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Liability question


mav

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Does anyone know whether professional training increases the liability of that individual?  For example, an unarmed person attacks you.  While attempting to defend yourself, you accidentally kill this person with your hands or feet (no weapon was used).  No, I am not talking about having someone mounted and beating them to death.  I am referring to a strike that was to the wrong part of the body, e.g. a throat punch or something

 

Does the fact that you have had training (martial arts, mma, self defense, etc...) increase your likelihood of losing on a wrongful death lawsuit?  Thank you.

Edited by mav
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:popcorn:

 

Not sure what that is for.  It is a sincere question.  I have been here long enough for people to know that I am not trolling.

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Does anyone know whether professional training increases the liability of that individual?  For example, an unarmed person attacks you.  While attempting to defend yourself, you accidentally kill this person with your hands or feet (no weapon was used).  No, I am not talking about having someone mounted and beating them to death.  I am referring to a strike that was to the wrong part of the body, e.g. a throat punch or something

 

Does the fact that you have had training (martial arts, mma, self defense, etc...) increase your likelihood of losing on a wrongful death lawsuit?  Thank you.

 

 

Does a surgeon attacked in a parking garage become more liable b/c he punctures a critical blood vessel with a ballpoint pen defending himself when attacked causing the perpetrator to bleed out before paramedics arrive?

 

I think so long as the "attacker" started the engagement the outcome is on them. It's their bad if they choose the wrong "victim" and it ended badly for them.

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Non-professional opinion gathered from having friends in law enforcement and being in an MP BDE which also has lawyers. I believe, whatever you do to end the threat is fine as long as it can't be construed that you instigated or manipulated said event. I worried about this myself until a friend pointed out that if anything, your training would have helped you prevent the situation from escalating out of control and that you did what you were forced to do. The biggest thing besides the gathered evidence is what you "say". Don't let emotions wrongfully paint you.
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I don't think you will find a clear answer.  The most important issue in any self-defense situation is one of reasonableness.  The real question is: if you are acting in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury.  If having training plays a role in that is subjective.  More importantly, you have to think about each element of the italicized statement above.  

 

Is your fear reasonable?  Could the person or persons you act against actually do you harm?  Have they made statements or committed acts demonstrating intent to harm?  Is your fear imminent?  As in now; not next week or tomorrow.  NOW.  If you have the ability to restrain someone without hurting them I think training could definitely come into play.  It is probably one of a number of factors such as your attacker's build, size, strength, any disparity of force issues (two against one perhaps) that could come into play.  I don't believe there is a different legal standard for a "trained" person v/s an "untrained" person.  If however, your level of training plays a role in shaping how "reasonable" or "unreasonable" your fears are, I think it could come into play.  The bigger question is usually, whether you acted in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury and whether you did anything to wrongfully provoke the attack yourself. 

Edited by JReedEsq
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Not sure what that is for.  It is a sincere question.  I have been here long enough for people to know that I am not trolling.


Who said anything about trolling?

It's good question that goes through everyone's mind, or should from time to time. It's also one of those questions that brings up a lot of different opinions, and with that lots of debate. I'm eagerly awaiting the resulting thread.

:hat:
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I don't think you will find a clear answer. The most important issue in any self-defense situation is one of reasonableness. The real question is: if you are acting in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury. If having training plays a role in that is subjective. More importantly, you have to think about each element of the italicized statement above.

Is your fear reasonable? Could the person or persons you act against actually do you harm? Have they made statements or committed acts demonstrating intent to harm? Is your fear imminent? As in now; not next week or tomorrow. NOW. If you have the ability to restrain someone without hurting them I think training could definitely come into play. It is probably one of a number of factors such as your attacker's build, size, strength, any disparity of force issues (two against one perhaps) that could come into play. I don't believe there is a different legal standard for a "trained" person v/s an "untrained" person. If however, your level of training plays a role in shaping how "reasonable" or "unreasonable" your fears are, I think it could come into play. The bigger question is usually, whether you acted in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury and whether you did anything to wrongfully provoke the attack yourself.

