5 Must-Know Tips When Calling 911

The following is a video transcript.

Members, your Independent Program Attorneys’ years of cumulative experience defending thousands of members has led to some critical tips for any 911 call regarding self-defense. Here are 5 must-know tips from your Independent Program Attorney before you call 911.

First, if you use or display your gun, call 911. DO NOT DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE OPERATOR.

Second, only give the operator information that is needed for them to send help:

  • Your name and that you are the victim of a crime;
  • The location of your emergency;
  • What services are needed (police, EMS, or fire);
  • A general description of what you are wearing to avoid any confusion by police when they arrive (i.e., you are a six-foot-tall male wearing a green jacket and brown pants);
  • Essential logistical information you may need to convey (i.e., you have the intruder held at gunpoint in your living room—please don’t accidentally shoot me, the homeowner), but as little as you can.

Third, every 911 call is recorded and can be used as evidence against you. Do not use words like “killed” when speaking about the incident to the 911 operator.

Fourth, 911 operators are trained to keep you on the phone talking about the situation; however, you are not required to stay on the line. Once you complete your phone call, hang up, and ignore the 911 operator’s attempts to call you back.

Fifth, DO NOT waive your rights—you may need them.

Once you have followed these five tips, hang up with the 911 operator and call the U.S. LawShield Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline right away. Try to make this call in an area where you can be alone and speak privately. The Independent Program Attorneys will help you with what to say and do before the police arrive.

If you cannot get to an area where you are alone, simply tell the hotline attorney your name, member number, location, and what type of emergency you’ve experienced (i.e., shooting, drawn firearm, etc.). If you have time, give the name and phone number of an emergency contact to the attorney in case you are arrested.

Members, during your time of need, an Independent Program Attorney is ready to assist you and is just a phone call away. Call the emergency hotline number located on the back of your member card.

U.S. LawShield is there for you before, during, and after a self-defense incident. Become a member and get the peace of mind you want and the protection you need.

Can I Defend Myself in a New Jersey Mall Parking Lot?

The following is a video transcript.

With the holidays here, you need to be aware of your surroundings. There are a lot of folks out there that would like to take advantage of you: to steal from you or to even cause you bodily harm. Being aware of your surroundings is very important, and having that situational awareness is a skill that will help protect your life and the lives of your loved ones.

In terms of self-defense, New Jersey is difficult because the laws are so restrictive, and because law-abiding citizens are denied the ability to carry the most effective means of self-defense (that being a firearm).

We don’t really want to be victims, but we also don’t want to violate the law. So, some important things you can do is, of course, try to avoid becoming a victim by being aware of your surroundings.

In addition, there are some things you are allowed to do to protect yourself. They’re limited, but you are allowed to have pepper spray under three-quarters of an ounce. Also, a cell phone can take photographs and videos can often be useful in getting and apprehending a wrongdoer. Short of that, there isn’t much that individuals can do to lawfully defend themselves in New Jersey. That has basically been curtailed by the legislature.

Remain aware of your surroundings and try to avoid any situation where you can sense or feel the danger. Listen to what your mind is telling you about that danger. We have that ability. It’s in us folks. Listen to it and stay safe for the holidays.

The One Thing You Must Do After a Road Rage Incident

The following is a video transcript.

You’re sitting in traffic when someone cuts you off. Angrily, you honk your horn. The other driver aggressively changes lanes and pulls up beside you. He rolls down his window, and you watch him frantically reaching into his glove box. What happens next and how you respond could send your life into a tailspin.

Road rage incidents are scary. When driving at high speed with your attention divided in a high-stress environment, you have limited time to think. Based on past experience from U.S. LawShield members from around the country, they’d like to share the important lessons some have learned the hard way. You need to have a plan if you find yourself in this situation.

Do you call 911? Do you try to get away? Do you drive home? What if you’re forced to protect yourself? Do you provide a statement to the police? Do you have a plan for the legal repercussions to follow?

Incidents like this happen all the time, and sadly, all too often, innocent people find themselves tangled in a long legal fight. Maybe they thought the danger had passed. The fight was over. They stopped the perpetrator from committing a crime against them or their family. Why call the police if no crime occurred?

