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Is There Liability for Not Calling 911?

Close up of a young person using a smartphone on the street

If an individual is non-responsive, unconscious, and not exhibiting normal breathing, then the following actions should be taken:

  1. Call 911 immediately;
  2. Summon the automated external defibrillator (AED) to be brought to the victim immediately;
  3. Initiate CPR immediately;
  4. Continue CPR until the paramedics arrive; and
  5. Once the AED arrives, apply the AED.

Failing or delaying a call to 911 can result in substantial injuries, or even death. If you are hurt, in need of medical care, and the person around you fails to call 911, or delays a call to 911, the question arises whether you can take legal action against them for contributing to the severity of your injuries.

When it comes down to it, this type of case relies on whether the person who failed to call 911or delayed a call to 911 acted negligently. Read on to learn more.

Refusing or Delaying a 911 Call Can Be Considered Negligence In Some Cases

If someone doesn’t adhere to an expected standard of conduct, it may be possible to hold them liable for the injuries they caused to another, according to the legal theory of negligence.

In general, someone is negligent when they owe a duty of care to another and can be held accountable for the injuries that result due to a violation of that duty. This could include the failure to call or delay in calling 911.

Similarly, if someone is already hurt and another’s behavior causes that person’s injuries to worsen, it may be possible to hold that person accountable for damages where there is some duty owed to help.

The Duty to Rescue Others

There are certain circumstances in which a person owes a duty to help or rescue you, including, but not limited to:

  • When the person created a dangerous situation.
    • If you are hurt as a result of someone else putting you in a dangerous situation, they may be responsible for failing to help you.
  • When someone starts rescuing you.
    • If someone starts saving you anyway, they may be required to keep trying if stopping would be unreasonable.
  • If you have a particular type of relationship with the person available to rescue you.
    • Certain relationships warrant the need for rescue. For instance, this can include the relationship between an employer and an employee, or a school employee and a student.

We Can Help

We’re here to help you if you are the injured victim of another’s negligence. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help.

Call our Los Angeles attorneys at (866) 634-4525 or contact us online to get in touch with someone from our team about the details of your case right away. We will fight to recover your full and fair compensation.