Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Does your state have a duty to report or help law?
On your walk to Starbucks, you hear a scream! Around the corner you find a lady knocked out, bleeding from a cut wound to her arm, and a guy is running away with her purse. Do you help her? Do you run after the guy? Do you call the police? Can you just continue on your way and ignore the lady?
At common law and in most states, people, generally, have no duty to help or rescue another person. You would only have a duty to help if you created the peril, you started trying to rescue or help, or you have a special relationship, such as parent-child, with the person in need.
However, some states have laws that do impose a duty to assist people in need. These laws do vary from state to state:
Other states that have similar statutes include Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, and Washington.
Most people think the willingness to help others in an emergency is a moral choice. It is, but it also has legal consequences, so it is helpful to understand the law in your area so you can make the best choice possible if you are ever in this situation.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.