A recurring theme for people tangled in the legal system is this: they didn’t speak to an attorney prior to talking with the police. What you say after a road rage incident can mean the difference between finishing your drive home or winding up in handcuffs downtown. The time for you to formulate a plan is now.

If you’re involved in a self-defense incident, including road rage, you should speak to an attorney before you make any statement to the police. Call the U.S. LawShield emergency hotline and your Independent Program Attorney will provide the help you need to navigate through these difficult situations.

Can I Be Sued for Choosing to Help? | Oklahoma

The following is a video transcript.

Hello, this is Robert Robles, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield. I’m here to talk to you today about what you should do if you should, in your daily life, come across a situation of traumatic injury of some sort. For example: your fellow man is involved in a serious car wreck, you find someone that has been shot, or you find someone that has fallen from a great height and suffered a tremendous physical injury.

You should first call the professionals, but before they get there, perhaps you should render first aid. What you’re asking yourself is, “Will I make matters worse or could I be sued for not doing the right thing?” Not to worry. The Good Samaritan Act in the State of Oklahoma will protect you if you attempt to help someone start breathing again, if you help to try to get their heart started again, if you help their circulation of blood to get started again, or if you prevent the loss of blood.

If you should do this in good faith and there should be a successful outcome, that’s great, but what if it’s not successful? What if you’re not successful in all of your attempts and they turn out to be futile or the person dies from your care and your lack of training?

Do not worry. The Good Samaritan Act will protect you from civil liability and also protect you from suit or damages caused by a suit if: you in good faith render emergency aid; there is a bona fide emergency; if you do not have a contractual relationship with the person, such as requiring you might be a health care provider; or you may have some contract requiring you to act to this particular person.

We’re talking about total strangers, so do not hesitate to help your fellow Oklahoman. If you encounter them and they have severe injuries, the law will protect you under the Good Samaritan Act, which is found at Title 76, Section 5, Subsection 2, in the Oklahoma Statutes.

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 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.

Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? | Pennsylvania

The following is a video transcript.

We want to talk a little bit about the Good Samaritan Laws in Pennsylvania, as they’re collectively known. So, let’s talk a little bit about civil and criminal cases. “Civil” is when they try and take your money or your property. “Criminal” is when they try and lock you up.

You have absolute immunity from both civil and criminal action under the law if you volunteer to render aid, give first aid, or even go beyond that, unless what you do or you don’t do is intended to cause harm. For example, if a person cuts his thumb and you say, “Don’t worry, I’ll give you first aid,” and you cut him again, that would be intentional, and you wouldn’t be covered for that. In addition, it would be a criminal act under the circumstances.

Also, you have complete immunity (both civil and criminal) when you’re acting as that Good Samaritan, unless your act or omission rises to the level of gross negligence. “Gross negligence” is something that is just so negligent that you’re like, “I can’t believe that happened.” So, it’s a pretty high bar. Or, also if it’s willful, wanton, or totally reckless conduct.

In most scenarios, when you–a good person–are going to be trying to help someone, you’re good to go from a Good Samaritan point of view. You have absolutely no duty to render aid unless you’re in one of several different relationships listed in the law. The most prevalent ones where you have a duty to act are if you’re a common carrier. If you’re a school bus driver and one of the kids becomes injured or ill, you have to act on that. The action could be as little as calling 911 or rendering aid. An innkeeper (meaning you’re at a bed and breakfast), people that live there full-time, would have a duty to act if you’re there.

A possessor of land that’s open to the public, like a Christmas lot where the person has set up the Christmas trees, is responsible if a big gust of wind comes, knocks it over, and it falls on top of a kid. They would have a duty to begin the first aid process. And of course, parents have a duty to help their children.

So, that’s what you need to know in a nutshell about Good Samaritan Laws as far as rendering aid or being a good person.

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 applications 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.

Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? Ohio

The following is a video transcript.

Historical origins of the Good Samaritan aside, the idea that people want to help others in need is still relevant today. In line with that idea, I wanted to discuss the effect the law in Ohio has on you, the prospective Good Samaritan.

