Good Samaritan Rule Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Good Samaritan Rule, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Good Samaritan Rule?
(n) Good Samaritan Rule is the phrase used to refer the natural responsibility of a person rendering voluntary aid to a suffering person to take diligent steps to protect the needy while imparting any aid to him.
History and Meaning of Good Samaritan Rule
The Good Samaritan Rule is a legal term that refers to the idea that someone who voluntarily decides to help a person in need, and who is not qualified to do so, must act in a reasonable and prudent manner. The term is based on the parable of the Good Samaritan from the Bible, in which a man helps a stranger in need despite the risks involved.
The Good Samaritan Rule is sometimes called the Duty of Care or the Duty to Rescue, and it is designed to encourage people to help others in need without fear of being sued for the results of their actions. However, the rule does not require people to help others in emergency situations, but if they choose to do so then they are legally obligated to do it with reasonable care and skill.
Examples of Good Samaritan Rule
A passerby stops to perform CPR on someone who has collapsed on the street, and accidentally causes a broken rib. The person is not liable for the injury because they acted in good faith and with reasonable care.
A driver helps someone who has been in a car accident by pulling them out of the car, but ends up causing further injuries. If the driver acted prudently and used reasonable care, they would not be held liable for any injuries caused.
A bystander helps an injured person by moving them out of danger and into a safer area, but ends up causing further injuries. If the bystander acted in good faith and used reasonable care, they would not be held liable for any injuries caused.
Legal Terms Similar to Good Samaritan Rule
Duty of Care - The legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to another person.
Negligence - The failure to take reasonable care in carrying out an action, which results in harm to another person.
Duty to Rescue - The legal obligation to take necessary steps to rescue someone in a life-threatening situation, if it can be done without undue risk or harm.