Jason Stephens | January 26, 2024 | Texas Law
The term “Good Samaritan” comes from a biblical parable about a person stopping to help another person. It has transitioned into the Good Samaritan Rule. Under the rule, a good Samaritan is someone who provides services for another person.
Under common law, a person who helps another person when they are not obligated to do so assumes a duty to use reasonable care. The Good Samaritan has a duty to avoid placing the person in a worse position by helping them.
States have different laws regarding the Good Samaritan Rule. Texas codified a Good Samaritan law to encourage people to offer emergency aid after an accident.
Understanding the Texas Good Samaritan Law
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.151 limits liability for emergency care. The code states a person is not liable for civil damages for an act performed during an emergency if they acted in good faith to administer emergency care. Individuals may be protected under the Good Samaritan Law if:
- They acted in good faith;
- They do not expect payment, nor are they trying to solicit business;
- They were not the cause of the person’s injuries or harm;
- They were not willfully or wantonly negligent; and,
- They were not paid for their services.
However, the law does not protect a person if the act performed is wantonly or willfully negligent. In other words, if they disregarded the safety of others and their actions resulted in additional injuries or harm, they could be liable for damages. The law does not protect paramedics and other emergency personnel because they are paid for their services.
Is There a Duty To Render Care and Aid in Texas?
Texas Transportation Code §550.21 explains a driver’s duties following a collision involving personal injury or death. The law requires a driver involved in a collision to:
- Immediately stop their vehicle at the accident scene or as close to the accident scene as possible;
- Immediately return to the accident scene if the vehicle is stopped away from the site of the collision;
- Immediately determine if a person involved in the crash requires aid; and,
- Remain at the accident scene until the driver complies with the requirements listed in Section 550.023 of the Transportation Code.
Transportation Code §550.023 explains a driver’s duty to give information and render aid.
A driver must provide their name, address, insurance information, and registration number to anyone injured in the accident. Generally, drivers must also provide the information to the police, who include it in the report given to each driver. If a person injured in the accident requests it, the driver must also show them their driver’s license.
Additionally, a driver is required to provide anyone injured in the accident “reasonable assistance.” The code says reasonable assistance includes making arrangements for or transporting the person to a hospital or physician for medical treatment. The requirement applies if the person appears to need medical treatment or requests transportation.
In most situations, calling 911 to request emergency medical services and waiting for EMS to arrive would be considered reasonable assistance. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident or fail to comply with the requirements to provide information and render aid can be charged with a criminal offense.
What Should I Do After a Fort Worth Car Accident?
Knowing what to do can protect your rights if you are involved in an accident in Fort Worth. Steps to take after a Fort Worth car accident include:
- Stop at the accident scene and check on the other people involved in the accident. Call 911 to report the crash and request EMS and law enforcement officers.
- Gather your driver’s license, information, and registration to provide to the police officer.
- If it is safe to do so, make a video of the accident scene and the surrounding area. Take photographs of both vehicles and other evidence.
- Ask for the names and contact information of anyone who stopped at the accident scene or witnessed the crash.
- Do not apologize for the crash or accept liability for causing the accident.
- Seek prompt medical care for your injuries, even if you feel okay. Delays in medical care can make it more challenging to receive compensation for an accident claim.
- Report the crash to your insurance company. You are not obligated to provide a statement or talk with the other person’s insurance provider. It is best to have legal advice before dealing with the insurance adjuster.
Contact Our Golf Cart Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth golf cart lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107