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In a civil lawsuit, are the liabilities greater for a professional who volunteers aid in an emergency as opposed to a non-professional?

Question:

Dear Nancy,

In a civil lawsuit, would the liabilities be greater for a professional who had volunteered to aid in an emergency situation versus a non-professional in the same situation?

Jusada

Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Jusada,

It is impossible to discuss without specifics the particulars of your question. The main issue here is what laws your state has passed for those who volunteer in an emergency situation. Be clear about the fact that an emergency situation is usually defined in such statutes as one in which there is no existing nurse-patient relationship (as there would be in a held position on a particular unit as an employee), and a person, possibly a health professional, stops to provide aid without knowledge of the existing medical problem. Moreover, no compensation can occur as a result of the aid provided to the injured person.

You can check your state’s “Good Samaritan” statute help by going to your state legislative page and placing “Good Samaritan law” or something similar in the search bar. If you need to discuss this further with an attorney, a consultation with a nurse attorney or an attorney in your state who works with healthcare professionals would yield a specific response.

Regards,
Nancy

By | 2010-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 October 20th, 2010|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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