Whether it be an accident at your home, the neighbor’s home over the holidays, or a total stranger you have simply come upon, you are afforded some protections under Ohio law should you decide to give help. In 1977, the Ohio Legislature enacted the first Good Samaritan Law, exempting most people from liability when providing first aid care to people on site injured in such things as explosions, fires, and other accidents. That law is still in the books today.

Essentially, this protects you from being sued by the individual you’re attempting to help, should something you do cause them to suffer a worse injury. It’s obvious that the law should support the idea that people should feel free to help others who are injured without the fear of being sued by the same person they were trying to help in the first place.

Let’s do a quick example for illustration: You come upon a traffic accident, and there are no visible signs of injury, but you help remove the driver of the wrecked car and comfort him on the side of the road until help arrives. Maybe you’re worried about the car catching fire. Whatever your reasons, they are well-motivated. Turns out in moving him, you’ve caused further trauma to his neck or back, and he suffered perhaps more loss of function in his legs than he might have. Ohio law will protect you in these situations as well. The Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in 2016 in Carter v. Reese, wherein they extended the Good Samaritan protections to those in immediate need regardless of whether it was medical in nature or not.

A question I get all the time: Do I have to help somebody?

Basically, the answer is no. Ohio law does not mandate that you come to the aid of another person by defending them from someone else who may be trying to cause them harm, or to render first aid to them if they’re injured. In layman’s terms, you generally have no duty to rescue or duty to defend a person in distress. There are a few exceptions. If you are an adult, and in a position of responsibility for a child’s well-being, and that child is in need of assistance; or you cause the person to become in danger and in need of help through some action of your own; or, you already started to help, then you might be legally obligated to continue to provide help unless something changes and it becomes perilous for you to continue to render aid.

Now, you have a basic sense of the legal protections afforded you in Ohio. Remember, never take any money or remuneration of any kind as that can invalidate these protections, and don’t ask for anything in return for your help. All that being said, look out for your fellow man, and should you come to their aid, you can be confident you are protected under Ohio law.

Get certified with our online First Aid course for Gunshot Wounds through the U.S. LawShield 2A Institute. We will teach you 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.

Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? Missouri

The following is a video transcript.

Sometimes accidents happen around the holidays. People can be injured, and it’s important to know the Good Samaritan Laws in your state. Let’s say, for instance, someone is carving a turkey, and they cut deeply into their finger or hand. What should you do to help? Part of that is your own personal choice, but you should know how the law could affect you.

In Missouri, you don’t have an obligation to render aid. However, you can be held civilly liable if you help someone and make their injury worse. That person could sue you. The best thing to do, if someone is injured and there’s time to do so, would be to call 911 and have a trained medical professional treat the injured person. However, if you decide to help that person, just be aware that you could be held civilly liable if you cause further damage through your efforts to help.

Let’s say you’re in a situation where someone else is in danger. The laws for self-defense in Missouri as they pertain to individuals also pertain to third parties. If someone else is in imminent threat of deadly harm, then you’re justified in using deadly force to protect themthe same rule that applies to you using deadly force to protect yourself.

Again, you could be held criminally or civilly liable, if a court finds that you are not justified in your use of force.

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.

Can I Be Sued For Choosing to Help? | Virginia

The following is a video transcript.

Hi, Ed Riley, U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for Virginia. What is the Good Samaritan Law?

The purpose of the Good Samaritan Law is to encourage citizens to help one another in times of crisis or emergency when there is not sufficient time for emergency personnel to arrive. Virginia law requires that the person rendering aid do so in good faith. The aid has to be rendered reasonably and has to be done without compensation.

So, if the person rendering aid and assistance should do so satisfying those three conditions, then they will be shielded from civil liability should their assistance cause more harm than good.

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 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.

Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? Florida

The following is a video transcript.

