Whenever an emergency situation occurs, many people act on their first instinct to help others. Unfortunately, doing so could result in serious legal consequences. Even if you were to save a person’s life, in some cases, you could be sued for negligence. That’s where Good Samaritan laws come in.
Each state has its own Good Samaritan law that regulates the bystander’s responsibilities and actions. By learning what you can and can’t do in an emergency can help you act quickly and avoid legal prosecution.
If you are injured because someone violated Nevada’s Good Samaritan law, you may need an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact us as soon as possible to get expert assistance.
What is Nevada’s Good Samaritan Law?
Nevada’s Good Samaritan law allows bystanders that witness an emergency to help others without worrying about legal prosecution. It’s designed to help witnesses take action and save lives without looking back at possible legal consequences. To be protected by the law, a witness should:
- Provide assistance in an emergency situation
- Have genuine intentions
- Help without pay
However, Nevada’s Good Samaritan law comes with certain exceptions. Understanding them helps you act properly and contact a lawyer whenever you are wrongly prosecuted.
Unfortunately, a genuine desire to help a person in an emergency could sometimes lead to bad consequences. If you’ve been hurt by the actions of a bystander, you should know when you have the right to prosecute.
What is the Purpose of the Good Samaritan Law?
In the majority of cases, innocent bystanders aren’t obligated to help emergency victims. Many of them fail to take action for the fear of being prosecuted.
Example: Joe was walking home when he saw a serious car accident. One of the drivers was unconscious in his seat. Since smoke was coming from under the hood, Joe decided not to wait for help and remove the driver from the car immediately. Two months later, the driver sued Joe. It turned out that in the attempt to get the driver to safety quickly, Joe fractured his rib.
Joe saved the driver’s life but caused a rib fracture. Nevada’s Good Samaritan law makes sure he isn’t prosecuted.
For a free legal consultation, call 702-602-HURT
Are There Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law?
Just as in the majority of states, Nevada’s Good Samaritan law has several important exceptions. They include:
When you provide assistance in an emergency situation, you aren’t allowed to cause deliberate harm. Making obvious errors when helping others could cause you to lose legal protection.
If you want to help someone who is in trouble, ask yourself whether you are qualified to do it. For example, applying pressure to the wound may be straightforward. Meanwhile, doing CPR requires a professional approach.
No matter how good your intentions are, mistakes made when administering CPR could lead to legal consequences. The Good Samaritan law will only protect you if:
- You’ve successfully completed a CPR course that meets American Red Cross or American Heart Association requirements.
- You’ve successfully completed a course that covers basic emergency care of a person in cardiac arrest. The course must meet American Heart Association standards.
- An ambulance dispatcher or other agencies that are authorized to perform emergency medical services direct you to give CPR before their arrival.
If none of the above is true, mistakes made while administering CPR could lead to legal prosecution.
The most common CPR-related problems are rib fractures and soft tissue injuries. If a person, who has given you CPR, caused injuries, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Duty to Help
Nevada’s Good Samaritan law doesn’t protect people who have the duty to help others in an emergency.
- Drivers who hit pedestrians
- Innkeepers who help injured guests on their property
- Nursing home workers who help injured residents under their care
When it’s your duty to help another person, the standards are much higher. The law doesn’t protect people who are obligated to give help but make mistakes when doing so.
Payment for Assistance
To be protected by the Good Samaritan law, you shouldn’t be paid for your assistance. If you take money from the victim, you are held to higher standards.
In case you paid someone to help you in an emergency, and they caused further damage, contact a personal injury attorney. You could be entitled to compensation.
Causing an Emergency
If a person causes an emergency situation, they aren’t protected by the Good Samaritan law no matter how well they assist the victims. The law is only applicable to innocent bystanders.
Important: Nevada’s Good Samaritan law only applies if there is an emergency situation.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act
In 2015, Nevada passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. It protects people from being prosecuted for certain drug-related offenses when they seek medical assistance for themselves or other persons in case of a drug or alcohol overdose.
This law gives people immunity from arrest, charges, prosecution, conviction, and other penalties if they:
- Use a controlled substance.
- Possess narcotics (amount and intent restrictions apply).
- Possess drug paraphernalia.
- Violate a restraining order or a condition of parole or probation.
You can take advantage of the immunity if you:
- Report an overdose or other medical emergency.
- Assist someone with such reporting.
- Help a person during a medical emergency while waiting for assistance.
- Bring a person who is overdosing or facing another medical emergency to a medical facility.
The goal of this Good Samaritan law is to encourage people to help someone in a medical emergency without being afraid to be prosecuted for certain drug-related offenses.
Get Help from Our Attorneys with Nevada’s Good Samaritan Law Today
If you were injured by a bystander who tried to help you in an emergency, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate Nevada’s Good Samaritan law and fight for a fair outcome.