Might you be able to offer any thoughts re: trained medical professionals and any responsibility to offer care to someone in a self defense situation? Example: Person A (with medical training) is attacked by Person B. A shoots B to stop the threat, but B is still alive.
Is there any legal obligation for A to offer potentially life saving assistance to B. If there's no obligation, can/would A offering B assistance be misconstrued as admitting wrong-doing in shooting B? Or might it go in A's favor by showing empathy to his attacker?
Seems like there was a thread talking about this in the last year, but for the life of me am unable to locate it.
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I don't think you will find a clear answer.  The most important issue in any self-defense situation is one of reasonableness.  The real question is: if you are acting in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury.  If having training plays a role in that is subjective.  More importantly, you have to think about each element of the italicized statement above.  

 

Is your fear reasonable?  Could the person or persons you act against actually do you harm?  Have they made statements or committed acts demonstrating intent to harm?  Is your fear imminent?  As in now; not next week or tomorrow.  NOW.  If you have the ability to restrain someone without hurting them I think training could definitely come into play.  It is probably one of a number of factors such as your attacker's build, size, strength, any disparity of force issues (two against one perhaps) that could come into play.  I don't believe there is a different legal standard for a "trained" person v/s an "untrained" person.  If however, your level of training plays a role in shaping how "reasonable" or "unreasonable" your fears are, I think it could come into play.  The bigger question is usually, whether you acted in reasonable fear of death or significant bodily injury and whether you did anything to wrongfully provoke the attack yourself. 

 

Thank you sir.

 

The reason I asked the question in the first place is my instructors have always taught me that I better be "righteous" if I perform a killing blow intentionally or unintentionally on an individual because of the training I have received.  I pretty much agree with them 100%.  However, I get a little confused when I see or hear others talk about using a killing technique (throat punch) at the onset of any altercation as means of self defense.  I don't know who is "legally" correct.  I will still side with my instructor's advice because someone's death  is the last thing I would ever want on my conscience.

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Might you be able to offer any thoughts re: trained medical professionals and any responsibility to offer care to someone in a self defense situation? Example: Person A (with medical training) is attacked by Person B. A shoots B to stop the threat, but B is still alive.
Is there any legal obligation for A to offer potentially life saving assistance to B. If there's no obligation, can/would A offering B assistance be misconstrued as admitting wrong-doing in shooting B? Or might it go in A's favor by showing empathy to his attacker?
Seems like there was a thread talking about this in the last year, but for the life of me am unable to locate it.

This has happened many times on the battle field, one I remember was partially captured on video by al-Qaida where a sniper shot one of ours in the chest who is wearing body armor.  He gets back up, they return fire on the sniper then give him medical treatment upon capture. It would be the same for a civilian, once the threat is over if you can safely render medical assistance then you can.  The key is that you are not trying to kill your assailant, only stop the threat.  If the assailant dies, so be it;  If he lives, then again so be it. 

 

I was taught many lethal technics and many non-lethal technics, but when you are in hand to hand combat you need to disable your opponent as quickly as possible, no matter what technic is used. As long as you are not the aggressor, and in certain circumstances even if you are the aggressor your skill level will usually not come into question.

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People get killed and seriously injured in fights all the time by people that have no formal training; and sometimes people go to prison for it. In a criminal case a jury will decide your fate based on your level of participation and the amount and type of force used. They will be “A Reasonable Person”.

A civil case is a free for all and they will use anything and everything they can against you. The jury will decide if the victim gets actual damages. They can do whatever they like with punitive damages and everything from what you said and did to what you wear to court will impact the amount they award.
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all I can say here is "maybe".  You certainly face an issue if you, for example, have had significant martial arts training and kill someone in "self defense" while brawling.   The whole "registered as a weapon" thing (if that still exists??).   The problem is that when you can kill with your bare hands, you should have enough skill to hold someone down, tie them in a knot, etc without killing them, when facing an untrained thug.   And, due to your training, your life was not in danger --- you have the skill to avoid serious life threatening injury from some beered up idiot punching at you.    Etc.  

 

But every scenario is different.    What training?  How was the enemy armed and what was he doing?  Were you hurt?  Bunch of details needed to say, and even then, gotta convince a jury that the heavy handed force was justified .... same as shooting someone.

