In Utah, when a person witnesses or comes across a serious car accident or other emergency that person often instinctively wants to help. In this day and age, the fear of inadvertently causing more damage or injury to the accident victims, and the subsequent potential lawsuits can hold people back from providing help in an emergency. In Utah, there is what is called the Good Samaritan Law to provide legal clarification to these situations.

The Good Samaritan Law

The Utah Code (78B-4-501) states the following:

“A person who renders emergency care at or near the scene of, or during, an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages or penalties as a result of any act or omission by the person rendering the emergency care, unless the person is grossly negligent or caused the emergency.”

What does it mean?

In the most simple terms the Good Samaritan Law in Utah means that if you are at the scene of an emergency and you jump in to help the victims of the emergency, you generally cannot be sued if the victims are injured or otherwise damaged by your good intentions.

You are not, however, required by law to jump in and provide assistance. Whether or not you’re willing to provide care at the scene of an emergency, you should call 911 and get medical professionals to the scene as soon as possible.

Are there exceptions?

As the law is explained, if you were at fault for the accident or emergency or were grossly negligent in your “good Samaritan” care you can still be held liable in a civil case.

The difference between negligence and gross negligence is that negligence is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care while gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care. So if you acted in good faith, trying your best to help, you’re safe from gross negligence.

On the other hand, if you caused the accident or emergency and then attempt to provide emergency care to the victims, you may still be held liable for damages caused. The act of providing emergency care does not alleviate you of the fault for causing the accident.

Victims of Accidents Caused by Others

While mere negligence isn’t enough for a “good Samaritan” to be held accountable for damages in Utah, negligence is enough to hold the accidents at-fault party responsible for the injuries and damages their negligence caused. 

If you or a loved one are injured in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you deserve fair and full compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. At Craig Swapp & Associates our experienced attorneys fight for our clients to receive compensation for:

  • All medical bills associated with the accident
  • Lost wages from time missed from work
  • A decrease in quality of life
  • General pain and suffering
  • More depending on the specifics of the case

There is no reason to fight for fair compensation on your own. Give our experienced attorneys a call today at 800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation or tell us your story by filling out the online form at the bottom of this page.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp