Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Liability Lawyer

When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be a life-saving device. If an AED is not readily available, or if the device is not fit for use, the person suffering a cardiac event may sustain serious injuries, and the negligent parties may be held liable and possibly owe compensation.

At West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent injured people and their families in South Carolina and around Moncks Corner, SC. If you or a loved one experienced a devastating injury due to negligence or misuse surrounding automated external defibrillators, we can help you pursue compensation for your damages.

The Importance of AEDs and the Role of AED Liability

Hundreds of thousands of Americans die from sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) each year, but the timely use of an AED can save a person’s life. For every minute that passes without AED treatment, the chances of survival decrease drastically. Even if a person experiencing an SCA does recover, they may still sustain life-changing injuries if there is a delay in AED usage.

Common injuries that can result from a delay in AED usage include:

  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Permanent sensory deprivation
  • Increased chances of future cardiac arrest

AEDs should be readily available in as many locations as possible to help mitigate the risk of needless deaths. When AEDs are not available or in working order, the negligent parties may face AED liability. This means that if you suffer an AED-related injury, you have the opportunity to claim financial compensation from those who are liable.

Can Public Places Be Liable for an AED Injury?

In South Carolina, there are legal requirements in place to encourage widespread deployment and use of AEDs throughout the state. South Carolina state law specifically requires every high school to have AEDs on the premises.

Additionally, any person or entity that acquires an AED must have “designated AED users” who receive training in CPR and AED usage.

Other locations that may have AED requirements on a case-by-case basis include:

  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Medical facilities
  • Airports
  • Sports stadiums
  • Theme parks

If a public place has an obligation to make AEDs available, either by law or by location-specific policy, then that place may face AED liability if an AED was not present or was difficult to access at the time of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Who Else May Be Liable for an AED Injury?

When an AED becomes necessary for saving a person’s life, everyone at the scene expects the device to work as intended. If the device misreads the heart rhythm or fails to administer an electrical shock correctly, despite being in the hands of an individual trained in AED usage, there may be a defect with the device itself.

In such a scenario, the AED manufacturer or distributor may be at fault for any injuries that result from the device failing to function properly. If you or a loved one files a claim for an AED injury, other parties might share in the liability, enabling you to recover the full level of compensation you deserve.

What Are Good Samaritan Laws for AED Usage?

South Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law states that an individual who attempts to render emergency care in good faith cannot be liable for injuries that result if life-saving measures fail. This law extends to AED liability as well. The purpose of this law is to ensure that those with the knowledge and skills to save a life outside of a healthcare setting will not hesitate to do so for fear of legal repercussions.

If you are seeking compensation for an AED injury, you cannot take legal action against the person who tried to render emergency care simply because they failed to prevent your injuries. You might instead pursue action against a person or entity that did not have an AED readily available. However, if a good samaritan attempted to aid you with a personal AED but did not keep the device in good working condition, you may still have a case based on negligence.

How Long Do You Have To File a Claim for AED Liability?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases is three years from the date of the incident. While there may be many personal difficulties to overcome after experiencing an AED liability injury, it is important to begin the claims process sooner rather than later. If you file after the statute of limitations passes, you will be unable to receive a settlement for your damages, regardless of the evidence.

It is important to note that the burden is on the claimant to file for compensation. Neither your insurance company nor the insurer of the liable party is obligated to inform you of your rights. Working closely with a personal injury lawyer will ensure you have the guidance you need for accurately filing an AED insurance claim on time.

Will Your AED Liability Case Have To Go to Court?

Many personal injury claims reach their conclusion outside of court. After you and your legal team file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and provide evidence to establish the other party’s negligence, the insurance provider will likely extend a settlement offer. It is important to consult with your AED liability lawyer to understand if the initial offer is satisfactory for covering your losses.

If the insurance company refuses to offer a favorable settlement, or if they deny your claim outright, you have the option to take the matter to court. Keep in mind that both the negotiation and trial processes can take years to finalize, even if you file within the statute of limitations.

How Can an AED Liability Lawyer Help Your Case?

An AED-related injury has the potential to impact your life dramatically, especially in the days and months immediately afterward. While securing financial compensation is important, focusing on your recovery is vital. Your legal team can give you peace of mind by handling the legal aspect of your case every step of the way.

Our team at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers can support your claim by:

  • Investigating the cause of your AED injury
  • Collecting evidence to establish the at-fault party’s negligence
  • Filing your initial claim and submitting other relevant paperwork
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Taking your case to court if necessary

Contact Our Moncks Corner AED Liability Lawyers Today

Nobody should have to suffer serious injury because an automated external defibrillator was not close at hand. An AED liability lawyer at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers will work to make sure that negligent parties compensate you appropriately for your damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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