 

I dunno.   But I suspect if it came out that you had extensive training and skill vs an untrained and (not armed with a gun) moron, and you killed or maimed him, you would have some questions to answer big time.

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In regards to the original question....Person A with no training shoots and kills an assailant who was trying to stab him. Person B wh o HAS had training does the same. IF it goes to trial the guy WITH training can better answer WHY he knew he was in reasonable fear of grave bodily injury or death and can articulate why dude needed to be shot. The other guy may have a harder time convincing the jury that he NEEDED to shoot the guy.  

 

If training were a detriment then WHY THE HELL DO POLICE DEPARTMENTS MAKE SUCH A BIG DEAL OF DOCUMENTING OFFICERS TRAINING? Training is never a handicap (unless it is BAD training and they told you to shoot them on the porch and drag them inside or some other such nonsense.....) That is why Police Depts have RECURRING in service training because IF their officer kills someone then they are going to have to prove that he is as well trained as the state POST standards and the dept expects him to be and that he was acting in accordance with that training. 

 

As to hand to hand with people "accidentally getting killed".....street fights are dangerous. You can fall and hit your head and be just as dead as someone hit you with a bazooka. So if at all possible it is best to avoid them but if you do find yourself involved in a fight you need to damage the other guy and get away as quick as possible. You see for those of us that carry 24/7 EVERY SINGLE ALTERCATION can possibly end up in a lethal force situation. If you get in a tussle and get knocked out then what do you think the bad guy is gonna do with the gun he finds in your holster? Probably not going to just keep it as a prize.....ask Julie Jacks....oh wait ..you can't because she was disarmed and killed with her own gun..... and she was a uniformed police officer who had been  trained in weapon retention.......not just an average joe with a handgun carry permit and no training..........So it is most prudent to avoid physical confrontations and "pissing matches" all together when the "prize " for losing is probably death because you are armed.

 

As to medical personnel rendering aid.....Do what you want, but you are not compelled to render aid to people who were previously trying to kill you. And we actually recommend you NOT TRY TO. The reason is that when people lose consciousness from loss of blood they often "wake up" when their BP gets back to a certain level and they go right back to what they were doing when they passed out. If they "wake up" with you on top of them trying to resuscitate them then you find yourself now in an entangled fight with them. Not where you want to be.....

 

Another issue is the cops rolling up on the scene knowing nothing more than there has been a shooting see you on top of the other guy and might think YOU are the assailant and shoot YOU.  So proceed at your own risk. You are only responsible for your own safety. Leave fixing the other guy to the responding EMTs...you're going to have enough to worry about with interacting with  the responding cops. 

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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I'd like to share my thoughts as someone who has had some professional training, but even more so as someone that has been in the Medical year for more than 4 decades.

 

Randy gave some sage advice here.

 

No...rendering care to someone that just tried to kill me would not be my first priority, nor would you be held negligent by not rendering that care. (This doesn't mean there wouldn't be a civil suit brought against you...there usually is at the very least, that consideration...but that isn't the time or place to let it enter your mind.)

 

 

We were taught (Tac Med Course / CONTOMS directed) that you 1st secure the area and all hostiles when the shooting appears to be over. Cover the badguy until they are secured/cuffed. Then and only then can EMS even enter the scene.

We were taught that even when moving in to render care to a downed officer to first and foremost secure their hands, remove their weapons, and while another individual covered you, render care to them...for the very reason Randy mentioned above.

 

When a standing person is hit/shot, they may well drop their blood pressure... low pressure = lack of cerebral perfusion...they hit the ground...returning their cerebral blood flow...back into the fight.

I've seen it happen as an EMT, I've seen it happen in the ER I work in. (obviously not a shooting...but unconscious back to full blown fight mode in a heartbeat).

 

Morally, of course you don't want someone to die, even if they were trying to kill or main you. You want to stop that violent behavior. If they die as a consequence of their bad behavior then it's on them. Their choice.

 

 

But I urge everyone to seek and obtain professional training whenever you can. A wise man once told be that "Training needs to be Recent,Relevant, and Realistic".

It's that training that may well keep you alive and allow you the luxury of discussing the merits of said training with your friends.

 

I wouldn't let anything deter me from seeking professional training. I can only see positives from it.

 

Just my :2cents: worth.

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