The Consequences of Improper CPRCPR is a very specific procedure. If done incorrectly, it could result in significant harm. Improper CPR could, undoubtedly, result in death. However, even those who survive improper CPR that is negligently administered could suffer severe complications, which could include the following:
- Rib fractures and sternum fractures
- Punctured organs (due to fractured bones)
- Lung tissue damage
Liability and Your Right to Pursue a ClaimYour right to pursue a claim is strictly based on liability. You must be able to prove that a specific party or entity is liable for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered. Liability is based on negligence, which consists of four elements – duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and harm. The first step in establishing liability is proving that specific duty owed you a duty of care; for example, lifeguards owe swimmers a duty of care (the duty to be vigilant and act promptly/diligently in the case of an emergency). The second step is establishing that the specific party failed to perform his or her duty of care – or breached the duty of care towards you. Lifeguards can breach their duty of care by performing improper CPR. The third step is establishing that the breach of duty caused harm. If the harm suffered can be directly connected to a breached duty of care, a party could be found liable – meaning that affected parties could pursue claims. Who could be liable for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered? If improper CPR administered by a lifeguard resulted in harm, multiple parties could be liable based on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Consider the following points:
- If the incident involved an independent lifeguard, the lifeguard could be solely liable. Independent lifeguards are often hired for private events.
- If the incident involved a lifeguard hired through a private company, the private company could be liable. Lifeguard companies hire lifeguards and send them to perform specific tasks. These companies can fail to train lifeguards.
- If the incident involved a lifeguard working with the county fire department (or other county agency), the county agency could be liable. These agencies have the duty to ensure that their lifeguards are properly trained and competent. When lifeguards negligently administer improper CPR, these agencies can be liable.
Your Right to Recover CompensationIf you pursue a claim and it reaches a successful outcome, you could recover some sort of compensation. The specific type and amount of compensation that you could be eligible to recover will always depend on the details of your claim, including but not limited to the type of injuries suffered, the way that your injuries affect different aspects of your life, and the expenses associated with the harm suffered, for example. Without a doubt, every claim is different and will result in the recovery of different forms of compensation; however, the following categories of compensation are often available:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral/burial costs
- Punitive damages