New Jersey state laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. What is the Good Samaritan Act and how does it affect a physician who renders care in an emergency situation?

The Good Samaritan Act provides that any individual, including a physician or other person licensed to practice any method of treatment of human ailments, disease, pain, injury, deformity, mental or physical condition, or licensed to render services ancillary thereto, or any person who is a volunteer member of a duly incorporated first aid and emergency or volunteer ambulance or rescue squad association, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the victim or victims thereof, or while transporting the victim or victims thereof to a hospital or other facility where treatment or care is to be rendered, shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care.

(N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-1)

2. May a physician receive remuneration or payment for emergency care provided under the Good Samaritan Act?

No. The Good Samaritan Act shall not apply to the rendering of care or assistance, if rendered for remuneration in excess of reimbursement for out of pocket expenses incurred in rendering the care or assistance, or with the expectation of remuneration from the recipients of the care or assistance or from another person on their behalf; or to acts or omissions concerning the operation of a motor vehicle while traveling to and from the scene of a hazardous discharge to render care, assistance, or advice.

(N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-8)

3. Does the Good Samaritan Act apply to actions taken against the advice of others?

The Good Samaritan Act shall not apply to actions taken against the advice or direction of the Department of Environmental Protection, or police, fire, or other emergency response personnel.

(N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-8)

3. Does the Good Samaritan Act protect against liability for gross negligence or intentional misconduct in an emergency situation?

No. The Good Samaritan Act shall not preclude liability for civil damages as the result of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct constitutes gross negligence for the purposes of this act.

(N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-9)

4. Does the Good Samaritan Act protect physicians from liability in hospitalemergencies?

No. The protection against liability afforded under the Good Samaritan Act to persons who in good faith render emergency medical care at the scene of an emergency or an accident does not apply to physicians who respond to an emergency within a hospital.

(Velazquez ex rel. Velazquez v. Jiminez, 336 N.J. Super. 10 (App. Div. 2000); aff’d 172 N.J. 240)

Copyright © Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.

Updated 2008