Can I Be Sued for Choosing to Help? | North Carolina

The following is a video transcript.

This month, I would like to discuss when you may legally use your firearm or other deadly weapons to protect others, and whether you face civil liability when rendering first aid to another person.

Under North Carolina Law, one is justified in using deadly force to protect himself, herself, or another if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. The law also provides immunity from civil or criminal liability for the use of such force, unless the person against whom the force is used is a law enforcement officer or a bail bondsman who was lawfully acting in the performance of his or her official duties, and the officer or bail bondsman identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law; or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman in the lawful performance of his or her official duties.

What if you come upon someone who has been injured? What liability do you face if you try to render first aid to that person? North Carolina has what is generally called a Good Samaritan Statute. That statute provides immunity from civil liability for any person who voluntarily, and without expectation of compensation, renders first aid or emergency health treatment to a person who is unconscious, ill, or injured when the reasonably apparent circumstances require prompt decisions and actions in medical or other healthcare, and when the necessity of immediate healthcare treatment is so reasonably apparent that any delay in the rendering of the treatment would seriously worsen the physical condition or endanger the life of the person.

However, if it is established that the injuries or the death of the injured person were caused by gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing on the part of the person rendering the treatment, the civil immunity provision of the statute does not apply and the person rendering aid may face criminal liability as well.

So, get certified with our online First Aid Course for Gunshot Wounds through the U.S. LawShield 2A Institute and we will teach you the specifics on the application of a tourniquet and other critical life-saving techniques.

It’s up to you. So, take the initiative, pursue the knowledge, and learn those critical skills that are necessary to keep yourself and those around you alive until help arrives.

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