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Can You Get Sued By Doing First Aid Treatment To A Stranger?

Posted by Wayne Bennett on

Short answer: No, because of the Good Samaritan Law. In fact you don’t even have to be trained in CPR or First Aid to be afforded this protection. The Good Samaritan Law covers all 50 states in different forms. The good news is you should feel very safe and protected when providing first aid treatment to a stranger. You just have to provide care to the victim and the law holds you harmless. Proper training provides you with the confidence that you know you are doing the right thing.

In my more than 30 years of service as a firefighter, I’ve received more than one subpoenas because the victims or family wanted to sue. What I discovered is all the agencies involved would get named in the suit, but no civilians. Of course there were always civilians on scene prior to our arrival. But they were protected as Good Samaritans.

These laws can only get you in trouble if you try to perform an impromptu tracheotomy to save a choking victim as in the comedy movie below. Your actions should reflect what the average person with your level of training would do. Or if your behavior has been judged to be reckless or negligent, or if you abandon care and leave the victim after initially providing care, you could also be sued.

However, because of this, some people don’t even bother to learn how to do first aid treatment, so when an emergency happens – they just stand there and do nothing. They are afraid that by helping it could open them up to getting sued.

But I believe are there are still people who have the “humanity” to help other people who are in need. And these people only need to learn the skills to save lives, especially their loved ones. If this is you, I strongly suggest that you watch my 1-minute life-saving training videos. And don’t worry, this training will never get you into trouble.

So if you witness an accident or an emergency, what would you do?

What do you think about these laws? Share your comment below.


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