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Posted on July 26, 2016 in Crime

Can You Be Sued for Performing CPR?

In some emergencies, you may feel the need to act immediately to save someone’s life. In such scenarios, what happens if you unintentionally harm the person you were trying to help? Good Samaritan laws exist to protect individuals who take it upon themselves to rush to the aid of others in need and help avoid CPR lawsuits.

CPR and Good Samaritan Laws

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique for reviving someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has ceased beating. Since an unconscious person can’t ask for help, a well-intentioned passerby can help that person by performing CPR; laws protect them from any legal recourse on the grounds of implied consent. Good Samaritan laws exist to prevent those acting in good faith from facing legal liability for any inadvertent damage they cause.

To qualify under Good Samaritan laws, the Samaritan must render aid at the scene of the incident and for no other reason than the desire to help another person in need. Good Samaritan laws generally don’t apply to emergency responders who have specific training for emergencies and lifesaving techniques. So far, no one has sued a layperson successfully for performing CPR, and the general thought is that if you know CPR and see someone in need of it, you have an ethical responsibility to perform CPR and try to save that person’s life.

The only time you shouldn’t perform CPR is when an individual has a do not resuscitate wish. However, random bystanders attempting to save an unconscious stranger’s life probably have no idea about his or her thoughts on CPR, so they can’t face legal repercussions for saving the victim. DNR cases typically arise in medical centers or nursing homes, where patients may opt not to receive lifesaving intervention should they fall into cardiac arrest or stop breathing.

The only time you may face legal action for performing CPR is if you perform any unreasonable or grossly negligent actions during the attempt. Additionally, you can’t perform CPR in hope of reward or compensation for the act—you must render aid purely to help the other person.

What to Do if Someone Sues You | CPR Lawsuits

Anyone can sue anyone else for any reason at any time. However, that doesn’t mean every lawsuit will be successful. Remember that no layperson acting in good faith has ever successfully been sued for performing CPR. If you find yourself in a situation where your assistance could save another person’s life, you face very little risk in doing so. Remember to use the proper technique, and if you successfully revive the victim, stay with him or her until emergency responders arrive.

In the rare event that someone sues you, retain the services of an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney to help you navigate your case. There’s no good reason that any person acting in good faith with the intention of saving a life should be legally liable for his or her actions. At the Orent Law Offices, we believe in aggressively defending the rights of every one of our clients, and we’ll make every effort to establish your innocence.

Good Samaritan laws exist to protect individuals who are willing to go to another person’s aid for no reason other than to help the victim. As long as you render aid at the scene of the emergency, utilize the proper technique, engage in no negligent or unreasonable behavior, and act purely out of good faith, there’s no reason you should have to deal with a lawsuit. Get in touch with the Orent Law Offices if you’re facing a lawsuit for performing CPR in Arizona. For more information, call the firm and schedule a free case evaluation today.