In an effort to protect citizens who attempt to help others who are in need, Wisconsin, like many other states, has enacted laws protecting Good Samaritans. These laws are designed to issue protection from lawsuits in an effort to encourage people to help their fellow man. They were enacted once many people stopped helping others due to the fear of a lawsuit.
Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan laws protect anyone who provides emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency. As long as the aid is administered in good faith, the helper is immune from civil liability for any acts or omissions in giving emergency care. While the laws protect ordinary citizens, they do not protect individuals who have been trained in health care or individuals who are health care professionals when they provide emergency care for monetary gain. In addition, if the emergency care is given at a health care professional’s place of employment, at the scene of an accident, enroute to the hospital, or at a physician’s office, the individual is not covered.
In a 2006 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court more closely defined the statute. They held that, in order for a person to be exempt from liability, the emergency care must be given at the scene of an emergency; the care rendered must be emergency care; and any emergency care must be given in good faith. If all three of these elements are not met, the Good Samaritan is not exempt from liability.
According to the Supreme Court, the Good Samaritan statute is designed to encourage people to provide emergency care to an injured person. It does this by making aid givers immune to common-law liability.
If you have been injured further by a “Good Samaritan” and feel that person did not meet the requirements for immunity, contact the Lake Geneva personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to discuss your situation and to determine your legal options.