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WHAT IS CALIFORNIA’S “GOOD SAMARITAN” LAW?

In the State of California, there is no duty requiring one person to assist another in an emergency situation. If an individual does determine to help another, the “Good Samaritan” Law states that there is no civil liability for doing so, or for the outcome of such efforts as long as the conduct was done without expectation of payment or reward, performed in good faith, and without substantial negligence.

California Health and Safety Code §1799.102 states that “no person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency, shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission. The scene of an emergency shall not include emergency departments and other places where medical care is usually offered.”

The key element of the Health and Safety Code is the word “medical” : non-medical assistance, such as moving an injured party, rendering aid at a traffic accident or other types of assistance are encouraged. . .just don’t mess up!

If you have questions regarding your legal rights or liabilities, please contact the Law Office of Heiting & Irwin for a free consultation.

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