Are First Responders Liable in Wrongful Death Claims for Delayed Action? Here’s a Breakdown

irst Responders Liable in Wrongful Death Claims for Delayed Action

When it comes to emergencies, every second matters. People rely on first responders to provide critical help in all sorts of time-sensitive crises. But what happens if a first responder takes too long to show up, leading to the death of a loved one?

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one and believe their death could have been avoided with a faster response time from paramedics, you may be considering filing a wrongful death claim. However, first responders may have certain legal protections and immunities that can complicate a claim. Here’s what you need to know.

Overview of Wrongful Death Claims Against First Responders

To file a successful wrongful death claim, you need to prove three things: that the responsible party had a duty of care to your loved one, that they breached their duty of care, and that their negligence directly resulted in the death of your loved one.

You will have to show that the paramedics did not show up promptly and that their delay was caused by their negligence rather than outside factors, such as traffic. Then you’ll have to prove that the death was avoidable if not for the delay.

Legal Protections and Immunities for First Responders

First responders often have to make split-second decisions to manage intense and highly variable situations. In order to give them the necessary latitude to make decisions without constant fear of being sued, first responders may have the following legal protections and immunities:

Sovereign Immunity

Immunity is a protection for certain governmental employees or agents. Unlike ordinary civilians in common cases such as car wrecks, first responders will often claim that they are immune from lawsuits arising from their official job duties. Regarding first responders, sovereign immunity can protect individuals from personal liability while performing their duties.