There is a shooting near your office. As you head to lunch, a victim who has fled the scene of the shooting from a few blocks away runs into the parking lot of your building and collapses in front of you. What do you do? Can you be sued for taking action? For not taking action? Unfortunately, you can be sued for anything at any time. If a lawsuit is filed, you will have to defend it. On the other hand, under Florida Law, you are under no obligation to do anything if you did not cause the injury. However, I’m sure all of us would at least call 9-1-1 to summon help for the individual.

If you choose to do more, are you exposing yourself to greater risk of lawsuit? Florida has a law called the Good Samaritan Act which provides immunity from civil liability. Florida’s Good Samaritan Act, which is found in Florida Statute Section 768.13, provides protection to those who attempt to provide aid in emergency situations where they did not cause the emergency. The Good Samaritan Act applies to any person who, in good faith, renders aid to a victim outside of the hospital or medical facility. The Act states that the Good Samaritan shall not be held liable for any civil damages they cause the victim, so long as they act as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances and the victim does not object to the aid.

To help make this clearer, picture yourself in a restaurant where somebody starts choking on food. You had some basic first aid course in high school 20 years ago and had been trained in the Heimlich Maneuver. No one else in the restaurant is helping and the person is turning blue. If you administer the Heimlich Maneuver and save the individual’s life but break two of his ribs because your arms were held too high around him, this statute would be your defense and you would likely be found to be immune from paying damages if a lawsuit were filed.

Please keep in mind that this will not prevent the victim or the victim’s family from suing you, but it will act as an affirmative defense to their lawsuit. In deciding whether immunity shall be granted, it will come down to whether or not the Good Samaritan did what a reasonably prudent person would have done. A reasonably prudent person standard is an objective standard, meaning it is not what you would do, but what a reasonable person would do in your same situation. It is going to be up to a judge or jury to decide if you acted like a reasonable person.

If you have further questions, please give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to be connected to your Independent Program Attorney.

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 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.

Can I be Sued for Choosing to Help? Colorado

The following is a video transcript.

Doug Richards here for U.S. LawShield of Colorado. I want to talk to you today about a situation that probably doesn’t come around very often, but you should know what to do if it does. That is, what happens if you walk up on somebody else being assaulted and what happens if you walk up on somebody who is hurt?

Let’s talk about the first situation. So, if you walk up on somebody who is actively being assaulted, you may use self-defense, and in fact, deadly force to defend that person if they could use self-defense and deadly force to defend themselves. You would essentially be put in their shoes. You need to make sure you’re right because your actions will be judged based upon whether or not it would have been reasonable under the circumstances for them to use self-defense or deadly force in self-defense in that situation.

Let me give you an example of where you might be wrong. If you walk up on a situation and there is a plain-clothed police officer making an arrest of a suspect, and you run up and get involved by apprehending or restraining the police officer, you’re going to go to jail. If you do use self-defense to defend a third party, you need to make sure you are 100% right on the law and the facts when you walk into that situation.

Let’s fast forward a little bit. The event is over, and maybe somebody is hurt. This would apply, not just to an assault, but also to any kind of situation. If you walked up on a car accident, for example, or somebody was just hurt at a park and you’re not sure what happened, Colorado has a Good Samaritan Statute that provides civil protections for you as a way of encouraging you to get involved. You can read more about that at Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-108.

What that statute says is that you shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions made in good faith as a result of the rendering of such emergency care or emergency assistance during the emergency, unless the acts or omissions were grossly negligent, or willful and wanton. Now, this applies to doctors, this applies to nurses, EMTs, and just regular old people like you and me that don’t have any medical background at all. The real caveat here is that it cannot be somebody who is your patient already, and it cannot be someone from whom you are receiving compensation.

Now, if you are being reimbursed for costs, for example, if you’re a volunteer at an event, and you get reimbursed for the cost of providing that care, you’re still protected under this statute. For all of you ski patrollers out there that volunteer their time in exchange for a ski pass, you are protected as well. It’s actually specifically described in this statute that you can receive a ski pass in exchange for your volunteering, and that does not cancel out your ability to use this statute in the future.

If you’ve got any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call me. I’m always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield members.

So get certified with our online First Aid Course for Gunshot Wounds through U.S. LawShield 2A Institute, and we will teach you the specifics on 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.