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Good Samaritan law

Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With ‘G’

Welcome back to Legalese From A to Z, our series highlighting the meanings behind legal terms that may not be familiar to non-lawyers. Legalese describes the specialized language of the legal profession -- in other words, things only lawyers would say. With the help of FindLaw's Legal Dictionary, let's take a closer look at five of these terms that begin with the letter "G": Garnishment. Garnishment is a device used by creditors to attach the property or wages of a debtor to repay a debt. Wage garnishment can be used to collect a wide variety of debts, including back taxes, child support, and judgments from court cases. Gift tax. The gift tax is a tax imposed on gifts of property made during a person's lifetime. Certain gifts are exempt from the gift tax, such as gifts to a spouse, donations to a charitable organization, and gifts to any individual up to $13,000 per year. Good faith. Good faith is the absence of bad intentions when entering into an agreement, negotiating, or bringing a lawsuit. For example, in union collective bargaining situations, both the employer and the union are required to negotiate with one another in good faith. Good Samaritan law. A good Samaritan law is a law that provides immunity from liability for a good Samaritan who attempts to provide aid to someone in distress, but inadvertently causes further injury. A good Samaritan law recently passed in New Jersey, for example, provides legal protection to medics and ordinary citizens who administer opioid antidotes to drug overdose victims. Gratuitous. Gratuitous describes an act not involving consideration, compensation, or return benefit. In contract law, a gratuitous promise -- a promise made without an expectation of a return benefit or burden on the promisee -- may be unenforceable if the promisor fails to do what he promised. If you need help with defining a legal word or phrase, check out FindLaw's Legal Dictionary for free access to more than 8,000 definitions of legal terms. Or check back here next Sunday, when Legalese From A to Z will demystify five more legal terms you may not know, beginning with the letter "H." Related Resources: Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'A' (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) What Does 'Wet Reckless' Mean in a DUI Case? (FindLaw's Blotter) What's the Difference Between Bond and Bail? (FindLaw's Blotter) What Is the War Powers Act? What Does It Require? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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Lifeguards and Liability: 3 Things Swimmers Should Know

Lifeguards may seem like towering figures with their tall posts and zinced noses, but they can be liable for swimming injuries and deaths when they make mistakes. For this reason, lifeguards are required to be certified and trained to deal with common emergencies that occur in and around pools. Different states' safety standards are not always identical, but they form a general patchwork of legal liability for when lifeguards falter in their duties. For swimmers, here are three things you should know about lifeguard liability: 1. Lifeguard Duties, Certifications Are Regulated by State Law There is no federal standard for how lifeguards need to be trained and certified, but most states have statutes which require Red Cross lifeguard and CPR training (or their equivalents) before an applicant can work as a lifeguard. For example, Texas requires lifeguard, CPR, and community first aid training for all lifeguards on duty, and where lifeguards are provided, no swimmers can be present in the pool unless a lifeguard is on duty. States may also define what a lifeguard can do in terms of their on-job duties. California limits on-duty lifeguards to perform no duties "other than to supervise the safety of participants in water-contact activities." 2. Standards Are Higher for Lifeguards Because of this web of legal requirements woven by state laws, lifeguards are often held to a higher legal standard when a person is injured or dies under their watch. In injury cases involving negligence of an average person, the law asks only if that person acted in giving the same care as a reasonable person might under those circumstances. Injured? Exercise your legal rights. Get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area today. Those who belong to professions which have specific training related to injury, like lifeguards, are held to a different standard of care: How a reasonable lifeguard would have acted under the circumstances. This may lead a court to find a lifeguard negligent in providing aid when a reasonable lay person may have acted the same way. 3. No 'Good Samaritan' Protection Unlike most people, on-duty lifeguards do have a legal duty to rescue and provide emergency aid to those in need -- it's pretty much their main jobs. For this reason, "Good Samaritan" protections do not provide lifeguards legal cover for mistakes or negligence on the job that leads to injury or death. If you feel like you or a loved one has been injured by a lifeguard, contact a personal injury attorney today. Related Resources: 'Delayed drowning' or heart failure: Suit over Liberty High School student death heads toward trial (The Express-Times) FL Lifeguard Fired Over Liability Concerns (FindLaw's Free Enterprise) Lifeguards Fired for 'Gangnam Style' Parody (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Beach Injuries: Who is Responsible? (FindLaw's Injured)
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