worry about facing a lawsuit or prosecution if they make a mistake or fail to save someone’s life.
Yes, Georgia’s Good Samaritan laws do protect licensed healthcare professionals in Georgia. This can include paramedics, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who are off duty when they see an incident occur. Even if a licensed medical professional fails to save someone’s life or makes a mistake while rendering emergency aid, they will not be held liable under the Good Samaritan laws.
Any licensed healthcare provider who offers free and voluntary services to those in an emergency situation is protected by Georgia’s Good Samaritan law.
Many people wonder if the state’s Good Samaritan laws apply to the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). You have probably seen these devices in the hallways of office buildings, malls, schools, or any other area where many people congregate. The Good Samaritan laws in Georgia protect various groups when an AED must be used. This includes:
Any person or organization bringing disaster relief to those in Georgia under the direction of a state agency is protected by Good Samaritan laws. This includes situations such as infectious disease pandemics, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and more. To qualify for protection, these services must be offered free of charge.
A new law that is related to the Good Samaritan laws is in place in response to the dramatic increase in opioid overdose deaths in Georgia and throughout the US. The 911 Amnesty Law protects individuals in Georgia from arrest, prosecution, or conviction of certain drug offenses if the evidence gathered for such actions resulted from the person seeking assistance for someone thought to be suffering from a drug overdose. Without this law, friends or fellow drug users may be much less likely to call 911 if they witness an overdose.
Alcohol overdoses are also covered under this law, and the language is similar to the section regarding a drug case. These laws also protect someone not only from substance offenses, but also from violations of protective or restraining orders as well as violations of probation, parole, or other pretrial release conditions.
Speak with our Atlanta personal injury lawyers today at (404) 321-1700.
COVID-19 Update: Lawyers and staff are working both remotely and in the office to provide the best legal representation to our clients. If you need assistance, please call or contact us. We can do consultations over the phone or on a video conference. For referring attorneys, we’re still open for business and want to discuss partnering with you on your cases.