Good Samaritan Doctrine (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A principle of TORT LAW that provides that a person who sees another individual in imminent and serious danger or peril cannot be charged with NEGLIGENCE if that first person attempts to aid or rescue the injured party, provided the attempt is not made recklessly.
The Good Samaritan doctrine is used by rescuers to avoid civil liability for injuries arising from their negligence. Its purpose is to encourage emergency assistance by removing the threat of liability for damage done by the assistance. However, the assistance must be reasonable; a rescuer cannot benefit from the Good Samaritan doctrine if the assistance is reckless or grossly negligent.
Three key elements support a successful invocation of the Good Samaritan doctrine: (1) the care rendered was performed as the result of the emergency, (2) the initial emergency or injury was not caused by the person invoking the defense, and (3) the emergency care was not given in a grossly negligent or reckless manner.
Assume that a person has slipped on ice and broken a vertebra. The victim is unconscious, the accident has occurred in a desolate area, and the weather is dangerously cold. A passerby finds the injured person and moves the person to warmth and safety, but in the process...
(The entire section is 987 words.)
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